Reviewed by Alan Smith
A golden oldie re-issued from 1978 with solid musicianship and unfussy arrangements (very reminiscent of Rob Noakes) ensuring it's dated only a little. However, on the inlay card I was greatly saddened by a whole page given up to Copyright Protection. It's unscriptural, unnecessary and unblessing. God would release you from this worldly fallacy, Mr Kingsway. Let 'em copy it as much as they like: you won't be able to contain the blessings God will honour you with. Just ask Roly Bell if you don't believe me. On this note, John has plagiarised throughout and should be paying Royalties to Mammas and Pappas, (Reigning in my heart), Gilbert O'Sullivan, The Monkees and, possibly the Beatles. I wouldn't doubt, though, that Kingsway have done their legal homework. It was lovely to hear a bass drum sounding like a bass drum, pleasant and lyrical alto and tenor sax, together with the Hammond Organ Sound, which seems to be enjoying a significant revival at the moment, especially among young musicians. The only instrumentation that grated with me was the synth part on "He Will Take Great Care", very similar to a steam Korg monophonic job I used to wrestle with - all wow and square waves. Over all, the balance of songs is well thought through, and again, the John Pantry simplicity and clarity scores points. 'Empty Handed' uses 6/8 time particularly tastefully; as with other tracks, a big, black Gospel Choir would have lifted the album out of the 'right price' rack and straight into the 'very special music' slot. And don't kid me that this equation is linked to funding and Copyright, 'cause it ain't.
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