Reviewed by Mark Lawrence
Recent years have seen a revival in worship circles of old hymns. Songwriters such as Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Chris Tomlin have all reworked classic hymns and given them a contemporary sound, with varying degrees of success. On this, his debut release, singer/songwriter Francis Blight has attempted a similar feat, taking five old hymns, including "What Can Wash Away My Sin" and "Am I A Soldier Of The Cross", and giving them a fresh, edgy melody. Francis should be commended for his efforts, because on standout tracks "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less" and "Let Earth And Heaven Combine" the concept really works. "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less" in particular, with its mellow acoustic sound underpinned by the cello, works really well. 'New Skin For Old Song' has a well produced sound that is only let down slightly by Francis Blight's rather ordinary vocals which borders on the out-of-tune on the album closer "We Believe In The Church". Overall though, with a nod to the likes of Tom McRae and Unbelievable Truth, this is a decent EP that brings a fresh, somewhat melancholic sound to some timeless hymns.
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