STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 12923-2528 LABEL: MPH MPHCD253 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
It's still not widely known in Christian music circles (save for those who were privileged to attend its stage performances in Wales earlier this year) that Mal Pope, long time mainstay of the UK Christian music scene, has composed a masterpiece with his musical Amazing Grace. The work tells in powerful drama and unforgettable songs the events surrounding an ex-miner Evan Roberts and the Revival in which he found himself the epicentre. This album rather confusingly doesn't refer to Amazing Grace on the sleeve but is in fact Mal's studio recordings of the songs the Welsh cast performed so memorably in the theatre presentation. And even away from the context of their staging the songs here are magnificent, none more so than the closer "Warm Wind", a ballad of aching poignancy. Other standouts are the powerful song of miners' toil "Wheels Go Round", the beautiful "Silence Speak To My Heart" and the haunting opener "Titanic Overture". As good a set of songs as anything Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice have ever penned while Mal's voice is of its usual husky soulfulness and interpretive power. An album heartily recommended even if you have yet to see Mal's groundbreaking musical.
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