Toast (The Polden Wheel Music Group) - Praises From The Polden Wheel

Published Sunday 28th February 2016
Toast (The Polden Wheel Music Group) - Praises From The Polden Wheel
Toast (The Polden Wheel Music Group) - Praises From The Polden Wheel

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 158273-23443
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Stella Redburn

This group of musicians enlivens the church services of a group of six parishes in Somerset. The churches themselves say "no churchgoer in the Polden Hills is immune to the sheer joy and effervescence that emanates from Toast, the music group." And they have transferred that effectively onto CD. Clear voices and a definite beat make it fun for congregations to join in. The ethos is folky and unaffected but they are not afraid to tackle big hymns like "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "Love Divine". I liked the opening track very much, an attractive version of Marilyn Baker's "May The Blessing". There are several well-known choruses, like "Rejoice, Rejoice" and "Abba, Father", pleasantly performed. The piano solo of the beautiful old spiritual "There is A Balm In Gilead" works very well and it's good to see a couple of home-grown songs in there. My favourites come towards the end of the album, as they move into more solemn songs. I loved their a capella harmony version of "It Is Well With My Soul". "Going Home" is a well-known setting of the wonderful Dvorak New World theme to moving words. Their atmospheric synth-based arrangement of this was a real tear-jerker and just right for a funeral. "Steal Away" provides a restrained epilogue to the CD and is very prayerful.

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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