STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82820-16342 LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD3062 FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-11-06 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
There are so many singer/songwriters out there that it's hard for any of them to stand out from the crowd, but Tennessee-based Chris makes a fair stab at it with this six song EP. The lyrics are cleverly written and have a strong message while the tight backing makes subtle but effective use of guitar and keyboards. What shines out most however is McClarney's confidence in Jesus as he celebrates his relationship with the Lord - in more than one song the phrase "Thank you Jesus" rings out. That grateful faith in God is the constant, but there's plenty of variety in the music, from the rocking rhythm of "Across The Universe" to the reflective vibe of "Blessed Assurance" - the well known words of Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) set to new music by American McClarney and Brits Chris Eaton and John Hartley. McClarney has written or co-written all the other tracks, the best known of which is "Your Love Never Fails". The artist provides an interesting background to this song on the album sleeve (which also provides all the lyrics) - he tried it and shelved it, but it took on a life of its own after being recorded by Jesus Culture.
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Every once in a while something different happens, something that makes you pause, reflect and reassess. Chris McClarney is that ‘different thing’. Unassuming, yet possessing a voice that could stop traffic, Chris McClarney is an underground phenomenon whose name has the currency of gold.
Having given birth to the song Your Love Never Fails, Chris has found himself as songsmith-of-choice for one of the most dynamic mass mobilisations of the day; the Redding, California-based Jesus Culture youth movement. Having adopted it as the title track of their 2008 album the army of believers singing of God’s constancy in the midst of trials grows larger every day.
Chris is a regular at the Mission Worship Conference in Eastbourne.