STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 120927-18823 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: Digital Only Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Activist and singer/songwriter Garth boldly states on the original sleevenotes that this now digitally re-released offering from 1993 is an "alternative worship album" before brashly going on to say that many worship albums are "triumphalist and concerned only with personal faith and ignore how this relates to life and the hurts of needy world." With this in mind, it comes as no surprise to find Hewitt singing about justice and the oppressed in "For A Fairer World" and "We Hear Your Cry Lord" and other songs influenced by Third World churches and his own encounter with Christ. For the most part though, this Ben Okafor and Gladstone Wilson-produced release lacks the punch delivered by previous, more directly protest-focussed albums such as 'Scars' and 'Lonesome Troubadour' and he seems to have been musically neutered in order to fit into the contemporary worship sphere that he was trying to be an alternative to. In addition, Hewitt's vocal performance is a shadow of the gutsy conviction that had previously been his trademark - not helped by the inclusion of a largely needless and ever present choir - whilst cheesy and clichéd songs such as "Chain Of Love", "Bread Of Life" and "Rise Like The Sun" are simply not strong enough have stood the test of time. A superb rendition of Ray McLoughry's "Lament (Psalm Of Desolation)" ends proceedings on a thought provoking high and, had Hewitt adopted this approach for the rest of this brave but faltering diversion, the result would certainly have been a more groundbreaking and memorable release.
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