Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
Those with long memories and all the back issues of Cross Rhythms will remember Mike Stanley as the owner of a pair of amazing trousers, which were so famous, Terry Mills of Nuffsed wrote a tune in their honour. Mike's long-time musical associate, Joanne Boyce, hails originally from the West Indies, and they are well known in the Roman Catholic Church in the West Midlands area for their rootsy praise and worship music. This album is an attempt to add a little pop pzazz to the mix, and on the whole it succeeds. Produced by Craig McLeish and featuring Terl Bryant and Phil Crabbe in the band, it's a fusion of up-tempo pop praise and reflective worship, and there are two highlights for me: "The Book", a song about the Bible ("this NIV of mine") with the hook "revelation leaping off the page, each day I'm reaching for the book that's reading me", with lyrics provided by Tony Cummings; and a new tune to Henry Williams Baker's metrical version of Psalm 23 "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is", which has a lovely haunting quality, yet musically is simple enough to be used by the average congregation in worship. Mike's voice is strong and clear as always, Joanne's soul-tinged vocals keep the pot boiling, and when this finally comes out (I've been given a pre-release review copy), this will be well worth your attention.
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