STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20184-11515 LABEL: ICC ICC0993D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Ewan Jones
The title track of Garth's latest album is a clever rally cry for Jesus' followers to "steal back" Jesus and show him to the world through acts of peace and love, creative expression, humility and care for the oppressed and the weak. Clever stuff though I understand Tony Cummings on the Rimmerama programme suggested the need for an "answer" song which examined the need to "steal back" Jesus from the left wing liberal intelligentsia with their unbiblical obsessions and reductionist Gospel. Elsewhere on the album we've got "Eternal Echoes", an opener which sets the theme - "We are what we do with our silence../Eternal echoes are leading me with the silent voice of love." It is a journey which resonates with God's story - trees, deliverance, justice, mercy, peace and a journey towards the promised land (with a neat little personal touch). Hewitt writes clever and often moving lyrics that shift skilfully between sharp indictments, then humour, the desperate cries of the weak to a message of hope though his rudimentary vocals are an acquired taste. The arrangements here veer from traditional hoe-down country/folk music to beautiful Eastern instrumentation. With echoes of Cash and Dylan this album is definitely worth a listen though the highly derivative sleeve photography shows the singer trying a little too hard to be Britain's answer to The Man In Black.
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Garth's reputation as one of the best of his kind is not without good reason with a career spanning over three decades his songs have been heard the world over. ‘Stealing Jesus Back’ brings you Garth's most significant offering to date and is destined to be the album to prove that the best is worth waiting for! With echos of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and even some old style gospel and hints of other lands thrown in for good measure this album brings Garth's usual no frills message as well as some brilliant lighter moments.