Stuart Townend - Monument To Mercy

Published Thursday 15th June 2006
Stuart Townend - Monument To Mercy
Stuart Townend - Monument To Mercy

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 18621-10670
LABEL: Kingsway KMCD2703
RELEASE DATE: 2006-06-23
RRP: £12.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Stuart Townend is undoubtedly one of the UK's masters when it comes to writing hymns and songs for worship. This new collection includes a couple of collaborations with hymn writing partner Keith Getty, the beautiful "Oh To See The Dawn" and "See What A Morning", both of which are already popular. Townend has the skill to write songs that are packed with truth and when matched with memorable melodies, they are perfect for congregational worship. Songs like "For the Breaking Of The Dawn" and "In Every Day That Dawns" are nicely produced by Mark Edwards with everything working towards bringing out the strong melodies and inspiring words. There are some nice little moments where Edwards has thrown in a few embelishments like the air raid sirens on "beloved And Blesses" which only add to the whole recording. With four of the songs here mentioning dawn or morning, I wonder whether Townend should start writing songs in the evenings to get some variation for the next set. "What Love" stands out with its pounding piano rhythm and confident chorus and at the other extreme, "Blessed Spirit" is a lovely simple hymn based on an old Puritan prayer. There's no doubt that a lot of these songs are going to find their way into congregations the world over by virtue of Townend's sheer skill and sensitivity as a writer. It's well produced and the only niggle I have is with Stuart's voice. He can certainly hold a tune and in a live worship setting he's fine however I am not convinced that on studio recordings like this one that his voice really holds up. He writes great songs, he's just not a great singer and repeated listens only reinforce this. However with a ministry to write songs for the whole church, "Monument To Mercy" is a rich library of new songs.

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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