STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12966-2578 LABEL: Echo 8203712 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 EXTRAS: DVD RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Stuart Blackburn
South African worship leader Julius Magan has been releasing albums regularly since 1996. He ministers extensively throughout Southern Africa and is popular in the region. His high pitched, somewhat gritty voice has a certain charm to it and from the interviews on the free DVD is a most amenable chap. The songwriting here is shared equally between Julius and others and represents worship of the most intimate kind. Unfortunately the lyrics go beyond intimate to the land of cringe. They incorporate a remarkable collection of genre clichés that ought to be resisted in 21st century worship. "I love you, you love me, and that sets me free," "grace" rhyming with "face" and a rather chronic re-working of "Amazing Grace" (on "Just For You And Me") are just three examples. Mauritz Lotz's generally tight production fails to compensate. The arrangements are appropriate but as already indicated, many of the songs are weak. The bonus DVD includes a handful of songs from the album with a small congregation. Keyboard, guitar and backing tracks accompany, along with close-ups of people with hands raised and eyes closed. This CD will serve its purpose for some but for many others it's simply a sub-standard package.
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