Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Their debut album 'Rainmaker' was originally recorded as an independent release after the band had established themselves as a powerful praise outfit in the north east of England. Subsequently signing to Survivor Records, touring with Noel Richards and hitting the festival circuit has only raised the temperature around the band. There's no doubt in Ken Riley they have a leader who is capable of writing memorable songs and tapping into an intimacy with God that marks his songs with a vulnerability that is capable of melting the hearts of those who hear them. It's also true that in band mates Gav, Dez and Danny, Riley has a vibrant musical unit who collectively bring power and energy to his songs. And now with 'Open' the band have an album that neatly propels them to the next level. Packed with anthemic, punch the air, sing-a-long choruses and yet capable of stripping the whole thing down to the voice and guitar of "I Love You" or surrendering to the keyboard driven pop of "Creator" which might surprise a few fans. Here's an album that has a few surprises up its musical sleeves. I love the full on rock of "Head Over Heels" and "Joy", which are both going to have crowds leaping about, and then there's the chunky "Praise" with its cool keyboard embellishments and yet another Riley catchy chorus. It isn't all music to jump about to, there's a gorgeous depth to this album sonically, lyrically and spiritually. "Rain" with its emotional feel, grows on you with every listen and "Glory" is one of those gems that begins with an understated vibe but builds into something much bigger. The verdict? Credit to the band and producer Neil Costello for creating an album with an original sound, imaginative ideas and as American fans are destined to say, "It rocks!" Musically and spiritually, Yfriday have delivered an exciting, punchy, timely reminder that the most exciting worship in the world is still emanating from the UK.
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