Phil Hornsey - Prepare The Way

Published Saturday 24th December 2011
Phil Hornsey - Prepare The Way
Phil Hornsey - Prepare The Way

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 95627-18903
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Alastair McCollum

Imagine Handel, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd-Webber collaborating to update The Messiah with help from Jesus Christ Superstar and you'll have some idea of what this re-interpretation of the nativity story sounds like. Kent-based Hornsey, musical director, teacher and arranger, has done a more than creditable job of enlivening the Christmas story for a new generation. It's an enjoyable, if slightly overlong, disk - but I suspect that the whole thing is much happier performed in a church hall rather than being studio bound. There are some sublime moments, the layers of voices and harmonies leading into some funky piano in "Prepare The Way/For Unto Us", the gospel feel of "My Soul Glorifies The Lord" and the worshipful "Psalm 118 v28-29/For Unto Us" with it's uplifting choral refrain of "His love endures forever" including a seamless key change half way through being the highlights. If there's any criticism to be made it's that in places there is a definite feeling of having heard this work before. "Nothing Is Impossible" is uncannily similar to "Easy Like Sunday Morning" and "Where Is The One" bears some resemblance to the chorus "Sing Of The Lord's Goodness". This is a minor quibble, though; the musicianship throughout is excellent, especially Phil's piano, the singers are all impressive and the joyful and prayerful feel of this recording is inspiring.

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.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.