The Review Zone – Nine Beats Collective : Nine Beats to the Bar @Nine_Beats

NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE Nine Beats to the Bar.NINE BEATS COLLECTIVE : Nine Beats to the Bar. (www.planktonrecords.co.uk)

I can’t remember ever reviewing a Christian concept album, so this is a first. The Nine Beats Collective is a collaboration of world class musicians, poets and songwriters drawn together from across three continents on the trail of exploring the wisdom of the ancient Bible sayings, known as The Beatitudes. In this wild world, a growing number of people have begun to wonder if the Beatitudes might contain the keys to our liberation. The 26 tracks on this album look at these ancient sayings, spoken by Jesus, in music, spoken word and soundscapes. It would be impossible for me to mention every track here but the album is definitely one that needs your full attention. Lyrically, you will recognise various phrases from the Bible, but listen closer and you will find yourself digging deeper into your knowledge base. My favourite contributor to this album is Heatherlyn. I liked her voice from the moment she began to sing “Blessed Are the Undead.” Although the melody lends more than a passing nod to Matthews Southern Comfort’s “Woodstock,” it’s an engaging song. Later on, she sings, quite beautifully, on “What Love Can Create.” Mikael R Andraesen provides very distinctive vocal delivery on songs like “The Beatitudes” and “Nine Beats to the Bar.” Short instrumental pieces feature cellos, violins and clarinets, a style which is also repeated as a backdrop to various pieces of modern poetry. I’ve got to say that I found Eric Leroy Wilson’s “Call ‘Em Out” to be the best of the RnB numbers, but his take on “9/8” became rather irritating to my ears. Over the years, Plankton Records have introduced the world to many new artists, not always being swayed by the current chart styles. This release, I believe, is a brave move in the Christian and it will be interesting to see what the public make of it. For me, it’s a winner. 8/10

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