STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 108537-17963 LABEL: Kingsway KWCD3231 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2011-05-16 RRP: £1.00
Reviewed by Neil Fix
This album came about as a result of a conversation between some worship leaders who felt that there was no distinctive sound, no "songs that express who we are as Elim churches". So Sam Blake, Joel Pridmore, Stephen Gibson and Ian Yates combine their talents to produce this album. It contains 12 tracks, which express a wide variety of tones and theological themes. Songs which were carefully chosen, "each member of the band knows exactly why each song was chosen," apparently. I can't say that all of their choices were as clear to me, however. Although some of the songs are powerful both musically and spiritually, some of them are much less noticeable while the production by the always-reliable Trevor Michael sticks too close to the stadium rock template of so much contemporary worship to stand any chance of truly having the "distinctive sound" that the Elim churches were looking for. Having said that, Stephen Gibson's "Fill Us Holy Spirit" and Ian Yates' "To Behold You" are particularly powerful while the song "Bless Your Name", based on Psalm 103 and which arose from a time of spontaneous worship is possibly the album's highlight. The main problem for me is that although all the songs are clearly proficient, in unadventurous musically, too many of the lyrics here are dull paraphrases of overused scriptures.
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The start of a new era, that’s the best way to describe Fresh Mercy. Having been around for almost a century, the Elim movement introduced the Redemption Hymnal in the 1950’s.
Fresh Mercy marks a new beginning, with four young worship leaders from across the UK uniting to represent the full flavour of Elim worship today. A combination of modern worship, gospel and hymnology, they are songs that reflect both rich in theology and an acknowledgement of a move of the Holy Spirit. Fresh Mercy will be launched at this year’s Elim Conference attended by around 2,000 church leaders.