STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 79929-15482 LABEL: Kingsway Music KMCD2979 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 EXTRAS: bonus DVD RELEASE DATE: 2009-05-05 RRP: £1.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
For my money by far the best Stuart Townend album was 1997's 'Say The Word' set when he integrated English folk instrumentation and rhythms to his tuneful worship songs. So it was with pleasure I noted that the singer/songwriter has returned to the folky orientation and with Stuart playing bouzouki and banjo as well as his better known piano and guitar and with some fine accompanying musicians including Julian Ferraretto on violin and Julian Nicholas on whistles made an album of worship songs that sounds fresh and original. But possibly even more important than the welcome folk flavourings of the music is the fact that there are five new-to-the-public songs and surely the hymn opener "Come, People Of The Risen King" and "The Light Of The World", the latter a beautiful duet with Cathy Burton, will join the 14 (yes, 14!) Townend compositions currently in the CCLi chart indicating the most sung worship songs in Britain's churches. Clever old Kingsway have also persuaded Stuart to re-record three of his favourite oldies, "Beautiful Saviour", "You Are My Anchor" and "O Church Arise" previously heard in live versions but now given deft new arrangements by co-producers Paul Burton and Mark Edwards. Possibly the finest track of all on this hugely impressive collection is the new song penned with Keith Getty, "Gethsemane" featuring an exquisite interplay between Stuart's piano and a string section playing Mark Edward's haunting arrangement. Add to that some of the best lyrics Townend has ever written ("To know each friend will fall away/And Heaven's voice be still/For Hell to have its vengeful day/Upon Golgotha's Hill/No words describe the Saviour's plight/To be by God forsaken/Till wrath and love are satisfied/And every sin is stilled") and you have a breathtaking performance. If all this wasn't enough, the package also comes with a DVD containing footage of five of the songs performed live in the studio along with interviews and the story behind the songs. A classic folk-worship album.
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This is Stuart Townend’s seventh solo album.
A studio recording with a strong acoustic sound, drawing on the melodic traditions of English, Scottish and Irish folk and combining them with classical, country and gospel influences to create a distinctive worship sound that will appeal to a broad market. Also features duet with Cathy Burton on ‘The Light Of The World’.
The sound is varied, new and fresh but Stuart’s commitment to sing-able melodies and lyrics of poetic and theological substance remains evident throughout. As we have now come to expect from the world’s leading worship writer, Stuart delivers a fresh outpouring of great new worship songs, songs that will undoubtedly prove an invaluable resource for churches of all streams and denominations for years to come.
The Light Of The World
Come People Of The Risen King
Speak O Lord