Stuart Townend - The Journey

Published Monday 25th July 2011
Stuart Townend - The Journey
Stuart Townend - The Journey

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 109038-18171
LABEL: Kingsway KWCD3214
RELEASE DATE: 2011-05-11
RRP: £13.00

Reviewed by Tom Lennie

Supported by a UK tour which took him to such far-flung locations as Inverness, Orkney and Shetland, Stuart's eighth studio album comprises an intriguing blend of the folky-Celtic format he experimented with on output such as 'Creation Sings' and 'There Is A Hope' along with both the hymnal structures and contemporary worship he's long been renowned for. It's a curious mix but ensures a fascinating diversity in sounds and styles throughout its hour long duration. Several tracks, particularly "Simple Living" and "Vagabond" carry something of a traditional English folk-song feel, with fine co-vocal enhancement from folk artist Ruth Notman, who reappears on other tracks. Instrumental hues from the likes of accordion, flute and mandolin are prominent on these tunes (assisting here are Bryn Haworth and Terl Bryant, among others), while it is mainly piano and trombone that guide gentler tunes like "You Rescued Me". A notable band of co-writers join Townend on this venture - such as Busbee, Phil Baggeley, Matt Redman and producer Mark Edwards. On top of all these, Keith Getty, collaborator with Stuart on his best-known song "In Christ Alone", helped compose another new hymn for this project - the lyrically impressive "The Perfect Wisdom". This is a wonderfully varied musical collection - with the one combining element of a well-structured lyrical focus on Christ, the giver of life and author of salvation.

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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Product Description

From the writer of In Christ Alone, How Deep The Father’s Love For Us and Psalm 23 comes a new album.

Stuart Townend has consistently inspired and equipped the Church all over the world, offering up songs of substance that will surely last for generations. In this, his latest studio album, Stuart tackles an even broader range of themes, including the importance of generosity and the need for Christians to realign our concept of what is ‘ours’.

Reader Comments

Posted by Holly Andrews in Brighton, UK @ 22:32 on Apr 9 2012

I've always enjoyed Stuart's music but I was totally blown away this Easter Sunday at Church of Christ the King in Brighton when he did a gig at our evening service. An amazing blend of vocals from Ruth Notman and others plus an outstanding mix of highly talented musicians alongside lyrics that blow your socks off - I was left speechless and in desperate need of this album! I have enjoyed it so much today I can hardly describe it, I seriously recommend this album to anyone. Whether you're a Christian or just someone who's interested in music (country in particular!!) this album is for you, you won't be disappointed.

Posted by David Faunce Smith in Dunblane, Perthshire @ 20:25 on Jun 19 2011

"The Journey" by Stuart Townend is an outstanding Christian music album. It takes forward the folk inspired sound heard at times in earlier Townend work and which was especially prominent in his last album "Creation Sings". Each track on the album is strong and has meaningful, powerful, bible -based lyrics that are real and down to earth. The album opens to the pealing bells of Halifax Minster which are cleverly followed by the opening jangling notes of 'O my soul, arise and bless your Maker', a familiar piece from the album 'Personal Worship' but here transformed into a hoe-down, setting the tone of the album. Stand-out tracks include 'Vagabonds', 'Never-failing Love', 'The Man who calmed the sea' and 'Simple living'. The latter two tracks feature the voice of Ruth Notman who duets with Townend on the first track and solos the second. The album is diverse and sees Townend in many different songwriting collaborations including with Matt Redman and Mark Edwards as well as the Gettys. Stuart cited Tom Waits as one inspiration at a recent concert. You can also detect elements of Gerry Rafferty, the Pogues, Jim Malcolm and Randy Newman.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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