Jules Riding - Recollection: A Jules Riding Retrospective

Published Monday 28th January 2019
Jules Riding - Recollection: A Jules Riding Retrospective
Jules Riding - Recollection: A Jules Riding Retrospective

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168908-26555
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Harvested from eight previous albums ranging from 1984's 'On This Night' through to 'Sanctuary' 30 years later, this best of compilation looks back on the output of veteran New Zealand singer/songwriter Jules Riding and showcases the man's determination to unwaveringly communicate the Gospel throughout his lengthy recording career. Very much in the same bracket as CCM pioneers such as Keith Green and Michael Card and in many ways Scotland's own Ian White, apocalyptic songs like "Rider On The White Horse" and "Gathering Of The Nations" bravely dive right into Revelation territory whilst the biographical "Peter Was A Fisherman" and the Easter song "On This Night" further demonstrate Riding's penchant for singing lyrics that come straight from the Bible - often with him speaking out Scripture in between verses. Elsewhere, Riding isn't afraid to challenge the listener's cosy life in the point-blank "Room In Your Family" before turning the spotlight on his own journey to faith in the testimony song "When All The Trouble Started". Riding's gentle, almost whispered vocal delivery draws the listener in and the innocuous easy listening backdrop - mostly built around the man's unfussy fingerpicked acoustic guitar - works well despite it perhaps sounding a bit dated in retrospect. With Riding's sound having stayed more or less the same throughout his career, the accordion-festooned "Plans" and the cod reggae of "I Will Worship" help add some instrumental variety to proceedings whilst a cheeky nod to a certain Phil Collins drum fill in the aforementioned "Gathering Of The Nations" is a fun moment. The liner notes helpfully give some background as to how each of the 17 songs on this vanilla version came about making the work of one of NZ Christian music's premier exponents all the more interesting.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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