STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 176299-28547 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Northern Irish singer/songwriter Dave Whitcroft (stage name KDMusic) states that his new independently-released album is a mix of worship, reflection and biography and it's really rather something special. As its title suggests, this is an uplifting offering - tackling matters of faith by always looking upward and not inward - and, thanks to the sheer musical diversity and skill of all involved, this is an album that demands play after play. Proceedings kick off with the Stuart Townend-like hymn "Freedom's Slave" which showcases Whitcroft's ear for a great melody before the stripped back "Still Only One Way" proves that sometimes you don't need much more than an acoustic guitar to turn in a powerful performance. Four tracks in and somewhat out of the blue, Whitcroft turns the album on its head with "Jacob's Ladder" - a jiving rock 'n' roll number that comes complete with brass section, killer bass lines, guitar solos, cutesy female backing vocals and the kitchen sink - before the festive song with a difference "Christmas On The Beach (Half The World)" oozes smooth pop soul. Elsewhere, a borrowed Cab Calloway riff helps Whitcroft tell the story of Jesus and the tax collector in the trumpet-led "Upside Down" whilst a brief foray into Cuban music territory on the punchy "Pentecost" helps cement our man's position as an expert communicator of spiritual truths. A tender guest appearance from singer Gillian Brown on the folk-tinged "We Will See" adds further variety on what could very well be the CCM album of the year so far.
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