STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13308-1366 LABEL: Kingsway KMCD2640 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2005-08-19 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
This is a return to form for the seasoned worship leader whose influence over the years has touched so much of today's worship culture. The sleevenotes explain that, after a decade of mentoring other writers, a fresh season of writing was called for. And fresh is exactly what this collection is, with each track memorably standing out in its own right. Most of the tracks here are penned by Bowater himself with a few covers thrown in for good measure (Stuart Townend's "Image Of Invisible God" and "Seems Like So Long Ago (Mercy Over Me)" by Robert Critchley for instance). Bowater's vocal delivery is extremely reminiscent of the late Roy Orbison's fragile strength and this adds to the quality of each song. During the more built up sections in some of the tracks, Bowater's vocals could have been more in the forefront but on the whole producer John Hartley has done a magnificent job. It would be a tough task to select a standout song from 'Crown Of Beauty' - whether it be the powerful song of humility "Not To Us O Lord" or the tender "Your Word", the hymn-like "Teach Me How To Pray" or the haunting "O The Deep Deep Love" - so it would be best to accept this release for what it is: a beautiful collection of worship songs by a writer who has returned with one of his best ever offerings.
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