Connecticut based Deon Kipping has been involved in music from a very early age & began producing whilst still at school, being mentored by soul songwriter Gerald Isaac. Forming the worship/backing band New Covenant in 2004, Deon & crew released their first album “Real Life, Real Worship” in 2006. “I Just Want to Hear You” followed on in 2012 as Deon’s 1st solo venture, but even so, the backing band is still here in full force. From the opening track ‘Heal Again’ I was left with little doubt as to the genre of music with a lively full flavour Gospel intro, tight instrumentation & close, polished harmonies which typify the genre. ‘What’s Coming is Better’ follows on with a similar style intro but slows to more of soulful pace. Personally, I prefer the slower numbers like ‘I Don’t Look Like (What I’ve Been Through)’ & ‘Never Cease’ as they come away from the all-too-typical Gospel chord progressions & give the listener a chance to soak up some of the lyrical content of the songs. Whether slow or fast, tracks feel very positive & upbeat – a pretty cheerful album indeed. I cannot claim to be a devout follower of the genre, but even I could not fail to notice the amazing vocal talents of this guy & his backing vocalists. Considering the fact that many of these tracks were recorded live, it makes the tightness of the musicianship & refinement of the voices even more incredible to listen to. Overall, an excellently produced & compiled offering which offers some of what you’d expect but with a healthy dose of soul style material which could give much secular material a good run for it’s money! Definitely worth a listen even for devotees of other genres. 8/10 Simon Redfern
The new line up for blues/funk/gospel outfit PAUL POULTON PROJECT features consummate bass player Des Woodbine, Denise J Thomson on drums and Karine Graham on keyboards. A series of gigs will run through to the end of the year, including the KingsStock Festival in Cambridgeshire on August 3rd. A video of the single “Wade In The Water” has been released. www.paulpoulton.com
The INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION have announced the 2012 winners. There were over 20,000 entries from 119 different countries. Artists and songwriters Alan Thomas, Derek Henbest and Joseph Pfeifer earned themselves first, second and third place wins in the gospel/Christian category. The judges for the category included respected artists Michael W Smith, Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli and Matt Thiesson. A full list of winners are on their website: http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/
Some of you may remember Jenny Simmonds as the lead singer of Texas based band, Addison Road. They were together for ten years, before finally calling it a day. However, Jenny likes to think of their parting as “moving on”, and now she has recorded her debut solo album. The sound is very much in the typical American female, pop mould – such as the likes of the current Taylor Swift album. Jenny says that the songs are about moving forward, taking risks, and giant leaps of faith. The catchy, enticing ‘Where I Belong’ is a strong opening number, all about being in the arms of God, and feeling safe. ‘Heaven Waits For Me’ is the promise that Jenny knows because of her Saviour, and the song really asks the listener if he/she can be sure of their savior? Jesus loves me, “This I Know” is pure happiness, poured out through a song. It’s all about that wonderful, unconditional love we have in God. And so, the first half of the album finishes on a high, whereas the second half becomes a rather tired affair. Gone are the jangling guitars and choruses with memorable hooks, and in come songs that just didn’t match those that had gone before. A mixed bag, I’m afraid. 6/10.
So here’s the summary of this album, taken from the cd cover – 13 fantastic songs, aimed at 7-11s but with something for everyone. And actually that’s true. This isn’t merely a children’s worship cd it is most definitely suitable for the whole family. In fact, it puts much of the current crop of adult worship to shame. The reason is simple; the songs are joyful, varied, melodic and full of meaning. It used to be that children’s songs were the inferior siblings of the worship family but now it seems things have done an about turn and the opposite is true. From the crunching guitar riffs of “Wonderstruck” to the brass Flash Gordon style licks of “Hero of the Word” this album captures the joy and the wonder that being a Christian brings. There is one departure into a more reflective song, the quite sublime “Walk With You” which works well because it sits in contrast to the rest of the album. Most worship cds get stuck in this style of song with the result that their effectiveness is lost but not so here. My only criticism is that sometimes the vocals don’t quite have enough attitude for the respective style of song, the accents being a little too “English” but it is not a major issue. Make no mistake, this is a great cd. Can we have this for the adults too please? 9/10 Robin Thompson.
SALT OF THE SOUND are a London based, husband and wife duo, who are due to release their debut album in autumn. The pre-release song, “Listen”, from the upcoming album is available to download for free via their website (http://saltofthesound.com/). Ben and Anita Tatlow describe their sound as “reflective music with an electronic edge.”
PHILIPPA HANNA’s brand new album, Through the Woods, will be released on Monday July 1st. Featuring the acclaimed single Lighthouse, the new album is a mix of rustic country and upbeat pop that takes the listener on a powerful folklore-inspired journey through life’s struggles and into the light of a new day. ‘Through the Woods’ is now available for pre-order, at the price of £10. Also on offer is a special edition of the album featuring an exclusive signed photo. To be among the first to own the next step in Philippa’s musical journey, visit the Resound Media Shop. http://resoundmedia.co.uk/shop/