STYLE: Messianic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 25314-12870 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £10.00
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
This release from American songwriter King sees the Messianic worship leader team up with producer and arranger Don Johnson to deliver a collection of songs that draw heavily on the Psalms. Although there is a mix of English and Hebrew lyrics contained within the songs, 'Highways To Zion' is accessible to the everyday listener and is a skilful and lush affair. The proceedings kick off with the piano-led title track before launching into the no holds barred call to worship "Hinei Bar'chu" which features a guitar solo from Rick Wright (not the Pink Floyd keyboard player) that Santana himself would be proud of. Whilst there is an overall contemporary feel to the album, King includes a couple more traditional Hebrew-style songs with "On Your Walls, Jerusalem" and "Hallelu Hu" - the latter showcasing some searing violin from Maurice Sklar - and this keeps the album firmly rooted in its Jewish heritage. King has wisely chosen to include an array of guest artists to keep things fresh with appearances from the Moldovan National Chamber Orchestra as well as the fantastic Praise Celebration Brass amongst others. Elsewhere, there are duets with Denis Jernigan and Dorothy Bedford on "Song Of Jacob" and "Have Mercy Upon Me" respectively. "Have Mercy Upon Me" is the highlight of this release and this slow burner reveals a surprising chemistry between the Hebrew of King and the gospel power of Bedford amidst the backdrop of a formidable gospel choir courtesy of the New Life Praisers. There is the occasional piece of over-egged schmaltz - most notably in "Kindle The Flame" which features some truly sickly children's singing. But on the whole this is a enjoyable release.
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