The Review Zone – Matthew James McKay : Reason Enough

matthew-james-mckayMATTHEW JAMES McKAY : Reason Enough. (www.matthewjamesmckay.com)

It’s been a great pleasure to follow Matthew James’ (MJ) singing ministry over the last five years. From his debut Cd release as a ten year old boy, he has developed into a very talented young man, with a big heart for God. With Irish producer James Strange at the helm, this new 12 track release sees MJ tread a path in the light country mould akin to that of Daniel O’Donnell and Charlie Landsborough. First up is the foot tappin’ “Wouldn’t Take nothing For my Journey Now.” That’s followed by “I Want to Stroll Over Heaven”, which is a slower song, were MJ’s warm vocal tones easily glide over the lyrics. Most of the backing music is provided by the talented James Strange. However, MJ shows his prowess on both acoustic and electric guitars. There’s a honky tonk feel to the duet (with Strange) on “Where Could I Go”, while some pleasing orchestral sounds provide the backdrop to “What a Day.” Production is first class throughout, and this easy listening album easily slips from one song to the next. “Praise the Mighty Name of Jesus” shuffles along, with MJ’s brother James Scott on drum, sister Hannah Louise on ukulele, and his mother, Roseanne, on piano. “Far Side Banks of Jordan” had me comparing the sound to something from the Grand Ole Opry, and it’s got real Nashville style to it.. MJ’s vocals have obviously changed as his tender years have passed, but his deeper sound gently caresses each word. “Christ For Me” is another a lovely song of praise, where MJ provides his own harmonies, as well as the lead vocal. I soon found myself singing along to this one very quickly. “Tears Are a Language”, “Till the Storm Passes By” and “If We Never Meet Again” provide the closing songs to, what is, a charming album. 9/10.

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