Category Archives: Reviews

Steph MacLeod produces Real Gold

Macleod’s mix of Celtic-tinged folk, Americana, rock, soul and electronica follows the template of how Christians should make music: honest, God-centred, appealing to the wider world – and superbly put together. This one needs to fly above the radar. Advertisements

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Switchfoot want Love to be our Native Tongue

Switchfoot’s somewhat brief hiatus is over and this 14 track release is an excellent way to come back. I wonder whether the slight break from constant touring has brought out the joys of slowing, as this album is – unusually … Continue reading

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Lent and Easter Reading for anytime

David Bryan – Jesus: His Home, His Journey, His Challenge (SPCK) This really fresh (read-anytime) Lent and Easter book brings you right alongside the young Jesus in his pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Bryan has an academic’s knowledge, a mentor’s understanding and … Continue reading

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Speechless 2

It has been a few months since my “Speechless” round up of notable 2018 instrumental releases, and they have kept coming, pouring into 2019. Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita – Soar (Bendigedig ) 8 tracks /45 minutes This beautiful release … Continue reading

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Steve Hackett – At the Edge of Light (incorporating the Hackett Code)

Label: Inside Out Time: 10 Tracks / 58 minutes It feels like the ex-Genesis guitarist has been working up to this collection for the last few albums. Again, it expresses his interest in peace between nations and incorporates a diverse … Continue reading

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The Last Waltz (Blu-ray)

“The Band” may be a generic name for a group of musicians, but it captures something of their supporting role in a key age of rock and roll. Bob Dylan’s backing band and writers of tracks that most people know, … Continue reading

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Keith and Kristyn Getty – The North Coast Sessions (EP)

You already know what you are going to get with Keith and Kristyn Getty: thoughtful lyrics, polished production, a touch of instrumental joy and all of it coloured by Celtic verve and – since their relocation to Nashville – a … Continue reading

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Apostasy (DVD/ Blu-ray release)

Derek Walker reviews Daniel Kokotajlo’s Apostasy movie Continue reading

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Over the Rhine, Union Chapel, November 2018

It was unusual to approach an Over the Rhine gig with no particular expectations. I’ll blame history. The last two times the duo played London, the set list was virtually identical – and with so many tracks off 2013’s double … Continue reading

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Vesper Sky – “Enjoy, Not Endure”

When you come across work by talented artists, their ability can shout at you, while they themselves are more discreet with their style. Vesper Sky is a collection of songs, spoken words – and various combinations of the two – … Continue reading

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Salvador (Blu-ray/DVD) – Getting the Truth Out

Oliver Stone’s Salvador makes its UK début on Blu-ray within weeks of Oscar Romero being canonised earlier this month. The archbishop criticised actions by either side in the Salvadoran Civil War that adversely affected civilians. It was the main reason … Continue reading

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Richard Durrant – Stringhenge

It’s not easy to get politics into largely instrumental, largely classical music, but that hasn’t stopped guitarist Richard Durrant trying. Straight after finishing Stringhenge – “the most personal album I have ever made” – he cycled over a thousand miles … Continue reading

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Eliza Gilkyson Torpedoes the Ship of Fools on Secularia

“I wouldn’t call myself a Christian, but I am spiritual…” and “I’m not religious, but…” These phrases often come from people who either search for God or experience him, but want to distance themselves from established faith. American Eliza Gilkyson … Continue reading

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Band of Love: Folk Fever

(Island Records) Just when I thought there were no genre mash ups left – and Malcolm McLaren’s mix of punk and opera was a strange one – we now have folk artists covering disco songs. What do we get – … Continue reading

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Speechless

Here’s some of the best instrumental music of the year so far to come across my desk (or, more accurately, kitchen table). There is jazz, neo-classical, folk, Celtic and various points in between. Most of it is cottage industry stuff, … Continue reading

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Beth Rowley – Gota Fria

Ten years is a lot of life to condense down into 59 minutes, which may explain why Gota Fria smoulders away, glowing red hot like it’s about to burst into wild fire. It has been that long since Rowley’s last … Continue reading

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Fairport Convention – What We Did on our Saturday

Swipe me, 50 years already? “Who knows where the time goes,” indeed. And with Fairport’s penchant for losing people somewhat permanently, who knows how many of them will be around to celebrate 60 years? So this was an anniversary to … Continue reading

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Angélique Kidjo – Remain in Light

For Angélique Kidjo – probably Africa’s best-known female singer – to record a version of Talking Heads’ classic art-rock masterwork Remain in Light is both an obvious choice and a strange one.

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Moby – Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt

All things bleak and beautiful, a creature great and small. On this release, Moby bares all: the shame of his past, his helplessness and pain in the present and his fear of a dystopian future. But, being Moby, despite the … Continue reading

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Early Man

(PG, Aardman) Released in a World Cup year, even those who avoid ‘the beautiful game’ can enjoy the punfest and ingenuity of another Aardman film. Early Man is a clash of civilisations, where football is the means of bringing them … Continue reading

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