STYLE: Choral RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13677-3719 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Ian Hayter
The Derby Salvation Army Songsters, under the musical direction of Ian Hammond, are well known in the Midlands and widely travelled in Europe and the United States. This, their latest album, was specially produced to coincide with a tour of Sweden. It contains all the hallmarks of a great Songsters' programme - powerful settings of old hymns, in this case "When I Survey", Fanny Crosby's "Give Me Jesus" and "Sing Alleluia", a reworking of St Francis's well known hymn by Harold Burgmayer: some gospel favourites such as "Great, Great Morning" and Andrae Crouch's "You Can Depend On Me" and newer songs in the same style ("Somebody Prayed For Me" and, from Norway, "You Are The Light"): a couple of settings of Bible passages ("With Wings As Eagles" by Benjamin Harlan and Howard Evans's "Psalm Of Thanks"): two pieces by John Rutter, including the beautiful final number "Gaelic Blessing": and the nine minute mini-choral suite which gives the album its title. It's all very well sung, with fine accompaniment on the keyboards by Graham Eacott (occasionally assisted by Philip Eacott on bass and Michael Fox on percussion). I couldn't help feeling that a couple of the grander arrangements could have done with a fuller accompaniment, but that's not to detract from a fine album which will certainly appeal to all fans of the Salvationist style.
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