STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 162702-24288 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tim Holden
Released under the name Bailey to avoid confusion with the X-Factor winner of the same name, 'Gold' is Sam Bailey's debut album. Co-written and produced with Willie Weeks and Nick Herbert, this is a mainstream pop album that bears comparison with the best around, with hints of Sam Smith poking through every now and then. The album splits into two parts with the first looking at finding reassurance when things are hard, and the second about receiving that reassurance from God although apart from "Wildfire" - a worship song included on 2016's New Wine live worship album 'Simple Pursuit' - there is no direct reference to God at all and the songs are cleverly written so that they work well whether they are taken as being about our relationship with God or with another person. Willie Weeks has worked some wonderful soundscapes round Sam's strong vocals - particularly on "Wildfire". The style varies from the uptempo opener "Take Me Into Love", with a full sound provided by a pulsating drum line and lush strings, to the sparse sound of "Safe And Sound" and "Dove" and the slow build of "Still With Me" that ends up with a real dance beat. This is a very strong album that will be appreciated by all and that will get people thinking whether they have faith or not - and it is a very welcome relief from the current "worship" formula that predominates at the moment.
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