STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 9485-9178 LABEL: Word Curb 8787132 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £10.21
Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
This release was named the Inspirational Album Of The Year at the Dove Awards in 2002, but has only now found its way to CR for review. Selah are a vocal trio - siblings Todd and Nicol Smith and pianist Allan Hall - who, as their website says, reinterpret the musical and theological treasure of traditional hymns and spirituals in a new light. 'Press On' was their second release and added some fuller production flourishes to the simple piano/vocal arrangements of their debut, 'Be Still My Soul.' The track listing alone is intriguing to the casual listener; hymns like "Amazing Grace" and "How Great Thou Art" sit alongside spirituals ("Deep - Way Down") and choruses ("Oh Draw Me Lord"). Even the Lennon/McCartney standard "In My Life" gets the Selah treatment, focusing as it as does on the gift to ourselves of each other. Also, Russ Taff's powerful vocal features on a version of "Were You There". Todd and Nicol's African roots as part of a missionary family are evident in the choice of a popular Congolese praise song "Yesu Azali Awa (Jesus Is Here With Us)", sung with great passion in the local dialect. I was most impressed by the variety on offer here, from acapella or sparse string arrangements, to mature pop and even a touch of bluesy rock! Selah's three singers have more distinctive tones than some vocal groups on the CCM scene. Recommended.
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