STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21657-26386 LABEL: Megaphone 1 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
A new label (though it still goes through Nelson Word); a rumour (erroneous) that this is a 'contemporary' (ie, performance-orientated) album rather than a praise and worship album; and Steve Thompson in charge of production. 'Spark To A Flame' is written for congregational worship, this time with the angle of "songs for themes, occasions and seasons of the worshipping church" and not, thankfully, another March For Jesus album. It has to be said that the folk issuing Graham Kendrick material have rather swamped the market in recent years and so it's hard to feel the sense of significance a new album by Britain's greatest hymn writer once brought us. But giving the production chores to the exceedingly gifted Mr Thompson was a good move, for the funky keyboard man brings some very nice touches, with more bite in the rhythm arrangements, while still retaining the congregational worship dynamic. I particularly liked the arrangement for "Jesus Let Me Meet You In Your Word" and Velveta Thompson's solo on "Here Is Bread". The songs have extensive notes for the uses to which they can be put, though I'm a tad disappointed that despite all the songwriting craft and solid musicianship it still feels a bit formulaic. But maybe we'll have to look to a new wave of 'alternative worship' songwriters for something really fresh.
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