STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164053-24954 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Chris Webb
The worship leader at The Point Church of England in Burgess Hill, since 2006, his last recording was live worship from the church. This latest album returns to the studio and to Stuart's bluesy roots. An accomplished musician, having worked as a guitarist for many years with the late Alvin Stardust, Barbour displays his virtuosity to good effect on this album. "Rivers Running Clear" offers a throw back to an '80s Bryn Howarth sound, both musically and vocally. Sustained keyboard chords support the bouncing-along bass, understated drums from Terl Bryant, topped off with some smooth acoustic guitar and jiving R&B lead licks back the song's story of pollution and redemption. "Raise A Flag" looks for some sense in the world through peace, justice and freedom and chugs along like a runaway steam train, straining to escape the confines of the three minute song. It would have benefitted from longer instrumental breaks to really show off the tight musicianship of the band. The guitar work throughout 'Homeward Bound' is superb as Stuart delivers a running commentary on life as a whole, life as a Christian and the hope which sustains those who believe. The more uptempo songs work better. Stuart's vocals are not the strongest, but his slightly gruff, earthy sound works really well in this format and the band's abilities ensure this album should rise to heights his previous albums may not have reached.
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