Reviewed by Tom Lennie
Though not specifically stated on the package, this three-CD compilation is a re-issue of previous recordings, 'Secret Place', 'Everybody Sing' and 'Personal Worship', dating from 1997, 2002 and 2000 respectively. Certainly it brings out the differing styles of this veteran worship leader, such as the jolly, celebratory praise songs - several of them to an African/Caribbean rhythm - the passion of his studio recordings, and the intimacy of his stripped-down, acoustic affairs. Without question it's the latter category that makes most impression on my mind and spirit - Dave seems very much at home just sitting with a guitar and sharing his personal songs of devotion to the Lord. These can be quite touching. However, some of the melodies on Dave's self-penned tunes - and all 27 numbers here are his very own - I find rather weak, and his lyrics tend to be rather cliched. But he's got a fine, strong voice and he's a gifted acoustic guitarist. I saw him do a live "acoustic café" type gig recently and gotta confess, I was more impressed with the covers that he performed (most of which were from non-Christian artists) than the strength (though not the spiritual depth) of some of his own pieces. Interestingly, neither at the gig, nor on these discs, do any of the four classic songs he's most famous for - "Abba Father", "Let There Be Love", "So Freely" (delightfully rendered by Sue Rinaldi on Dave's tribute album) and "All Hail The Lamb" - get an airing. The packaging on this set is neat and the price fair. Still, unless you're a big Dave Bilbrough fan and don't already have any of these three albums, then you may not be particularly drawn to this output.
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