Stuart Townend - There Is A Hope

Published Monday 2nd June 2008
Stuart Townend - There Is A Hope
Stuart Townend - There Is A Hope

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Kingsway Music KMDVD019
FORMAT: DVD Music video
RELEASE DATE: 2008-02-11
RRP: £14.99

Reviewed by Peter Dilley

Recorded over two days at the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, and with well over an hour of music this combines new songs with the best of Stuart's popular and extensive back catalogue. As it begins, what's striking is that the backing band looks like a collision between a folk group and a gospel choir - it's that, and then some! The highly talented line-up includes drummer Andrew Small (Massive Attack, Kylie Minogue), Iona's Troy Donockley on whistles, flutes and uilleann pipes, and Lawrence Johnson leading the trio of backing vocalists. Not for the first time on a recording of this kind, "Additional Musicians" are listed too - presumably their input was added later, but to my mind that type of post-production goes against the spirit of a "live" recording, particularly a worship one. That said, it's hard to fault the content - several tracks are collaborations with Keith and Kristyn Getty, including opener "Across The Lands", the rocked-up version of Psalm 103, a new Communion hymn "Behold The Lamb", "The Power Of The Cross" (recorded at another event, as a DVD extra) and of course "In Christ Alone", sung initially in Portuguese by Assiria (Pele's wife). Other co-written tracks and guest appearances are no less interesting: America's Aaron Keyes leads an uplifting new interpretation of "Psalm 62" and Kelly Minter duets with Stuart on the folky "Healing Streams". My big hesitation about recommending the DVD instead of the CD version is the over-busy camera work, which can actually make it quite hard to watch. That's a pity.

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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