Steph Macleod - Light In The Darkest Of Nights

Published Thursday 25th March 2010
Steph Macleod - Light In The Darkest Of Nights
Steph Macleod - Light In The Darkest Of Nights

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 92956-16501
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

Edinburgh-based Steph(en) Macleod has a truly dramatic testimony to share; from being homeless, penniless and living on the streets just a few years ago to being happily married with family, settled in a lovely home, and with a hope and faith rooted firmly on the rock of Jesus Christ. What's more, Steph is beginning to bring to reality the innate gifting within him to write and perform some truly original, ear-catching music. Hence the production of this collection of twelve self-penned songs. And what an outstanding output it is! With his totally original rootsy vocals, Macleod has come up with a batch of attention-grabbing tunes in such an eclectic range of styles that any easy classification is rendered futile. While acoustic folk, country, soul and rock all make their presence felt, a bluesy feel underpins the entire set. This style is at its purest on "Snake Eyes", an edgy sound warning of the deadly lures of the evil one. Deft fiddle skills - in a range of moods - are to be heard throughout the disc, while Hammond organ, tasty brass and the fine voices of the Exile choir also crop up where required. Literally every track could be singled out for attention. Yet the opening "Hope Shines On" particularly demands mention, not least for the quirky vocal sounds and increased intensity brought on it mid-way through. While an attitude of worship attends "For Your Glory", the only congregationally-suited tune is the simply infectious "Hallelujah", originally written for a friend's wedding. "Saved" is a short acoustic piece, giving simple testimony to Christ's saving powers. All these songs are refreshingly free of clich├ęs, perhaps because Steph is so young in the faith that he hasn't yet learnt any! Just when you feel things are about to wind down for the final track, Steph delivers a feisty 6.5 minute epic, which gears up into some potent spiritual warfare while resting on a bold declaration of truth. This is a triumph of a debut recording, with delightful twists of musical creativity at every turn. The CD was launched at Steph & co's first ever gig - complete with poignant testimony - which went down a storm before a large Edinburgh audience recently. Judging from that reception, it's apparent this musician should soon be attracting more widespread recognition.

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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Reader Comments

Posted by Nigel in Berkshire @ 22:57 on Apr 11 2016

Soulful stuff and I love "when I found Jesus" and "hope shines on"

Posted by Wallace Davidson in Prestonpans @ 21:59 on May 10 2010

I was at the launch of this album and predicted that Steph was going to be the next big thing in Christian music. Watch this space!

Posted by amos smith in kennoway fife scotland @ 23:46 on Apr 24 2010

He has a very strong testomy one of GODS amazing love mercy and grace for us siners.
He sang told his story to the homless ,and church together very moving and very worth while booking, or buying cd light in the darkest of night.
snake eyes ,LORD haveMERCY and rain down, are all my favourites.
Amos smith ( from the church of scotland)

Posted by Paddy in Paisley @ 10:28 on Mar 27 2010

i am among a priveleged group of people who can call Steph a personal friend.....i have saw the man perform on numerous occaisions over the last few years.....i first heard him perform songs from this album last november at a fundraiser and like i was the first time i saw him i was blown away......Snake Eyes in particular is my favourite track from this album which i hope to purchase sometime this year to continue offering my support to this outstanding but very humble music hero of mine

Posted by helen wilson in elphinstone @ 02:34 on Mar 26 2010

simply outstanding 10/10

Posted by Lesley Lynch in Edinburgh @ 23:38 on Mar 25 2010

Really love this album, it has something for everyone. Refreshingly honest especially Hope Shines On. It reminds me why I'm a Christian and how God works in our lives even when we feel we has reached rock bottom. Steph is a trully talented artist and has chosen well the artists he has worked with in this album. It leaves you waiting for more!

Posted by Saxophoni in Edinburgh @ 22:38 on Mar 25 2010

It's great to hear real appreciation for Steph's work - as someone who has heard him play live in a number of projects and who has sung with him with Exile I'm a huge fan and love the originality and non-pretentious sincerity that pours from his music. I love the rawness of the vocals and sheer honesty in his lyrics and would recommend this album to anyone who is feeling bored or uninspired by some of the Christian music out there these days. What is really exciting is that in many ways Steph is only getting started and I can't wait to hear what else God's going to do thorugh him and his music. Love it.

Posted by Michael in Nairn @ 18:11 on Mar 25 2010

First heard Steph play a couple of years ago and have been lucky to catch him a couple of times since. Great songwriter and a very passionate performer who is sure to get faces smiling and feet tapping!

Posted by Rick Allardice in Scotland @ 18:00 on Mar 25 2010

A truly memorable debut album.. the variety of styles, provide a great platform to showcase this extremely talented singer/songwriter

Posted by NR in Edinburgh @ 17:14 on Mar 25 2010

Steph is a Brilliant musician, and when put together with his bluesy voice is a blessing to listen to. His songs range just enough to keep his own style whist providing a suitable tune to match any mood, at any time of the day. Great album! and has found its way edging toward my top played album in my collection!
Great review that pretty much sums up steph, just missing the bit about his great personality.

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