Reviewed by Tom Lennie
The four years since Steph Macleod burst onto the music scene with his striking debut recording has seen his popularity grow steadily, with live slots at loads of Christian events across the land, as well as a recent appearance on Songs Of Praise. This second studio album ably reveals both the writing and musical gifting of the Scotsman, expressed in a variety of sounds and styles, from acoustic folk to full-on rock; from hymnal acappela to traditional carols! Several tracks, notably "Let Me Know Your Heart", "I Love All That You Are" and "Jesus Is Lord" are songs of uplifting inspiration, each with infectious chorus, the latter moving to a savvy gospel rhythm. I know several terrific takes of the yuletide classic "Silent Night". This rates among the best, not least as Steph and co fittingly turn the final verse into a definitely-not-so-silent-night! "Damascus Road" is an intriguing piece of melodrama in which the singer vividly portrays not just the apostle Paul's, but his own dramatic conversion. This focus on the Cross and on all Christ has won for us runs right through the disc. Steph knows full well just what he's been saved both from and into, and a heartfelt rejoicing in that salvation is apparent on every track. Such personal reflection is epitomized on "The Passion", the album's climax, from which passion truly oozes. As the setting movingly leads from Crucifixion to Resurrection, Steph is joined by resounding choral ascents from the Cantica Alba choir. The set's welcome diversity, then, is more musical than thematic - though the greatest appeal throughout is Steph's seemingly effortless, rootsy vocals, which breathe earthy emotion into every line he sings.
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