STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 43770-15210 LABEL: Modernm 5600242 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-11-28 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Trevor Raggatt
The release of 'Air' completes a bakers' dozen of solo albums for the veteran CCM singer, Becker and looks set to rank among her best. The largely self-produced album follows the type of formula which has made her earlier albums like 'Falling Forward' and 'What Kind of Love' so eminently listenable - a heady mixture of a smokily-distinctive voice, intelligent pop writing and perfect pop/rock arrangements. That said, the opening track initially tried to throw the listener off the scent with chill-out synth and bass intro reminiscent (of all people) of the Lightning Seeds. However, normal service is soon resumed as the track breaks out into a country rock feel more like Sheryl Crow at her best. The album's ten songs deal with life and spirituality in a subtle and mature manner which draws equally on scripture and experience. Almost any track could be pulled out as a highlight but the sparse bluesy undertones of "Beautiful", so perfectly complementing Becker's vocal and powerful words of "Surrender" particularly caught this reviewer's ear. Margaret Becker now produces her music as an independent artist outside the strictures of the CCM machine - with discs available direct from maggieb.com - and her songs are all the better for that artistic freedom. 'Air' is the type of Christian album which stands head-held-high alongside the best that the secular industry can produce. Here's hoping that someone has the good sense to pick it up for distribution in the UK as soon as possible.
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