STYLE: Childrens RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 49108-16926 LABEL: ICC ICC1212D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 5 RELEASE DATE: 2008-09-10 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
This five-CD boxset (25 tracks on the first four, the fifth holds all 100 backing tracks on MP3) serves as a companion to Spring Harvest's award-winning 'Digi-Songbook' which contains the music scores to them all. Children's ministry practitioners and others with a heart for praising youngsters have access here to a fairly comprehensive overview of the last 10 years or so of kids' worship tunes. This being Spring Harvest, the production values and presentation on the vast majority of tracks are outstanding, with little of the sugary-sweet performances so often apparent when adults try to make music for younger ones; the adult vocalists take the material seriously and when the children do the singing here, it works. The songwriters are a veritable who's who of UK children's ministry over the last 30 years or so; veterans like Ishmael, Paul Field, Jim Bailey, John Hardwick and Crouch and Mudie rub shoulders with whipper snappers such as Simon Parry, Jon Bonner and Becky Drake. Personal favourites will vary from person to person and church to church, but my family's all-time pick of the pops (well, this week at least) "Father God You're By My Side" is present and correct, alongside other can't-go-wrong classics like "Great Big God". Personally (having been involved in kids' worship since the early 1990s) I would have liked to see Spring Harvest reach back a little farther into their archives to dust off some older (but still fresh) classics (as they have done here with 1989's "Grace Is" but it's very much the exception). Nevertheless, job well done, Spring Harvest.
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