STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 95306-17047 LABEL: Kingsway KMCD3108 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2010-08-16 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Paul Poulton
As I listen to Tennessee-based Chris' third release I get flashes of Talking Heads and Kings Of Leon being melded into a cleaner, slower machine lauding the majesty of God. Melodic songs with an edge that cuts like a blade of long grass; you don't realise you've even been cut at first but then you notice the songs have made a neat slot in your psyche. Some care has been taken over the recording of 'Defender', listen to the second track "Still Saving Me", the drums ooze three dimensions. The song has that steady yet teetering-on-the-edge-of-funky feel. The big song that's already made its presence known in the world is "Your Love Never Fails" which opens this bountiful 16 track album. Chris does, from time to time, fall into the tradition of modern worship leaders: lazy right hand guitar playing, slightly slurred vocal, but for the main part he manages to stand out from the pack. Some of the songs without doubt have raging power and joy, and those that don't quite reach the mark are still pleasant.
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With a voice that has all the power of vintage Motown and a gift for writing songs that express what lies at the very heart of so many Christians, Chris McClarney is a unique talent. And, thanks to California-based Jesus Culture movement adopting Your Love Never Fails as their anthem of choice, Chris’s music has made connections worldwide.
But Chris McClarney is more than a voice, more than a songwriter, more than a guy whose songs have become part of the YouTube soundtrack. Chris McClarney is a worshipper. With the character to match the calling, Chris is intent on one thing only: a life following Jesus.
Chris’s new studio album - Defender – is the sound of that pursuit. Full of songs that express the truth of God’s nature, the reality of salvation and the hope that lies within us all, Defender is the sound of worship straight from the heart.