Abundant Life Ministries, Bradford, England - Divine Exchange (re-issue)

Published Tuesday 24th July 2007
Abundant Life Ministries, Bradford, England - Divine Exchange (re-issue)
Abundant Life Ministries, Bradford, England  - Divine Exchange (re-issue)

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 23358-12775
LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD2798
RELEASE DATE: 2007-06-22
RRP: £14.99

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

This is a re-release of Abundant Life's best-selling 2002 recording, combined with a DVD of same live and carefully choreographed event. How much things have changed over the following five years is confirmed by the fact that Gareth Gates was still an innocent and unknown backing vocalist in the Bradford church when 'Divine Exchange' was recorded. While GG and two other backing songsters are credited in the inserts (each with same surname as the senior pastor), the dedicated souls who form the choir and who pour so much into this worship experience get no personal name call. CR's Trevor Kirk said of the original release that the "the material itself isn't strong enough." Indeed, remarkably few of these dozen tracks - all, bar one, written and sung by Lara Martin and/or Mark Stevens - are particularly memorable. That one exception is the disc's highlight - the gentle "I Enter In", penned and tenderly sung by Bethan Scanlon. The video filming and production throughout is, as expected, absolutely top-notch, with frequent shots of band, soloists, choir and participatory audience. This is apparently one of the first Christian music DVDs to have been made in the UK and it contains a host of added features such as interviews with key players (+ producer Neil Costello), and a video sermon by pastor Paul Scanlon. A slick performance for sure (a bit too slick for my liking) and applauded by many. This notwithstanding, I can count a score of worship discs from the past five years that I would rate somewhat higher than this release. And the prolific inclusion of Gareth Gates photos throughout the CD booklet (including one on the front cover) today appears as opportunism.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by musa ambai in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Maalysia @ 15:32 on Feb 17 2016

July 2003, I was in Birmingham UK for Sabbatical Study when a thief came into my room and took my laptop, wallet with many important cards and mobile phone. A few weeks later, everything lost was replaced with a better one including cash, laptop etc. Then I found the DVD Divine Exchange in one of the book stores in town. The Lord spoke to me via the album that what was lost He will exchange with the best! Praise the Lord!

Posted by Ronel Meyer in South Africa @ 11:00 on Apr 16 2013

Where can I buy this CD. Just LOVE IT! Nowhere to be found in South Africa.

Posted by zac in auckland,new zealand @ 11:11 on Feb 13 2011

i wish to purchase this album, any idea where can i buy it?

Reply by Carol in Nottingham @ 00:27 on Feb 18 2011

I got my copy on email - FAB CD

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Posted by sofaia tawake in new zealand @ 01:35 on May 6 2009

i really like your song.can u send the cd to me or your album where you have i enter in and many more.

Posted by Trevor Raggatt in London @ 12:17 on Aug 3 2007

Just a quick thought on the "opportunism" comment. It's worth noting that when the original version of this album came out Gates WAS just an anonymous member of the featured backing vocalists in the worship team. As I recall the album hit the stands shortly before he appeared in Pop Idol and the booklet featured a number of shots of him (and other backing singers). In view of this, it may be a little unfair accusing ALC of opportunism in the reissue - in fact, I'm not sure just how, these days, Gates' inclusion could be seen as having any sort of cachet. Surely it would have been more worrying (given Gates' subsequent trajectory in the tabloid media) if he'd been "airbrushed out" of the reissue photos? NB For info I am in no way affiliated with the ALC or its sister churches/network.

Posted by ian in bradford @ 23:12 on Jun 25 2007

wow, that's an old album!

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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