Tim Hughes, Martyn Layzell - Reward

Sunday 1st August 1999
Tim Hughes, Martyn Layzell - Reward
Tim Hughes, Martyn Layzell - Reward

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Survivor SURCD030
RELEASE DATE: 1999-05-21
RRP: £14.67

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

Following hard on the tail of Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Martin Layzell share the songwriting and vocal performances on this 50/50 split album to help the boys gain wider appeal. Produced by Matt Redman (who was originally scheduled to have a track on the album - someone changed their mind!) this has the chunky pop/rock style that has grown out of Soul Survivor and the excellent intimacy of worship that has inspired so many people. Interestingly enough, the overall production of the album makes this a slick combination of talents that depsite having two worship leaders together, their styles are near enough to make this work. Highlights? There are many! Tim Hughes' version of Tree's 'Joy' is a rip-roaring affair and his 'My Jesus, My Lifeline' (already a proven hit) floats in a waft of compelling ambience - such a beautiful worship song. Meanwhile the fresh stomping pop sound of Layzell's 'My Heart Is Set On You' is catchy and his 'When Words Are Not Enough' is intimate and intense. The closing 'Devoted' is simply beautiful. The album has an occasional weaker moment with Tim's "While Today Is Still Today" sounding like it could have come out of 'Intimacy' while Layzell's 'Reward' broods but never explodes. But then 'This World' is back to the characteristic feel of intimacy and 'I Just Want Too Love' is based on a chunky guitar riff which explodes into a big chorus and in my mind I can imagine crowds of people leaping up and down. Matt Redman should be commended for his fresh production which makes me suspect that he is ready to stretch the musical boundaries of his own material. I hope so. This is the sound of Soul Survivor pushing forwards, staying relevant and making music that draws you deeper into worship. Good stuff. 

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Sample Track Listing:
1. Jesus You Alone [Listen]
2. Joy [Listen]
5. My Heart Is Set On You [Listen]
7. While Today Is Still [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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