STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 45390-14262 LABEL: Comin Atcha Music 625989579721 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-05-31 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
American group Ashmont Hill really are a family affair. Phil Thomson and his two sisters Deborah and April formed the group with brother-in-law Will Bullock. Ashmont Hill is a district of Boston, which is one of the least likely places to find a group of black Christian singers. But then this isn't really your typical gospel group. For starters the quartet devote their rich harmonies to create a tight, bright inspirational pop music which despite their undoubted talent doesn't sound particularly new but sits nicely alongside a group like Avalon or artists like Tammy Trent and Natalie Grant. They've supported the latter on tour which has begun to put them on the map. With one group member a former student at Berkley, there's definite talent in the singing and songwriting department and Phil Thompson shines through so why do they waste their time covering a couple of Matt Redman songs? Shame really, as the potential is there for them to create something outstanding, instead what we get is a generic, albeit well made, inspirational album.
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Ashmont Hill is an idyllic community in Boston from which a large, loving family was birthed into musical tradition. The Thompson family has made beautiful, spiritual music for years in Jubilee church - the church in which their father is Bishop. Phil Thompson, Sisters April Joy Thompson and Deborah Bullock, along with Deborah’s husband, Wil Bullock heard the call from The Lord to bring their music to a larger community, and have set out, as in Psalm 69:30 to “…praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” The song, in which they give praise, is pop worship music with a warmth and sincerity that envelops the listener. That sincerity flows into the music through the individual group members, their belief systems strengthened by solid, supportive family connections, college educations and the making of their own individual decisions when it came to their relationships with the Lord. The impetus behind their recordings is to enable the listener to cast away their cares and experience the real joy they have found through those relationships. The group’s new self titled album, has an equal amount of vertical (direct to God) and horizontal (meant to inspire the people) songs and was crafted as a true collaborative effort between the band and their producer.