Ishmael - Ishmael Presents Ish In The Box

Published Wednesday 25th February 2009
Ishmael - Ishmael Presents Ish In The Box
Ishmael - Ishmael Presents Ish In The Box

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 78082-15266
LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD2978
RRP: £5.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Around the same time that this box set came up for review I'd spent an absorbing half hour examining the marvellous Resurrection Band box set 'Music To Raise The Dead'. Now apart from the fact that Ishmael and the Resurrection Band are veterans who started their recording careers in the '70s, these two acts have nothing in common. The reason I'm bringing up Rez here is to advise the execs at Kingsway Music who put out 'Ish In The Box' to get their hands on 'Music To Raise The Dead' to see how box sets SHOULD be packaged - with copious sleevenotes, historic photos and comprehensive recording information. Maybe it's because 'Ish In The Box' features children's music, and that field has often been packaged in a cheap 'n' cheerful way that explains why this 4CD set is so lacking in sleeve info or even a decent CD booklet. The tracks in this package were previously released on the compilations '52 Scripture Songs' and 'Praise/Worship Songs For Little Children' and I think I'm right in saying that THOSE compilations were originally sourced from 2000's 'Ishmael's Praise Songs For Little Children', 1999's 'Ishmael's Worship Songs For Little Children', 1983's and 1984's 'Children's Praise Party Vols 1 & 2' and 1988's and 1989's 'Training Up The Troups Vols 1 & 2'. As the founding father of the whole Praise Parties For Kids concept Ish deserves our respect and thanks (particularly if you've a kiddiwinker who learnt to raise hands in praise to these snappy worship songs) and though the gravel-voiced Ish isn't the best singer you've ever heard he always had good musicians passing through his band to keep even his more dated recordings ('Children's Praise Party') showing plenty of bounce. Ian Smale has also written his share of classics and here you've got two different mixes of his timeless "Father God I Wonder" rounding off the first two CDs. If you've yet to discover the children's ministry pioneer's work or want to replace ancient vinyl and cassettes this set with its bargain price is worth investigating, even despite the shoddy packaging.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Let Heaven And Earth Praise His Holy Name [Listen]
2. For As High As The Heavens Are Above The Earth [Listen]
3. Praise God In The Great Congregation [Listen]
4. Let's Thank The Lord For Music [Listen]
5. Father God Created The World [Listen]
6. The Lord Is So Cool [Listen]
7. I'll Sing To You I'll Bring To You [Listen]
8. Holy Spirit Flow [Listen]
9. I'm Like A Little Shining In The Dark [Listen]
10. This Is The Lord's Day [Listen]
11. Who Is The King Over All The World [Listen]
12. How Awesome Are Your Deeds Oh Lord [Listen]
13. Father God I Wonder (New Praise Mix) [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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