Reviewed by Tom Lennie
Gotta admit, it's a long time since I've heard of the famed King's Singers. To be honest, I didn't know they were still in operation. Founded in 1968 by six choral scholars from King's College, Cambridge, they quickly became a prominent musical force around the UK. Over the years they've gained a strong reputation throughout the world, and their travels regularly take them far and wide. Adventurous in spirit, they have a peculiar knack of adapting their choral tones to a broad range of styles - from medieval to romantic, from folk to pop and even jazz. Here the vocal sextet choose 19 songs from nearly 100 offered them from the Salvation Army hymn book. An unusual coming together, for sure, but boy does it work! The tunes are beautifully melodic and the poetic lyrics of each piece are steeped in spiritual reality. When these are cleverly woven into the King's Singers' careful arrangements and rendered to vocal perfection, the result is heavenly indeed. These tuneful gems waft over your soul like the gentle breeze of the Spirit himself, and it makes for a most soothing, uplifting and altogether enriching experience. Heaven really does seem closer after listening to a batch of these "essays" (I found it a bit much to take in all 71 mins at one listen). My favourite track has got to be the yearning prayer-cry "His Provision", which I love singing along to. It's long been common for modern worship albums to include at least one popular old hymn. I think it's time for a resurrection of some of the old Sankey or Sally Anne gems, too. For they contain real hymnal treasures virtually unknown to the Christian public at large. Meantime, roll on Volume two.
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