2020 Vision - The Message

Monday 1st June 1998
2020 Vision - The Message

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Ronnie Payne

2020 Vision are a fine looking bunch of lads and lassies who hale from three South London churches. This is their first release on CD and a professional looking package it is too. Their background is solidly evangelical (nothing wrong with that) and their hope for this recording is that "people will hear...that Jesus loves them." (Nothing wrong with that either.) So, what's the problem? Well, the problems start when the said disc is inserted into the CD player and the music begins. Quite frankly, it's just not up to scratch. The songs plod along a rather overgrown, disused musical path, reminding me of Cloud and the Fisherfolk on a bad day (if anyone else is old enough to remember them). Some of the vocals sound disconcertingly unrehearsed and flat which is a shame because there are clearly some talented musicians lurking in the shadows. The songwriting could do with more originality. I for one do not wish to hear the rhyme "Died upon the tree/Died to set us free" again. There must be more imaginative ways of expressing the glorious truth of the crucifixion. I was struck by the eccentric choice of hymns on the album: "In The Bleak Midwinter" rubbing shoulders with "Nothing But The Blood" must be a unique combination. An album for all seasons perhaps. Band member Paul Channon has written original music for the hymns and while I enjoyed his version of "All Things Bright And Beautiful" (which has always needed a good kick up the rear end), I'm not sure if the other hymns gain much by the reworking - maybe it's a case of "If it ain't broke..." All in all then, a sincere group deserving of the support of their congregations and an album which will be enjoyed by friends and family. But not really the great CD-buying public.

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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