Rick Wakeman, Howard Prior - Hopesongs: 20 New Worship Songs

Sunday 1st October 2000
Rick Wakeman, Howard Prior - Hopesongs: 20 New Worship Songs
Rick Wakeman, Howard Prior - Hopesongs: 20 New Worship Songs

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 2334-27077
LABEL: Kevin Mayhew 1490038
RRP: £11.22

Reviewed by Stella Redburn

Like many a Kevin Mayhew album, the names indicated on the front sleeve don't necessarily tie up with who's doing the singing. This ISN'T a Rick Wakeman album though the veteran keyboard wizard did write a sleevenote. The vocalists here are Nanette Courtenay, Simon Goodall, Wendy Ritchie and Su Reeves-Bassett (the latter lady once a member of the legendary Parchment). Production is by Jonathan Bugden and Christopher Norton. Rick Wakeman, for anyone who's been asleep for the last 25 years, has been a highly respected keyboard player in the secular music world, playing in the supergroup Yes and also many independent projects like 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth'. Now he's formed his own Christian record label and released these new songs for congregational worship. 10 penned by himself and 10 by Howard Prior, another member of Rick's home church. Two of the songs were commissioned by Songs Of Praise. This is an album that could grow on you. It sounds easy to write a congregational hymn but it certainly isn't! You need catchy, original tunes, well-constructed form and balance and good lyrics. Mostly these songs deliver but although they are basically simple and unpretentious sometimes I feel innocence descends to banality. The hands-off production technique is all very well but to today's ears can simply become boring. The singers do a professional job and show that many of these songs would sound good in SATB arrangement.

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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