US singer-songwriter Mykell Wilson releases his debut EP, a collection of 6 songs, which come from a place of inspiration and determination.
An accomplished dancer, this California native has travelled extensively over the past 2 years as part of Justin Bieber’s team on the Purpose Tour. Mykell is also a published author, and a positive voice motivating young people through his public speaking and social media. With many acting credits under his belt, Mykell is an accomplished and skilled, all-round entertainer.
Each song featured on his independent release ‘Sometimes I Sing’ (available now) is soul stirring, soul-searching and earnest. The inspiring ‘Fly Away’ encourages each listener to reach higher in his or her pursuit of God-given dreams, while ‘I’m Gonna Make It’ speaks to the hero inside every individual.
With stunning soul, R&B and pop influences featured throughout, Mykell Wilson stands above the crowd as one to watch for 2017. So do not hesitate to embark on this soulful journey with Mykell and, in his words, always remember to ‘live inspired.’ http://mightymykell.com
VARIOUS : Soul Inspired by the Epic Film Ben-Hur. (Provident : 83061-1064-2)
As the title suggests, this album is billed as a compilation of “remarkable, soulful music of redemption and faith.” Many of gospel’s biggest and brightest talents have been gathered, including the reunion of multi platinum selling and multi Grammy award-winning duo Mary, Mary. The song they perform is called “Back To You,” and it’s one of those songs where you think you’ve heard it before. Indeed, that happened to me. Eventually, I realised that the melody bears a notable resemblance to Rhinaana’s 2007 hit “Umbrella.” Deitrick Haddon produces a decent chart sound with “Perfect Storm.” It’s a suave song that includes the rap “Let the winds blow, let the thunder roll. I’ll ride that storm like a rodeo.” With God at your side, He will guide you through the storm. Personally, I don’t find gospel songs that enthralling when the lead singer begins to yell and holler. That being the case, both “Send Judah First” by Judith McAllister, and Smokie Norful’s “Justified” did nothing for me. In between those songs, Tasha Cobbs and a full gospel choir deliver a strong song that celebrates living with Christ in you, on “Happy.” And, in ballad style Brian Courtney Wilson’s warm vocals embrace each word on “Already Here.” It’s quite a collection, and one that will please lovers of this genre. 7/10.
JOE HARDY : Without Borders. (Tweed Jacket Music)
This album contains several different styles of music, some tracks are straightforward no nonsense rock songs, while some take a somewhat more laid back approach. And the odd track seems to stray towards funk. Most of the songs are worship songs, the lyrics are well written, and the message comes over well. This album doesn’t get boring, probably due to the differing styles, though personally I prefer the rock tracks to the funk, this is just a personal thing though, there isn’t actually anything wrong with the funkier stuff. There’s a high standard of musicianship on display here, and also the recording quality, which is too often not the case with worship music. This is a good album. Definitely worth a listen.
It’s available on iTunes, Amazon etc. 9/10 Andy Sayner.
THE COLLINGSWORTH FAMILY : The Best of…Vol.1. (Stow Town Records : STR3171)
After 17 years on the road in full-time concert ministry, this is the group’s first comprehensive collection of Collingsworth Family classic hits. Many of these songs have long been out of print, but these collections bring them back fresh and better than ever. All new up-to-date vocals have been re-recorded, utilizing the original tracks. The resulting album is delightful and a must buy for southern gospel fans. Great vocals, harmonies and music stand up proud, as the family presents song after song, all of the highest quality. From the opening “God is Faithful” to the closing choral version of “How Great Thou Art”, the quality never dips. The foot tapping “I Know” is a real pleaser. “I Know that Jesus is coming again,” they sing, when all around the world news tells of wars and unrest. “When God Whispers in Our Heart” is reminiscent of a musical style of the 40’s. Terrific harmonies and nice orchestral sounds made this one of my personal favourites. A lot of the songs are M.O.R ballads, such as “God is in the Shadows” and “Shine on Us.” Breaking that mould is the happy number called “Show a Little Bit of Love and Kindness.” It’s a great message and there’s some really nice banjo playing in the background. If Volume 2 is anything like this album, listeners are in for a real treat! 9/10.
KESWICK MINISTRIES : Power to Change. (Elevation : 2178D)
The powerful worship and bible teaching have been distinguishing marks of the Keswick Convention over many years. This CD shares many moments of praise and worship from 2016 featuring worship leaders Stuart Townend, Steve James, and Colin Webster. The classic John Newton hymn “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” gets a new treatment from Webster, and the result swings along quite nicely. Keswick stalwarts will, no doubt, have come to expect Celtic led songs from Townend, and “May the Peoples Praise you” will not disappoint. Similarly, that sound is repeated, complete with various pipes on “For the Cause,” and it’s quite enjoyable. I always appreciate live recordings were you can here the worshippers singing alongside the leader, and this is the case with this recording. Somehow, it draws you in to worship along with them. “Glorious Day” is a big number in terms of sound and instruments used. At various points, it sounds as if every instrument available has been thrown into the mix. A number of these songs were new to me, and I found “Living Waters” really lifted my spirits, especially with the trumpet solo. Townend returns with a dour sounding “We Believe” before there’s a rendition of “Amazing Grace” sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Neither were very enthralling. Whether you were at Keswick for these recordings, or not, this album brings over a good selection of songs to enjoy. 7/10.
Atlantic Records have released “THE SHACK: MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE,” the companion album to the film from Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment label.
Featuring previously unreleased music from a wide range of contemporary stars, “THE SHACK: MUSIC FROM AND INSPIRED BY THE ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE” has already begun garnering critical acclaim. Rolling Stone Country called “Keep Your Eyes On Me,” Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s addition to the album, an “ethereal love ballad [that] showcases the duo exchanging lines, culminating with a soaring chorus and dramatic orchestral flourishes.” That song, co-penned by McGraw and Hill along with Lori McKenna and Shane McAnally, marks the couple’s first songwriting collaboration and is featured in a trailer for the film.
BACKROOM STEREO : Something About You. (https://backroomstereo.bandcamp.com/album/something-about-you-single)
As with his previous releases, East Yorkshire’s Backroom Stereo’s latest single revolves around love. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! And, released on Valentine’s Day, this song tells of a newly found love. “I want to spend every second I have with you,” he sings, and you get the drift of the lyrics to the rest of the song. The tune is uptempo and guitar led, in a sort of early McFly sort of way. My disappointment with this track is the lack of a bridge or a change of tempo, that would break up the verse, chorus, verse chorus feel. A weak guitar solo does nothing to improve matters, but the song does grow on you with successive plays. Backroom Stereo reminds me of Welsh independent artist Phil Lewis, who has released countless, excellent, albums over the last 20 years. In the same way, I feel that Backroom Stereo still has more to offer in the future. 6/10.