Psalmistry - Armchair Rebellion

Tuesday 1st June 1999
Psalmistry - Armchair Rebellion
Psalmistry - Armchair Rebellion

STYLE: Dance/Electronic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Word WMD008
RRP: £2.50

Reviewed by Louis Counter

Before I start I'd better admit I've been a fan of Psalmistry since I saw them at the Cross Rhythms festival in 1997. Even bearing that bias in mind, I think this is the best dance album I've ever heard on a Christian label. I was a bit concerned that Psalmistry wouldn't manage to catch the raw energy that they have live, however I shouldn't have worried - from the first banging moments of "Bring Out The Beats" through to the last second of the Massive Attack-influenced "Fireworks" the album has real movement and integrity. The album moves through various moods and styles, from very sparse hip hop sections to full on hard edged big beat techno and even a straight punk track ("Paul Daniels" is not my cup of tea but it's really well done). The album never loses its identity, each track being undeniably Psalmistry. Everytime I listen to the album it gets better, some of the detail work is brilliant, little synth lines in the background that you don't notice the first few times you listen to it. Lyrically it is uncompromisingly up front but done with so much style that if they can get mainstream distribution I think this will sell well to the big beat fraternity. There are the classics that fans will like, like a version of "By Your Side" with some of Helen's vocals on it, and some really great string sounds, a live version of "Catch The 101" taken from Cross Rhythms 1997 (the first time I saw them), as well as some new tracks which give a hint of very good things to come in the future. Whether you've heard Psalmistry live or not, this is an excellent album and one that will stay in my CD player for a long time to come.

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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