TEMPLE SOUND : Introducing Temple Sound. (https:// www.templesound.org.uk)
Temple Sound is a “collective of songwriters, singers and musicians who hail from New Testament Church of God (NTCG) Harvest Temple”, with the aim to “give life to the gifts, talents and music that God has blessed us with, individually and collectively, to make His name great, and to declare His goodness to this generation”. NTCG is based in the multi-ethnic area of Heathtown, Wolverhampton, with this five track EP created completely by church members. First released in 2018 but only just sent to NFN for review, I am glad for this belated opportunity to give it a listen. With great vocals shared by Adrian and Philip Gray, Sonia King and Grace Beecher and backed by a very capable band, here we are treated to quality contemporary gospel soul with tuneful melodies and well crafted, overtly Christian, lyrics. Adrian kicks things off with the upbeat ‘gospel story’ opener ‘Higher’ (“Jesus be lifted higher”), with an earworm riff and chorus. Philip follows with the medium-paced ‘It’s You I’m chasing’ (“I’m never gonna stop, You already have my heart”) which is probably my standout. This incorporates a fantastic arrangement incorporating female harmony BVs carrying the beautiful melody with the LVs singing variations over the top. With superbly chosen chords and harmonies and creative drumming, this is a real musical treat that I could happily listen to for even more than its almost seven minutes as it builds, drops back, builds, and drops to its close. Sonia and Philip then feature with the funky ‘Gifted to me’ (“You’ve gifted me joy … strength … peace … love … hope”), followed by Grace with the beautifully delivered and building soul ballad ‘In You God will I trust’ (You are my rock, You are my shelter”). With the closing track it’s back to Adrian with the funky back-beat ‘Every good gift’ (“…is freely given by The Father Of Life”). This is a release that has a certain ‘spark’ – and it even brings the bonus of excellent sound quality. Hopefully the past four years have given this Heathtown community more opportunity for recording, and if so I look forward to the full-lengther! A comfortable 10/10. Dave Deeks.