STYLE: Gospel RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 163812-27722 LABEL: AVE AVED810213 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Over a decade ago, British Seventh Day Adventist vocal quartet Tessera appeared for the first time on BBC's Songs Of Praise. In 2012 they captured studio versions of the numbers they performed on the Beeb's flagship religious programme whilst offering up a collection of other songs as arranged by musical director and baritone Ken Burton. 'You'll Never Walk Alone' clearly impressed the Songs Of Praise producers as you'll still see the guys miming one of these songs years on. This album kicks off with a workmanlike reading of the quasi-spiritual Rogers & Hammerstein title track followed by well-worn hymns and choruses such as "Abide With Me" and "Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace". Mostly backed by some gentle piano and an unobtrusive string section, the group display beautiful harmonies throughout and though a tad bland gospel oldies like Thomas Dorsey's "Precious Lord" and the traditional "Mary Don't You Weep" work well enough even though these aren't the best versions you're likely to have heard. A couple of Christmas tunes ("Go Tell It On The Mountain" and "Mary Did You Know?") are included in an attempt to make this an album for all seasons. But it's hard to shift the feeling that this undeniably talented foursome were holding back when they were recording this project. We can but hope that when lockdown is over Tessera will record a more adventurous album.
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