Phil Keaggy - Phil Keaggy

Tuesday 1st December 1998
Phil Keaggy - Phil Keaggy
Phil Keaggy - Phil Keaggy

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Myrrh 080688551421

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Nearly 30 years of recording ass part of Glass Harp and solo and here is Phil's 30th release, for the first time - a self titled album!! After a series of instrumental albums and the disappointment of the weak True Believer', this is a complete stonker! To my ears much of Phil's output over the years has been decidedly patchy, always seeming to promise more than he delivered! 'Crimson And Blue' from 1994 came close but nothing really seemed to do, full justice to his talents. Now this new release manages to capture so many aspects of Phil's musical passions. The Beatle sound alike rock on the opening "A Sign Came Through A Window" has a title that sounds like it came off Abbey Road. Coincidentally, "Tender Love'"s McCartneyesque ballad style features strings and that Beatle horn sound recorded by Tom Howard at the famous London studios! "Beneath The Blood-Stained Lintel" and "Above All Things" both give Keaggy ample opportunity to go all Celtic, which he does! This is an album of contrasts with beautiful ballads, "Under The Grace" is as delicate and as lovely a song as you could ever want to hear which speaks deeply of the power of grace. Very moving. "Chase The Bad Away" finds Keaggy indulging in a little guitar boogie whilst by contrast on "Quite Suddenly", the whole arrangement is stripped down to Keaggy's voice, beautiful acoustic guitar and the quite wonderful sound of a string quartet. Again, a lovely song. The closing "Jesus Loves The Church" is again a moving song affirming that despite the Church's tainted history, God's heart for the Church never changes. Recorded in Phil's home studio, this album seems to have benefited from the relaxed surroundings as the end product seems less formulaic and strained than some of the previous vocal albums. A breath of fresh air!

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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