Reviewed by Trevor Kirk
As anyone who knows anything about the British Christian music scene will be aware, Leeds-born and Worthing-based singer/songwriter Simon Goodall sounds, as Cliff Richard himself acknowledges on the sleeve blurb, remarkably like pop music's Mr Longevity. This, according to Simon, came about during family sing-songs when he was a lad - the singer he could mimic the best was Cliff, and the vocal similarity has remained with him to this day. On this release, the similarity is highlighted by the inclusion of Van Morrison's 1989 song from the 'Avalon Sunset' album, "Whenever God Shines His Light" which Van and Cliff took into the UK Top 20; standing in for Mr Morrison, and keeping the ethnic mix authentic, is Ulster troubadour Andy Flannagan. Simon has said that this album has a more intimate feel; for me, it harks back to his acoustic EP 'Plugged In And Connected' from 1995. There are plenty of acoustic guitars, courtesy of Simon and his pals Stuart Barbour and Dan Wheeler, some nice string synth sounds and a real cello, and Simon's joined on harmony vocal duties by Louise Fellingham of Phatfish. A lot of the songs are stuff that Cliff himself might sing, songs that have a Christian worldview without being overtly evangelistic. The title track is a bitter-sweet song of nostalgia and regret for times past; "This Time" is all about forgiveness, and there's a nice reading of Carole King's 1971 magnum opus, "You've Got A Friend". Best track for me, however, is the opener, "My Heart Breaks", written by Kate Silber, formerly front lady for YFC's TVB; God says, "I gave my son, but you still can't see that my heart breaks for you."
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out