STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21024-11775 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Nigel Harris
This is the debut album from a young man who was raised in the Scottish Highlands and is currently studying classical music at Napier University in Edinburgh. He has performed to various churches, youth events and supported Ian White and now offers this independent album. While John is clearly a very able guitarist and keyboard player, it's his expressive vocals that shine on this debut. All credit to Mike Scott at Pathway Studios in Caerwent for a reasonable job on the production though the simple recording facilities let it down occasionally. There are times when John's overdubbed backing vocals almost compete with the lead vocal, and the choice of the heavy reverb electronic drums on "I Believe" sounded odd on the acoustic arrangement. The instrumental "Gethsemane" is a powerful, evocative track. Musically this is a good debut though lyrically it cries out for far more creativity if John's music is to find an audience outside of his local churches. Many of the songs are a collection of over-worn Christian clichés, so much so that you can frequently guess the second line of a couplet. Perhaps John should work with a lyricist next time.
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