STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 115383-18177 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Mini-album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Ewan Jones
Inspired by Jesus' parable in Matthew 25, 23 year old Bolton-based worship leader Saxon wants these songs to encourage the Church to be a bride holy and ready for the coming bridegroom. The title track "Don't Fall Asleep" sums up nicely the call to God's people to "Stay awake, grow your roots deep into the king of grace" whilst crying out to Jesus: "Prepare my heart to meet you". For an independently produced CD, I'm really impressed with the playing, recording quality, arrangements, mixing, mastering and artwork - it's a really nice looking and sounding little package and at seven tracks spanning a neat half-hour, it doesn't outstay its welcome either. Lyrically, the songs offer opportunity for personal reflection and congregational worship, and although they occasionally fall into cliche (there's lots of running freely and burning fires) most are on the way to being equal in standard or better than many of the "professional" worship leaders currently out there. "Into My Life" and "Witness To The Light" are cross-focussed, lyrical standouts, and the latter just about gets away with its '80s rock vibe. For the rest of the tracks' musical inspiration Saxon doesn't stray too far from the fold - Sigur Ros, Snow Patrol and Coldplay no doubt all had a bearing on his sound but that's no bad thing. Saxon's vocals are occasionally the weak link and can seem forced - particularly on "Finally Alive" - but he can write a memorable melody and hold a note so all the signs are that as Paul will continue to develop his gift.
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