STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164348-25236 LABEL: Union FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
Leivester-based singer/songwriter Barber is certainly enthusiastic about his faith, and producer Jonny Bird expertly helps him to convey that enthusiasm. Joel's songs are delivered with confidence, with the love of Jesus and the Cross being central themes. The opening track "City on Fire" lays down a marker, it's like a call to the faithful to get active and serious about it - "A city set on fire/Could this be revival? /Your Spirit on the streets/Broken homes, finding peace". The fire image continues on to the second track "O Fire", with its more personal self-encouragement - "Take this flame, almost dead/Bring me back, to life again". These are both up-tempo pop numbers with a heavy bass beat, whereas "Heaven's Gate", my favourite track, changes to a more reflective and intimate approach, at least until the wall of sound kicks in in the middle. Barber's vocals are soulful, though I'd like them to be more consistently to the fore as in the quieter moments.
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