UK Gospel Artists 2001
Quality Gospel music continues to abound in the United Kingdom. Check out these projects released over the past year, our pick of what’s hottest on the other side of the ocean. (For last year's picks, click here).—
reviewed by Stan North —
Be sure to bookmark this spot, as we'll be adding more UK projects
My God Mon Ami
With guitar in one hand and mic in the other, and also handling bass and programming, singer-songwriter Owen Deacon brings an acoustic-vibed, grit-edged set of fourteen tracks to the table on My God Mon Ami.
The last two words in the title mysteriously uses the French translastion of "my friend", although there’s not a hint of that language elsewhere on the project. But certainly the intamicy that Deacon brings to this project is entirely appropriate to the intimacy expressed in that title.
With a vocal influence that includes elements of both Terrence Trent D’Arby and Tracy Chapman, Deacon combines with some able vocalists (including John Gibbons on “This Is What I Pray”) and relishes pared down tracks to bring home his message.
Songs such as “Friend”, “I Call Your Name” and “You Are Love” are beautiful, soulful, vertical expressions of his relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s soul poetry, and at times Deacon’s delivery intriguingly combines melody and spoken word, without ever settling on one or the other.
Deacon’s raspy message is true, his music unique.
Mark Beswick and Howard Francis combine to deliver
some of the most potent praise and worship that the UK has ever heard on disc.
Appropriately titled Power Praise, this project from True Praises features
Beswick as worship leader, the Ruach Worship Band and a bevy of guest vocalists in
support of the True Praises ensemble. Francis produces (and sings), using his
experience to bring out tracks that you can’t help but play over and over and over.
Recorded live at London’s The Pavilion, the rhythms are always
strong and catchy, especially on cuts such as “Be Careful” and the
very syncopated “Sing Unto the Lord”.
Harmonies and the gorgeous vibe of worship burst forth on “I Will
Wait”, “At The Cross” and “Jesus”. Beswick very much knows how
to lead the worship, moving in a intensely soulful groove and
never getting in the way of the Holy Spirit, who so obviously
moves all over this project.
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