Phatfish - Phatfish Unplugged: Hope

Monday 13th May 2002
Phatfish - Phatfish Unplugged: Hope
Phatfish - Phatfish Unplugged: Hope

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Focus FOCD004
RRP: £2.50

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

When it comes to musical styles, you're never really sure what Phatfish might do next! From acid jazz to pop rock, club sounds to heavenly worship, little seems to be outside the capabilities of this creative five piece. And now it's an unplugged live set in support of the Hope HIV charity with £1.46 of every sale donated to help orphaned HIV children in Africa. Recorded over three nights on a British tour, the concert recordings see the band delve into their back catalogue and deliver fresh versions of some of their gems and some new material too. Nothing personal but I am not sure whether the guest appearances from Stoneleigh cohorts Stuart Townend and Kate Simmonds really add a huge amount. The Townend performance "This Love Is Enough" is pleasant enough but not exactly a highpoint of the album. Simmonds fairs better on "Creation Song" but then there's the skinny burst of Irish energy known as Brian Houston who delivers a storming seven minute version of "Miracle In My Heart" at the centre of the album. Phatfish themselves unveil the brilliant new song "Walk On By" and then there's the lovely ballad "Your Love". The unplugged nature of the album means that Michael Sandeman's keyboards are much more to the fore in the band's overall sound and this adds a new dynamic to the proceedings, especially on uptempo numbers like "Heavenbound" and "Kingdom Coming". The album closes with one of the band's most significant songs in recent times, the incredible transcendent worship of "There Is A Day" which lifts the listener into Heaven itself. It says something for the power of the song that even in its unplugged state, this last song remains so powerful. What next from Phatfish? A hip hop record?

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Come Near To Me [Listen]
2. Heavenbound [Listen]
3. Walk On By [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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