STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 8079-7830 LABEL: Survivor SURCD085 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2003-07-18 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Peter Bate
Paul Oakley’s latest album sees him cement his reputation as one of Britain’s foremost worship leaders. Recorded in Durban with Tree63 producer Andrew Philip, crisp acoustic and electric guitars are the bedrock of this robust collection. Oakley, once labelled the Paul Weller of praise, benefits from the renaissance of earnest rock bands like Coldplay and ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’ incarnation U2. There are building ballads like the title track, “Shepherd In My Heart” and the spine-tingling “Angels Gather” which patiently layer guitars. Spirit-raising anthems such as “Sing To The Lord”, “Love So Amazing” and the breath-taking “Let Every Voice” also hit the spot while a mixture of both styles, “Father To The Fatherless”, is perhaps the album’s standout track. There’s no doubt Oakley is sticking to a winning formula. My only quibble would be that there aren’t many risks taken. The songwriter crams his songs with biblical imagery, though there are few phrases that haven’t been sung before. It’s solid in the best sense of the word but could maybe do with stepping a bit closer to the cliff-edge.
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