STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 152661-22292 LABEL: Difference Media 0819113010253 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2014-09-08 RRP: £6.98
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
McCrystal's Irish heritage is well to the fore on this album, which has a distinctly Celtic flavour. The choice of material is well balanced between familiar songs like "How Great Thou Art" and "Nearer My God To Thee" and some lesser known material. The former are given a fresh lease of life and contemporary feel with the passion in McCrystal's smooth and sweet lyric tenor and the tasteful accompaniments - apart from relaxing acoustic guitar, often there's a subtle accordion or fiddle but without any corny leprechaun Irishness to spoil the brew. Of the less obvious choices my favourite was the beautiful and moving "Ephesians Prayer", a wonderful song of blessing, though I had to wait until the end of the album for that. A possible problem for some listeners, though a bonus for others, is the inclusion here of some spoken reflections by Pastor John Hagee. Though there was an attempt to link to the themes of the songs, I felt they sounded a tad random and the pastor's accent clashed with the overall Celtic flavour.
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Eamon McCrystal celebrates his Irish heritage and Christian faith with his compelling collection of reflective hymns and prayer. A Living Prayer boasts an inspired Celtic sound and includes spoken-word reflections narrated by Pastor John Hagee.
Featuring traditional hymns such as Nearer My God To Thee and How Great Thou Art along with contemporary favourites such as In Christ Alone and If You Listen, A Living Prayer is more than an album: it is an instrument of worship meant to edify one's faith through praise and prayer.