Reviewed by Phil Thomson
I have tried so hard to work out what the MHO are trying to do here. I thought - at last, someone has had the bottle to bring the big band thing in from the cold. It's hard to make it work in a Christian context. Has Denver made it work? The straight answer is no. This is a shambles. It kicks in at a cracking pace with the passable rock and roll of the title. Then it loses its nerve trying to be funky. By the third song, they've gone all soft and you realise just how weak the vocals are - plain ordinary and certainly not up to the aspiration of calling themselves an orchestra with a lead singer. There's just nothing there for the big moments. By the fourth title, we get the blues, complete with harmonica in "Can't Get Enough". Yes, Denver, you can. One minute it's all big and brassy and almost tongue-in-cheek parody, the next, searching around for an idea to keep the whole thing going. What they come up with is a rather self-conscious pastiche of a worship song with stringy backing vocals. So by track five they've lost it completely. And all the time, the Voice is trying earnestly to sound convincing. Then, mystifyingly, Denver hits the button with a cheeky six minutes worth of "Alright" which is, quite honestly...alright, particularly because the song, the voice and the solos - alto sax by Chris Gregg, trombone by Ken Hughes - really do the business. After that, on the way to the 13th and final number, we are treated to a bewildering range of pretentious try-outs which only serve to prove that Denver and his gang simply don't understand the genre. The rather breathy "Miracle To Me", complete with "wish upon a star" lyrics is actually a beautiful and tender treatise, but positioned here comes across as mush. As if that isn't enough, in the how-to-murder-a-masterpiece section, we have a jokey little rock number entitled "Blessed Assurance" at track 12. Leave it alone, Denver. Mile High? I reckon barely 10 feet.
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