STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 16968-9793 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by David Cranson
Question: What do Elton John, Chuck Girarrd, Eric Clapton (in softer mode) and Matt Redman have in common? The answer is Chuck McConnell. I heard all of these styles as I listened to this CD. It's a very well put together package considering it's an independent release. It's Indiana-based Chuck's first album - his second is also available - and very good it is too. Chuck's been playing guitar since he was 15, and now leads worship in his own church. As far as I can make out, all the songs are self-penned, in an effort to bring something new to his church when worshiping. One of the standout tracks for me is "Ecclesiastes 5", which is an instrumental. Maybe I'm getting old, but there are times when quietness and contemplation are very welcome. This track helps. Of the rest, you get what you might expect from a p and w leader. Good solid songs and some stuff that would not be out of place in most churches' canons. "Sweet Spirit Of God" kicks things off nicely, with the band providing excellent back-up - "Sweet Spirit of God you are welcome in this place/...Hope comes alive when we see your power"; "Great Giver Of Life" - "Rain drops falling down upon my feet/Summer's heat is blown away with the storm/I'm reminded how your grace is new/That my hope can only be in you/Great giver of life"; "I Want To Touch Your Heart" is also very good, as is "Hope Is Found In Jesus". Sometimes the simplicity of it is inspiring. Finally the truth in the first lines of "Love Is The Way" is refreshing, "Love is the way I've chosen to live every day/Dying to me is not as easy as I thought it would be/But I know there are those/Who have walked in this way before me." Not my usual fare, but very good nonetheless.
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