STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 163250-24648 LABEL: Integrity 0000768679326 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2016-11-15 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
The annual New Wine event has, of course, played its part in disseminating modern worship across the UK Church and this latest batch of songs is a good balance of slow soulful songs and encouraging uptempo numbers as the style varies from intimate to celebratory. The enthusiastic engagement of the audience/congregation is evident, especially on the striking epic "Forgiven" featuring Sam Bailey on vocals - the venue comes alive when everyone joins in as Bailey seamlessly slides into "Amazing Grace" at the end of the song. I particularly liked "Deeper", with Karen Gillespie excelling on vocals, as it helps transition from the lively opening tracks to the quieter songs. It is an invitation to go deeper in our relationship with God, though it is described as an "Interlude", and was too short for my liking at just over one minute! In general, though, the songs can be quite long as befits the live worship experience. If you are looking for an upbeat Easter song you need look no further than "Sing It Out (He's Alive)" enhanced by strong vocals from Tom Eccleshall. As prayerful praise songs go "Great Are You Lord" is a fine example and is blessed with some effective harmonies. All that being said I think 'Simple Pursuit' is in need of something extra to make it stand out from the welter of live worship projects now bombarding the Church.
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For those familiar to New Wine and their events you will know that worship is a key component of all they do and is central to their vision.
The 2016 live album entitled Simple Pursuit is yet another opportunity for those involved in the project to capture those moments experienced by the people who attended the yearly gathering and translate this in its truest form to the listener at home.
The projects producer, Willie Weeks, had this to say on the hopes and aims for this years live album:-
”Its been great to work on this year’s NW live album. This album has felt like a real return to capturing the atmosphere and key moments of the summer gatherings. It is one of the rawest, energetic, and most real sounding recordings I’ve worked on and includes some special, spontaneous moments that really encapsulate all God was doing over the 2 weeks. We hope it takes you back to those incredible mornings and evenings together and yet provides a continuation of worship to our great God! Willie Weeks, Producer of Simple Pursuit.
Worship leaders on this release include Tim Hughes, and Sam Bailey who along with Karen Gillespie and Tom Eccleshall offer a great balance of well known tracks such as O Praise the name and Pocketfull Of Faith along side newer tracks which gives a real sense of familiarity whilst also providing those listening with new gems to enjoy and use in their personal worship.
This is sure to have something for everyone to enjoy and is yet another stellar example of why New Wine continues to be one of the forerunners and groundbreakers of UK Worship music.
Hope And Glory (Tim Hughes)
Pocketful of Faith (Tim Hughes)
King Of My Heart (Karen Gillespie)
Great Are You Lord (Chris Sayburn)
The Lion And The Lamb (Chris Sayburn)
Hallowed Be (Sam Bailey)
Simple Pursuit (Sam Bailey)
Steady Me (Karen Gillespie)
Love Song [Before You Formed The Earth] (Tom Eccleshall)
Forgiven (Sam Bailey)
Sing It Out (Tom Eccleshall)