STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 5343-5174 LABEL: Spring Hill CMD1029 FORMAT: CD Album RRP: £14.67
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
I've been a follower of contemporary Christian music for 20 odd years and Mark Gersmehl has more or less been part of Nashville's continuing rise for all of that time. Now, at long last here's his first solo album to pull in Joe Punter though those fans of classic anthemic AOR ala White Heart will be disappointed by this set as will those looking for pop bubble and radio friendly hooks. Instead, what you've got is a set of low key, deftly crafted songs ranging from tender hearted declarations of divine love to bitingly honest confessions of human frailty. In the latter category, "Shoes", with its eloquent images about our tendency to talk it rather than walk it, is a stone classic which shimmers with luminous honesty. Production throughout is uncluttered, often with Gersh's elegant piano lines well to the fore while his world weary voice, at times resembling another bold declarer of truth, Rich Mullins, is achingly expressive. If you're looking for classy art pop from a man who writes and sings without a trace of shallow artifice, this long overdue solo debut is a treasure.
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