Paul Le Claire - Queen Of Peace

Published Tuesday 2nd May 2006
Paul Le Claire - Queen Of Peace
Paul Le Claire - Queen Of Peace

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 17686-11199
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

One of the reasons Cross Rhythms is currently working on a Defining Christian Music article is to stop the trickle of emails we get from readers complaining that such-and-such an album/artist shouldn't have been reviewed/written about as it falls outside an individual's definition of "Christian". On the edges of the vast slew of releases you'll find music by liberal church goers and Seventh Day Adventists (which we do feature), Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses (which we don't) and that's not even mentioning the growing number of acts who work exclusively in the mainstream. From its inception Cross Rhythms has covered artists from the Roman Catholic Church and that growing body of work has indeed brought spiritual as well as aesthetic riches to the CR cannon. But an album, such as this one, dominated by songs that venerate Mary, Mother of Jesus, make me as uncomfortable as listening to Mormon Gladys Knight's "gospel" recordings or Mike Scott's New Age musings. But let's leave the unbiblical theology aside and look at the music from this Jersey-based singer/songwriter. Paul possesses a wistfully gentle voice, a bit like
John Denver, while a clever pop arrangement on "You Will Be My Rock" pulls together an undulating, fretless, sighing string synth and even some hints of shrieking sax in an impressive arrangement. "Summer Skies" is a melodic gem with a shuffling rhythms and a languid sun-kissed vibe. With a less budget line production it truly could be a mainstream smash. "Breath Of Fresh Air" has some funky programming and Paul's light as silk vocal gliding effortlessly across the groove. Only the acoustic and simplistic "God's Children", which I guess is intended as a children's song, seems out of place here. But overall this album is an impressive showcase of a serious talent.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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