STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 44788-13978 LABEL: Curb 8790262 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2008-04-30 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
It is all but impossible to listen to this album without focusing on Michael's lurid history, particularly as this album is released in conjunction with a tell-it-all autobiography. Although English is no songwriter and here uses the material of such highly gifted songsmiths as Matthew West, Tony Wood and John Hiatt many of the songs are open about human frailty and give glory to God's grace over our continuing human failings. English is particularly frank in his vulnerability on the piano-led ballad "Redeem Me" (penned by Australia's Peter Penrose and Sam Mizell) and the same honesty crops up on "Don't Think I'm Not Thankful" (written by Neil Thrasher and Michael Dulaney) which has a country edge to it. Throughout the production by big hitters Mark Miller (Casting Crowns) and Shaun Shankel (Natalie Grant) is top rate while Michael's Cocker-ish interpretation of Hiatt's "Have A Little Faith In Me" is blue eyed gospel at its best. I know some critics may be a little uneasy with the enthusiastic way in which Michael's testimony of past failings is now being marketed but few can argue about the quality of his return to the CCM scene.
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CCM legend Michael English returns with a powerful and moving album. He has been through a lot in the last few years, battling with addictions, depression and a very public fall from grace. Having experienced a truly 'prodigal son' experience and found himself reunited with the God and the faith that had at one point seemed so distant, he returns here with what may be the best album of his career to date.