Never for Nothing - CCM Record Reviews archive E

e:PRAISE WORSHIP : Noises from the Stable. (
e:Praise Worship are a group of worship leaders and musicians based in Coventry, who love to worship God through music and song. Originally brought together as a band to play in various churches, the members began to write their own songs. In response to many requests, they have now recorded this CD of ten songs. The album sounds as if it was recorded live, as sound levels seem to fluctuate within each song. Also, at times, the individual vocals fight with each other for supremacy. I would have much preferred to see singers given more space, rather than throwing all the voices in together. Saying that, when e-Praise Worship get it right, they’re spot on, as with “Only One God, Give Me Oil, and the thoughtful So Hear Our Prayers.” Kim Hearn’s flute playing deserves a special mention, as it provides some sympathetic background to break up the rather clockwork guitar rhythms. There’s a happy sound to the praise song “Jesus Has Shown Us the Way”, while “You Gave Your Life” stands out as a good song in its own right. As well as those already mentioned, “A Prayer For You and Me” is another song that would easily fit into any service. The overall sound is a little rough and ready. But, see through it, and you have a nice assembly of news songs for the church. 6/10. (November 2016)
EARLY TO THE VINEYARD : I Placed My Heart in a Sinking Ship.   (
This CD has to win the award for the best-named CD of 2012 (even with 6 months to go). The band certainly have energy, and no doubt go down a storm on the live circuit. The guitars do the business: driving, riffing, distorting. The drums do their job, keeping it all running in the right direction. The vocals are fine, but occasionally slightly out of tune (mind you, so were the Beatles – which is probably the only time this band will get that comparison, unless it’s “Helter Skelter” or “Revolution”). They’re at their best when at their most full-on, as in the title track (I loved the chanted title). The more laid-back “Oh No” doesn’t really work for me. There’s a bit of Arctic Monkeys in their sound, but with edgier guitars. They describe themselves as post-hardcore rock, which I’d not argue with. The CD starts well and closes well (the ending of “These Thoughts of You” is very strong) but is a bit muddy in the middle. It’s a good debut, but I feel there is better to come from them. Best track: I Placed My Heart in a Sinking Ship.   6/10.   Paul Ganney (September 2012)
EARTHSUIT : Kaleidoscope Superior. (ICC)
Do the names Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach or Red Hot Chilli Peppers mean anything to you? If not, I suggest you leave this album well alone. However, if they're your type of music, I suggest you check this album out. It's not a clone of the above bands by any means, having a great deal of originality. It has its melodic moments ("Said the Sun to the Shine", for example) but is generally very energetic music in a nu metal sort of way, but (thankfully) without the overly abrasive, hateful and self-destructive edges. It even has some harmonies. There are a few vocal tricks that bear more than a passing resemblance to late 70s Yes or Genesis (sorry, lads), but the overall sound is very 21st Century.

One of the best albums I've heard this year, if not the best, so visit your local CCM emporium and get them to play you the first track. It won't disappoint.

9/10 Paul Ganney (October 2001)

EASTER PEOPLE : The Praise Album. (Kingsway : KMCD2060).
Right from the start, let me say that, this live praise & worship album is one of the good ones. All too often, you're left feeling that maybe you had to be at the event to appreciate everything, but not on this occasion. The whole congregation are led by both the Waves and Whitewings singing groups, and just what an impact the voices make. A whole host of well known tunes are given new life, including 'There's a Wind A Blowin', 'Quiet My Mind' and 'He Is Risen'. From as early as the second song 'My Jesus, My Saviour', you are literally drawn into worship and praise of the Lord. You actually feel as if you are with the congregation as they bounce their way through 'I the Lord of Sea & Sky'. Quieter numbers like 'Sing to the Lord' and 'Lord, You Have My Heart' just leave you wanting more. A must for p&w fans. 8/10. (August 1998)
EASTER PEOPLE : Kids 2000. (Kingsway : KMCD2282).
This is a CD you need to sit down and listen to, to enter into the atmosphere of this event - special this year as we celebrate the millennium. Ralph Ward and his band lead much of the worship, accompanied by John Hardwick, Greg Leavers, Simon Parry, Claire Morgans, and their respective bands. Geared towards children aged approx 5-10 years, the album has been put together well, with a good variety of quiet, reflective, and lively! Ralph Ward gives some short talks with a clear gospel message and this is an added bonus. My teenage daughter, Joanne, noticed a similarity in backing music to that of chart sensations Five with "Raise Him Up", and Steps with "Show Me the Light". My own favourites were "Praising Jesus Everywhere", "Our Father", and "Come On, Let's Celebrate".

This is a good children's CD with plenty of new songs and giving a clear gospel message. 8/10. Pam Robinson. (September 2000)

ECHO : Bought Not Souled. (Plankton Records : PCDN167)
“Hailing from East London and Essex, ECHO are all Christians and as such love to worship God and they all also love to sing and play classic Motown and soul music. So to them, what could be a more natural musical combination than bringing the two together! There are some famous classic soul songs which, with a little lyrical re-visiting and modification, become wonderful beautiful songs of worship and truth.” So much for the press release, but what about the album? Does it all come together? Well, as an artist who has played cover songs myself, I can tell you now that a lot of hard work goes into recreating the original sound of each song. Echo do it superbly well, on the whole, praising God with songs that are known and loved by millions. The Emotions’ ‘Best of My Love’ and Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher’ are two early highlights that you just can’t help joining in with. Marie Da Silva and Juliette Georges share the lead vocals, and one of them provides some really sweet sounds on Aretha Franklin’s ‘Say a Little Prayer’. The vocals really soar on ‘Rescue Me’, where the main lyric is “Come on Jesus, and rescue me”. Absolutely fantastic! Other songs, given the Echo treatment, include ‘Reach Out, I’ll Be There’, ‘Something Inside So Strong’ and the party favourite ‘We Are Family’. Okay, so the album may be full of cover songs, but I guarantee that you’ll be singing along, and praising God, in no time at all. 9/10. (March 2014)
ECHO : You’re All I Need to Get By. (Plankton Records : Plancd015)
Originally a hit for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, this EP release from UK soul outfit, Echo, features both studio and liver versions of this well known song. The studio recording shows off those great vocals that this band have become renowned for, over the last twelve months or so. Even the live version is almost as tight, as the band play with the confidence of seasoned professionals. The third track was recorded live, earlier this year. This shows that the band putting their own twist and style to the church standard “Everlasting God”. It’s a good version, and I can see it going down well during their concerts. This EP continues where their album “Bought Not Souled” left off, showing that God and soul music really work. 7/10. (September 2015)
ECHO : Soul Proprietor. (Plankton Records : PCDN173)
Following on from their successful debut release of 2014, the East London and Essex based soul band are back with 14 brand new soul and Motown tracks. With producer/musician/arranger Richard Cottle employed to polish their own arrangements, Echo have produced another cultured album. The first, two tracks are really infectious. “This Will Be” and “This is It” are great to dance around your house to, and have a distinct sound of joy. Everyone will recognise “People Get Ready,” and this version is excellent. Marie Da Silva’s vocals are note perfect. Some of the lesser known songs took me a few listens to get used to. “I Got The Blues” and “Ain’t Nobody” being two of them. Echo give distinct new arrangement to the classic Love Affair song “Everlasting Love”, while “I Get the Sweetest Feeling” stands head and shoulders as the best track on the album. Instrumentally, there’s some nice guitar work on “No Pain, No Gain” but I would, personally, liked to have head more throughout the recording. Other notable songs include “Know Where to Run” and the catchy “Do I Love You?” My least favourite track has to be the closing “What’s Going On.” Da Silva duets with Richard Cope on a song about persecuted Christians, co-written by Marvin Gaye. The song is not particularly good, but it trickles to an end as audio news reports are played over a saxophone solo. There’s plenty of highlights with this release but I’m sure that there’s more to come from this group of talented musicians. 8/10. (October 2017)
ECHOING ANGELS : You Alone. (INO : 40092)
This 5 piece indie rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, release their debut album which lends more than a passing nod to Third Day. The lead vocals are very similar in style and that was quite apparent from the opening track called "I Will". The title track is an epic ballad about worshipping God alone, and it stands out as the best cut. The more I listened to the rest of the album, however, the more I thought, "I've heard it all before". Yes, this collection of songs sounds just like a hundred others that I've reviewed in a similar genre. "Hallelujah" is quite a moving song but how I longed for just something a little different, to stand out from the norm. I, personally, want to be excited by Jesus music, but this album didn't make the mark. Closing the listing is an acoustic track called "Move Me". Again, it's the obligatory rock band's cliché to show a lighter side to the band, and it's all very bland indeed. 3/10 (July 2007)
THE ECHOING GREEN : Supernova (Red Hill Records :RHCD 2155)
Geoff said he'd send me something different this month, and he certainly has! This lot hail from the US of A, and if the dance scene is your thing, it's worth a good listen. I say 'dance scene' but that's a gross generalisation - what struck me about this album was the diversity. Although there are programmed drum sequences, excellently produced, running throughout, the content of the tracks varies considerably. The title track reminded me of early 90s dance, with an element of Depeche Mode creeping in, but this changes to a much heavier sound in 'Defender', and then again to a dance type ballad in the final cut, 'Nightfall & Splendor'. Incidentally, I thought this to be the best track on the album, with a good lyrical style and vocals. Other tracks to grab my attention were 'Waterfall' and 'December'. Overall this is good, well produced material with a lyric style that is not too blatant but sets the brain ticking over. I just wish they would use Chrissy Franklin's vocals a little more next time, as I feel the tracks she fronts are the better ones. Having said that, Joey Belville's vocals are pretty good too, apart from perhaps 'She's Gone Tragic' which didn't seem quite to cut the mustard. But, all in all, a polished production and definitely worth checking out if you're tastes are more towards the dance end of the spectrum. 8/10 Julie Lord. (March 2001)
EDEN'S BRIDGE : Celtic Worship 2. (StraightWay/Word : SSD 0200)
Recorded in West Yorkshire, England, I still find it strange that it's an American company that is behind this band. Featuring the likes of Sarah and Richard Lacey, David Bird, Jon Large, and Terl Bryant, this is Eden's Bridge's 5th album, and 2nd in the Celtic Worship series. It would be easy for me to say that these musicians are an Iona clone collection, and there's a touch of truth when listening to "I Will Change Your Name". However, it soon becomes apparent that there's a lot more to these people than that. Sarah's vocals are just as good as Joanne Hogg's but the tones are a million miles apart. Pete Seegers 1962 classic "Turn, Turn, Turn" has been recorded by many artists over the years, and this version stands alongside the best of them. If it's peaceful sounds you want, then try "Sarah's Prayer" or the simply delicious instrumental "Seascape". There's pipes, guitars, various keyboards, miscellaneous percussion, and many odd sounding instruments on display throughout the album and the overall sound is one of sheer bliss. Take "Who Can Bind Your Heart". 6 minutes of priceless vocals, riding high upon the waves of engrossing music. "Refiner's Fire" is, perhaps, the best of the more traditional numbers, where the tune remains the same but given the Eden's stamp. For Celtic fans, and more, everywhere. 8/10. (June 1999)
EDEN'S BRIDGE : Isle of Tides. (from Jude Music Ltd, PO Box 253, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, WF1 3UD)
I'm not sure why it's taken two years for this album to wing it's way through my letter box but, I guess, better late than never. Lover's of celtic music still miss the sounds of Iona, but many are still to find the joys of Eden's Bridge. It's impossible not to compare the two as the musical content is so similar. Indeed, Sarah Lacy's vocals are just as velvet to the touch as Joanne Hogg's. On this album, there's 18 tracks in a typical celtic vein that only lacks the odd uptempo number to add a little extra to proceedings. Instruments are provided by the likes of Terl Bryant and Simeon Wood who, along with their colleagues, bring out the best in each song. Favourites for me include "Keep Me Sailing" and "From Here, Today", but there's a whole host of good songs to choose from. 8/10. (April 2004)
EDEN'S BRIDGE : The Celtic Worship Collection. (Straightway : EMID2701)
In this second 2 CD volume of worship songs, the listener is once more given the chance to hear songs delivered in a Celtic style. The first disc contains praise songs and includes the bright and empowering "Whole Earth", written by Richard & Sarah Lacey and David Bird. There's an intriguing ethereal version of "There is a Redeemer" which I found quite inspiring, before the gentle vocals and flowing pipes of "Son Of Man". Sarah may not get the plaudits of Mairre Brennan and Joanne Hogg, but I find her vocal quality just as soothing and warm. "Every Heart" is quite an epic, with a very full and well produced celtic sound. Disc two is sub-titled "Celtic Reflections on Hymns" and I particularly liked the way "Holy, Holy, Holy" builds up to a crescendo of praise. "Be Thou My Vision" and "Here is Love" are very thoughfully portrayed and the atomospheric version of "Amazing Grace" sits well amongst the rest of the tracks. The album, as a whole, works well and the content is really good. 8/10. (June 2006)
EDU NMZ : 3 Song Acoustic. (Thumperpunk Records)
Edu TMZ is the guitarist and vocalist of Sao Paolo, Brazil’s JCHC (Jesus Christ HardCore) band No More Zombies, and operator of music webzine and record label Cristo Suburbano. He’s recorded this 3-track 7” single as part of Thumperpunk’s “3 song acoustic” series. With only three tracks it’s hard not to review each one, so I’ll just do that. All three tracks have a feel of being recorded live: one microphone and away we go. As such it’s a little rough at times. “Where Do I Go” has a good rhythm to it, with a slightly spoken verse and sung chorus with a clear belief in Jesus’ ability to heal as he chants “Christ can make me walk again” repeatedly. “Make It Worth It” suffers a bit from a vocal line that isn’t always in tune. “Rasteira No Saci (English Version)” either has an overdubbed backing vocal or some friends have turned up to join in the fun and give thanks to God for what he has done. It’s OK but really only for fans, I feel, who may well have electric versions of these songs which these complement. Best track: Where Do I Go. 4/10. Paul Ganney. (May 2018)
EDWIN BROWN : Christ For Me. (Kingsway : KMCD2967)
This is Irish tenor Edwin Brown's debut album, and what a good one it is too. His background has seen him study music in Texas, sing with the popular Continental Singers, work in Christian Television & Radio, as well as leading worship at major evangelistic events. Oh yes, and if that's not enough he also turned down the opportunity to pursue a career in professional music theatre so that he could continue his worship ministry. I guess Edwin will be likened to Stuart Pendred, in style, but he does manage to make all the songs his own. He writes some of the songs too, and the opening 'Let Your mantle Cover Me' is one of his. Edwin's smooth vocals carry the song, where it ends in an instrumental, celtic style. Fanny Crosby's immortal 'All That I Am' is next, and Edwin breathes new life into this well loved song. I thought that his next highlight was on 'Just the Very Thought of Thee', another self penned number. His performance here is heartfelt, and full of worship. The tempo rises with 'It's the Power', but he's at his best on songs of grace and love like 'The Greatest Love' and the tender 'See the Lamb of God'. Edwin has certainly been blessed with a great voice, and this album should open many more doors for this talented musician. 9/10 (July 2009, Album of the Month)
EFUA B ft Michael Oyo : Only Jesus. (
Efua B is a singer-songwriter from London who started music in her home church at the young age of 9, where she later went on to become the leader of the church youth choir, ‘Chosen Generation.’ Currently serving as a worship leader, the purpose behind her music is to remind listeners of who Jesus is and what He has done, revealing Christ’s identity. The song starts off in medium tempo, with orchestral pads accompanying Efua’s vocals. I, instantly, liked the way the chorus came in. It took me by surprise, but in a good way. Lyrics include “Holy Spirit you’ve revealed the heart of Jesus; We’ll live for only Jesus.” As the song progressed, I found myself really enjoying the overall sound. Backing vocals are good, too. If you want an uplifting, new song of praise on your playlist, I highly recommend this one. 9/10. (August 2021)
EL’ GRACE : It Belongs to You.   (
El’ Grace is a Nigerian gospel singer. She says; “The song is an expression of my heart to God, total submission to Him. I pray that God will touch everyone that listens.” The song is based around lyrics such as; “I give you my heart, I give my soul, I give you all of me, it belongs to you.” The singer’s vocals are sweet, backed by keyboards and string instruments. Mid-song, El’ Grace is joined by some nice backing singers. This gives her the chance to add some spontaneous worship, before returning to the main thrust of the song. Although, the lyrics are repeated several times, the song doesn’t become a bore. In fact, quite the opposite! The song is delightful, easy on the ear, and perfect for worship.   8/10. (June 2020)
ELATION : Elation. (
Elation is a worship duo from Leicestershire, joined together by the huge passion of making music and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Together form less than a year, singer Ben Williams and guitarist Dan Harris wanted to unite their musical taste, various talents, and their burning desire to praise God to create their own individual stamp on worship. The CD is a six track offering, with Joe Gilliver adding his writing talents to that of Ben and Dan. 'Let My Worship' builds in power as the song progresses, and Ben has a pleasing voice. A lot of effort seems to have gone into the production of 'Your Sacrifice' but the distorted guitar is rather intrusive at times. 'Father God', on the other hand, provides some lovely acoustic guitar work, as the song calls upon God, who made all things. As a debut release, there's a bit of experimentation going on within the sounds produced but, on the whole, the Cd stands up well. 'As I Live and Breathe' is similar to the first track, as it too builds in strength, promising to serve and love with all your heart. There's almost a folk element to 'Greatest Story' before we're treated to a live version of 'Father God'. Yes, there are one or two warts in the overall concept but there's a lot of promise too and, if you buy the Cd, you're helping a good cause as well. 7/10 (October 2011)
ELECTRALYTE : Scratch Beneath the Surface. (Fierce! : FIERCD44)
Electralyte are a four piece British rock band who said to have "all Arctic Monkeys and Fratellis flair." They've toured with the likes of Delirious? and have played many of the major festivals, so they've got quite a good pedigree. Well, if I'd written this review after one play of the album, I wouldn't have been very impressed. If anything, I found them quite melancholy at times, nearing on The Verve sort of territory. But, after another play or two, I began to enjoy the songs, and could see exactly what the press release had said. 'Again Again' is a lively enough start but 'Where in the World' and 'Athens' is where the album really gets going. Both songs are written about relationships, and work well. 'Let's Get Married' is written about seeing Christian friends marrying and then separating. Perhaps without God's guidance, there wasn't enough to hold them together. Perhaps, the more I listen, the higher score this album will get, but for now, it's 7/10. (August 2008)
THE ELECTRICS : Danger Live… (ICC : ICCD39830)
It must be 8 or 9 years since I bought my first Electrics' album and, boy, was I impressed. Since then, however, their recent releases have all failed to live up to that excellent introduction. "Danger…" was recorded live at the 1998 German Christmas Rock Night, and features songs and tunes, old and new. The opening "Killiecrankie" is not a death threat to those Scotish comedians, but the famous Robbie Burns poem put to music. If you like a lot of jumping and jigging, then there's plenty of reels to get you in the party mood, "Berni's Wedding Jig" reminded me of those heady Eden Burning gigs of the past, while "Piping Hot" is more in the same vein. "Livin' It Up When I Die" and "Visions & Dreams" are both well known favourites and they obviously go down well with the live crowd. For the casual CD listener, however, the album gets a bit samey after a while and it's hard to know when one song stops and another starts. Sammy Horner and the guys have been around for some time now, but to really get the most out of this release, I think you had to be there. 6/10. (April 2000)
ELEVATION KIDS : So Much Fun. (Elevation : ELE2052)
Compiled to help you and your children discover the Bible together, this 20 song album features many tracks in the style of today’s popular secular acts. For instance, Damien Herbert’s ‘Brand New Day’ is energetic, teen pop that sounds just like McBusted. It’s not a bad song, and I think that it has great appeal. It’s a pity that the same can’t be said of Doug Horley’s ‘Hi-5’. This time, the song is performed in rap style, that sounds rather dated. ‘Lean on the Lord’ comes over like a bad karaoke nightmare, before the truly awful ‘The Wiggly Waggly Song’ hits the speakers. I know that it’s aimed at the very young, but the backing music sounds like it was played on the cheapest set up ever. If this all sounds like I didn’t enjoy the album, that’s true. But, there were some highlights. Pete James’ ‘Talk to Jesus’ raises the musical standards ten fold, with a song that tells children to talk to Jesus, no matter what they are worried about. Similarly, the Owl City electronica style of ‘I Believe’ is a very good song for youngsters to affirm their faith in Jesus. Other songs that I’d like to forget include ‘God Can Do Anything’ were the song speeds up with each nauseating chorus, and ‘The Vegetable Song’. On the latter, the kids choir list many vegetables, and ends with the line “But I Don’t like Sprouts”. Again, the musical backing is third rate. There’s some cheap, tacky drum beats, and the worst attempt at a slide guitar sound that I’ve ever heard. Finally, just when I’d almost lost the will to live. Damien Herbert’s ‘You Need Not Fear’ raised my sagging spirits. It Gary Barlow was a Christian artist, this is the song that he would write. Melodic, a great tune, and some fine production work. Some of the tracks date back to more than twenty years ago. Sadly, they should have been left there. 4/10. (January 2015)
ELEVATION WORSHIP : Nothing Is Wasted. (Essential Records : 83061 6951-2)
This is a live worship album, although apparently there is a double CD version which has another disk featuring the same songs recorded in the studio. The live version sounds pretty much like any other American worship CD that you might come across, big production songs, and a congregation that cheers and claps in all the right places right on cue. I wasn’t familiar with any of the songs on this album, which at least means someone has gone to the trouble to write some new songs, and that in itself is quite refreshing considering most of the competition on offer. I didn’t think that any of the songs featured were particularly outstanding, and on the first few tracks the snare drum seems a bit loud in the mix. There is a point where someone speaks for a couple of minutes, which is somewhat “cringeworthy” but the American market seems to go for that kind of thing. To sum up then, I wouldn’t choose this CD in particular over any other, there’s nothing particularly wrong with it. It’s just no better or worse than all the other CD’s in this particular genre. 5/10 Andy Sayner. (July 2013)
ELEVATION WORSHIP : There is a Cloud. (Elevation Worship Records : 6 47946 99984 7)
This is North Carolina's Elevation Worship’s tenth full-length release, and was recorded live at Elevation Ballantyne. Elevation Worship has become an influential voice in churches around the world with CCLI charting songs such as “Only King Forever,” “Give Me Faith,” and “Unstoppable God.” This record follows the chart-topping 2016 release Here As In Heaven, and looks set to follow in its popularity. It’s full of big production numbers, with those gathered in the audience lapping up each song of worship. The make-up of a lot of the songs is very much in the mould of Hillsong. To that end, although there’s nothing wrong with those songs, I did think that some of them sounded very much alike. Exceptions to those come in the album’s “purple patch,” with “Uncontainable Love,” “None” and “Grateful.” Sadly, there are no vocal credits given, but the female voice on the former is simply divine. The song is shorter than most, but that doesn’t take away anything from the quality. “Nothing can change your love; it’s uncontainable.” It’s simply wonderful. Of the other songs, “Do It Again” lasts far too long, and its 3 minute reprise is definitely something that I could have done without. With the driving force of Mack Brock now removed from the Elevation Worship line up, it will be interesting to see how the team progress. 8/10. (August 2017)
ELEVATION WORSHIP : Hallelujah Here Below. (Provident/Sbme)
Recorded live at the Elevation Church in Balantyne, Charlotte, North Carolina, this is the latest offering from the musicians of this mega-church. As I opened the CD package, it did cross my mind that this might be “just another” collection of songs that sound exactly the same as we’ve been treated to, over the last few years. Sadly, my fears were right. There are 14 tracks on this release, and most of them stick to the aforementioned recipe. Part of that problem here could be due to the fact that Steven Furtick and Chris Brown have writing credits on all of the songs. Therefore, there’s little variation in style. However, with co-writing credits given to Israel Houghton, “Echo” has a snappy, pop feel to it, and really stands out. The best song by a mile, has to be “Greater Than Your Love.” Again, rather than just Furtick and Brown, writing credits are also given to Mack Brock. Celebrating the greatness of God’s love, it’s an excellent song with a glorious chorus. Why couldn’t they produce more songs like this? Instead, the listener is put through meandering songs that spend half their time repeating one or two words, supposedly focussing on worship. It’s time that some of these mega-churches came up with some fresh ideas. And, for me, the sooner the better. 3/10. (April 2019)
ELEVATION WORSHIP : At Midnight. (Elevation Worship Records)
Recorded live at the Elevation Church, the songs on At Midnight tell a timeless message: God is in control even when we aren’t. Pounding drums and chants begin the first song, “Gone.” From there, keyboard sounds fill the air, as the crowd join in to sing “Now my sin is gone,” as a mighty declaration of what the blood of Jesus has done for us. “It is So” is a slower number, with a female vocalist leading the worship. Following on, comes “See a Victory” – a reminder that God will fight our battles if we invite Him in. Rather off-putting is the occasional laughter by the vocalist, in a similar way that Kim Walker-Smith did, a few years ago. And, with that in mind, I felt that I was listening to just “another” contemporary worship album. I’m sorry, but songs like these just seem to be churned out without much originality. Sadly, neither “Love Won’t Give Up” or the closing (10 minute) “With You” failed to change my view. 5/10. (November 2019)
ELEVATION WORSHIP : Graves into Gardens. (Elevation Worship Records)
Here we have the latest release from Elevation Worship. I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record but, I am getting rather tired of these mega church albums that sound so much alike. And, if that’s not bad enough, we’ve even got singers who sound the same too! At first , we found female vocalists copying the delivery of Darlene Zschech. Now, they all want to sound like Kim Walker-Smith. On the ten minute epic, that is, “Available,” I had to check that Kim wasn’t mentioned in the credits. A little out of the ordinary was the opening song, “Rattle.” Based around “Dry bones rattling,” the overall sound is typical gunge. “My Testimony” is another lengthy song, while the title track simply plods along, as it praises the Lord. The highlight, for me, comes mid-album with “Never Lost.” Why? Because, it is a performance song, sung brilliantly by the talented Tauren Wells. I thought that “Have My Heart” started off well. Unfortunately, it soon became obvious that this was one of those “had to be there” spontaneous worship times. While I’ll admit that there’s nothing wrong with the lyrics and basic structure of each song, I would really like to hear something that would really excite me, as a worshipper. Is that asking too much? Of this release, think Jesus Culture. Think, Bethel Music. Think Passion. I think you’ll get my drift. 6/10. (July 2020)
ELEVATION WORSHIP : Lion.   (Elevation worship Records)
This is highly-anticipated 15-track collection from Elevation Worship which blends high-energy power anthems with stripped-down quieter moments, unconventionally mixing studio selections and live recordings. Quite surprisingly, its one of those quieter tracks that opens the album. ‘Bye Bye Babylon’ is a mediational number, with acoustic guitars and a number of sound effects accompanying the vocals. There’s a number of guest appearances on the album, and it’s Chris Brown who features on the uptempo live recoding ‘What I See.’ After a rather tepid couple of songs, Brown is joined by Brandon Lake on the anthemic title track. This was certainly more to my liking. The rather ‘off the wall’ acoustic song, ‘Dancing,’ has Joe L Branes and Tiffany Hudson sharing the vocals. It’s a very different sound and that helps to make it stand out as one of the best tracks on this album. Then, we get into a section of songs that, although not bad, sound exactly like so many Hillsong and Bethel numbers that have gone before. Coming in at more than 10 minutes is ‘No One,’ with Chandler Moore leading the praise. Recorded live, it has a joyful feel about it, until it peters out towards the end. As a whole, the album rarely brings anything fresh to the listener. As I mentioned earlier, most songs follow a familiar contemporary pattern in their make-up. It doesn’t make them bad songs, but I do find them rather tiring to listen to.  6/10.   (April 2022)
ELEVATION WORSHIP & MAVERICK CITY : Old Church Basement. (Provident Label Group)
The latest of many albums released by North Carolina-based Elevation Worship, this thirteen tracker is the result of a collaboration with Atlanta-based Maverick City Music which the press release describes as “a live recording in January this year following months of writing together”. It goes on to highlight “‘Jireh', a song led by Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine that has become a new staple during worship at Elevation Church” with “other standout tracks” including 'Talking To Jesus,' featuring Brandon Lake, and 'Million Little Miracles' featuring Joe L Barnes”. As a bit of a vinyl collector, I was interested to note that a number of Elevation Worship's recordings have been released in this format and command prices of £50-£100 on Discogs! So, what do we have here? Excellently produced pop soul gospel, well delivered by a range of great vocalists, capable band and gospel choir, that's what. Featuring overtly Christian-faith-based lyrics, there are some well written songs here. Whilst I agree that the aforementioned 'Jireh' is quite a good song however, its two chord basis continues for almost 10 minutes and this typifies my main criticism of the album. The only track shorter than 6 mins is the reprise of 'Wait on You', which itself has just run for over 9 mins. This complaint aside, my standouts are the opener 'Old church basement' telling the story of a youth mission and the particularly powerful 'Shall not want' (Will You be my light when I cannot see?”) with especially strong lead vocals by Chandler Moore and great key changes as it builds, coming nearest to justifying its length. The rousing 'Build Your church' (“the gates of hell will not prevail”) proves well chosen as a closer. To my ears however, thirteen potentially 3-4 min tracks stretched to last more than an-hour-and-a-half is just too much. 7/10. Dave Deeks (July 2021)
ELIJAH’s TREE : Fool’s Gold. (
Elijah’s Tree are Oxford based duo David Scott and Jeremy Young. This debut 8 track release sees them make plenty of moves when it comes to musical styles. Opening with the acoustic rock of the title track, there’s some striking guitar work on show. “The Fourth Man” had me scratching my head for a while as to the nature of the lyrics. Jeremy says; “It’s based on the story of Daniel. So the fourth man in question is the man Nebuchadnezzar saw with Daniel's friends when they were thrown into the furnace. I know it's not certain who that fourth man is, but we're interpreting it as Jesus, or at least as a representation of the presence of God. So essentially it's about trusting in the God who is present with you even in the most testing of trials.” The song itself sounds very much like an 80’s Depeche Mode track, while the following “Misdirection” brings Ska back to life. My only complaint here is that the trumpet sounds could have done with strengthening. Otherwise, musically, the sound is very good, and there’s more than a passing nod to The Kooks and Noah & the Whale on “Slow Down.”. The whistling hook certainly goes down well. Chugging guitars and nice harmonies greet “The River”, whilst “Hiding Place” is bound to get your toes tapping. Possibly, the weakest song is left until last. It’s a pedestrian paced number and the Jeremy’s vocals don’t seem to be as crisp as earlier tracks. It’s a very experimental album, with so many differing styles on display, but it shows that David & Jeremy have plenty of ideas and promise for the future. 7/10. (March 2016)
ELIJAH OYELADE : Songs of the Spirit – Live. (Yeshua World Records)
Psalmist and Pastor, Elijah, is based in Abuja, Nigeria. This is his latest recording and features 18 tracks, which total running time of two hours, and twenty-two minutes! The music is pure gospel, and begins with the worshipful ‘The Place of His Feet.’ The backing singers (choir) are first class, and a provide excellent support to Elijah’s lead vocals. Of course, in true gospel style, the singer often ad-libs over the backing. On ‘Thank You Jesus’ this works really well. Many of the tracks last for nearly ten minutes or more, but they don’t become a drag. There’s a real feeling of praise & worship that emanates from many of the songs here. The musical instruments sit well in the production, and the overall sound is very pleasing to the ear. An early favourite for me was the touching ‘My Father & My Friend.’ Things go up a notch with the epic sounding ‘Adonai.’ For me, it sounds like a film score. And, a terrific one at that! In all honesty, this album took me by surprise. I’d never come across Elijah’s music before and, now, I wonder why? The quality of this gospel album is very, very good. My only slight reservation came with the running time. I split my listening into three chunks and, perhaps, got the best out of the recording for me, personally. I’d certainly recommend this to those wanting music of this genre. 9/10. (February 2022)
ELIM SOUND : Fresh Mercy. (Kingsway : KWCD3231).
I was not sure what to expect when I first got my hands on this, in fact I'll admit that my first thoughts were that this would be another addition to the never ending stream of ever recycling worship songs that we've all heard a million times before. However I have to say that this has got to be one of the best worship albums I've heard for ages. All the eleven tracks are new ones, and all of them have an atmosphere of genuine worship taking place. Listening to this CD I got the feeling that a lot of thought has gone into the arrangements of the instruments and vocals, there are some nice choral backing vocals spread throughout, and there are a lot of synth lines scattered across the tracks, which genuinely do embellish the music nicely. The music itself is pop/rock worship, but nothing too heavy. "Fill us Holy Spirit" and "Let the fire fall" were the standout songs for me personally, but there wasn't a song on this CD that I didn't like. This CD is like a breath of fresh air compared to most of the worship CD's that I've listened to recently, there should be more bands doing new materiel like this, rather than churning out the same old same old. If you go to you can listen to some samples from this album 10/10 Andy Sayner. (September 2011, Album of the Month)
ELIM SOUND : Elim 100. (
To celebrate the 100 years of Elim ministry that began in Ireland in 1915, Elim Sound have recorded this new album featuring a variety of Elim worship leaders / artists. Here we have contemporary versions of primarily traditional hymns. Unlike many such attempts to bring familiar tunes up to date, the arrangements are largely sympathetically done and in the main very successful. 'Have thine own way' features a lovely vocal by Fiona Crow set against an attractive repeating piano riff and uses a technique common to several tracks i.e. the introduction of heavy drums part-way through to build to an effective climax. 'Breathe on me breath of God' is similarly strong, with Suzanne Hanna on lead vocals. The standout track on the album for me is probably 'I stand amazed', featuring Tim Sanders - a really excellent arrangement, well delivered and produced with the repeating chorus 'how marvellous, how wonderful' running round my head for ages after I heard it. The main downside here however is that a significant number of the tracks suffer from poor sound - the opener 'I will give thanks' is typical in dissolving into awful distortion and compression as soon as the track gets 'busy'. I really despair of this sort of thing as I feel that much of the effort put in by writers, arrangers and performers is squandered at the 'finish line'. I found this release difficult to listen to at times for this reason, so frustratedly cannot award more than an overall 6/10. Dave Deeks (May 2015)
ELIM SOUND : One.   (
Elim’s theme for 2018 is ‘One movement - One mission’. This inspired the title track of their forthcoming album and first single which features Sam Blake and Helen Yousaf. As the Elim family is growing worldwide Elim are positioning ourselves to look outward beyond the shores of the UK. With the belief that we are one church who worship one God and there is blessing in our unity. With all that in mind, the song itself is a medium paced number that focuses on the Trinity. Both vocalists are spot on with their delivery, which begins with a rather refrained sound. But, all that changes with a glorious chorus; One hope, one faith, One joy and one salvation, One Christ, One Cross, One death and resurrection. In fact, it’s one of those songs that actually gave me Goosebumps, listening to it. If this is just a sample of what to expect from the album, then, I can’t wait to hear it.   10/10. (March 2018)
Following on from last month’s single release of the glorious title track, this is the brand new album from Elim Sound. There are fifteen tracks, consisting of both congregational and standalone, contemporary praise and worship. Several vocalists are featured and this helps to vary the overall sound. Whatever lies ahead, “We Say Yes” and follow Jesus. It’s a lively number, and is followed by the guitar led “He Is” – Saviour of the broken and the lost. On “Be Moved” Suzanne Hanna gives a gentle vocal delivery, until she’s joined, mid-song, by a myriad of voices in worship. Mid-album is the real “purple patch” of recordings, for me. Ian Yates delivers his customary, excellent vocals on “Still God,” while Nathan Jess leads on the superb “When I Am Lost.” And, just as I thought things couldn’t get better, along comes “Grace Will Lead Us.” “We thank you for your grace. Lost in wonder, love and praise. We thank you.” Sung by Fiona Crow, this was my highpoint of the track listing. Beautiful vocals, and a song that oozes the power of worship. I thought that the only downside was the dance orientated “New.” Somehow, it just seemed out of place, compared with the other songs. A couple of ballads should get a mention here. Stephen Gibson shows promise on “Crucified,” while Shell Perris smoothly sings “Journey Back to Love.” In all, a super album, and one that should fly the flag for Elim’s theme for the current year: One Movement – One Mission. 10/10. (April 2018, Album of the Month)
The second family worship album from Elim Sound features ten original songs for the whole family to enjoy in the car, on a Sunday morning or in Kids Church. ‘NEW’ contains five brand new songs written for the project, three drawn from the wider Elim family and two from the Elim Sound album, ‘ONE.’ This multicultural, all-age project brings together a current pop-vibe with Scripture verses, bible characters and strong Christian truths. For me, maybe I’m not up to date with that current pop-vibe. Not that I disliked the songs, but I did feel that several of them sounded like 80’s electro music. The title track asks Jesus to “breathe one us, make us new, more like you.” It’s a good song that has definitely grown on me since I first heard it. I especially liked the Avicii-style chorus on “Be Praised,” while I wasn’t so keen on song, “Giant.” Impressive, was “Jesus Be the Leader.” Written and sung by son and mum, Reuben and Laura Rook from Portsmouth Elim, the song has a rather ambient feel that works really. Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard so many versions of “We Say Yes,” that I’m afraid nothing compares to the original. On this album, the production seemed a little “watered-down.” Hands up, I just don’t understand rap, and find it a complete turn-off. However, for those who do, 15 year old rapper, Walter Taylor from Cardiff, provides his vocals, mid-song, on both “Let Your Light Shine” and “Forever Friend.” My vote for the best song on the album has to be “Gift,” written and sung by ten year old Hiyab Gazae. A simple, pure vocal and just an unassuming acoustic guitar results in an excellent song of praise to God for blessing us with many gifts. Putting together an all-age album must be very difficult, but the Elim Sound Family has produced a very credible release. 8/10. (June 2019)
ELIM SOUND : Send Revival.   (Elim Sound)
Send Revival’ was recorded live at the Elim Leader’s Summit 2019 in Harrogate, UK. This is the third live album recording from the Summit capturing passionate, beautiful and raw moments of worship. And, straight away, I’ve got to say how good the actual recording is. On many of the tracks, I felt like I was part of the collective worship. (Gold Star to the production team). “Be Praised” kicks things of with an energy filled beat – much in the style of their well-known song, “One.” The lyrics to both “Send Revival” and “You Are Steadfast” are very simple but I found the songs to be very powerful for the act of worship. “You Shine” is a guitar led praise song that reminded me of Delirious? at their best, while “Glorious Day” is such an engaging track. Basically, the song is giving thanks for Jesus calling your/our name. Listening, His love literally flowed out of my speakers. There are strong vocals all around, but the female voice on “Return of the Fortress” deserves a special mention. The recording also lets you hear the audience/congregation joining in with the songs. That, in itself, is wonderful, and one of the reasons why this album stands out from the crowd. All too often, these mega-church albums come over as performance orientated. Not, this one! Take, for instance, the closing “Living Hope.” The musicians, vocalists and those gathered sound as one, worshipping the Lord. If I had to find one negative point, it was the refrained version of “Be Praised.” It may have been spontaneous, but it stuck out like a sore thumb from everything else. That said, who am I to judge?   10/10. (November 2019, Record of the Month)
ELIM SOUND : Live at Spring Harvest. (Essential Christian)
According to the sleeve notes, Spring Harvest is “renowned for abandoned celebration, heartfelt worship and inspirational God encounters.” And, as many people will tell you, Elim Sound has been central to this in recent years. What has become the group’s signature song, “We Say Yes,” is the first on the track listing. Worship standards like “Who You Say I Am” and “What a Beautiful Name” are included, with the latter having always been special to me. Unfortunately, this version is spoilt by the lead vocalist screaming the words, late into the song. In fact, that performance really put me off listening to the rest of the album. So, a few days later, I returned to the album, totally avoiding the offending track. After an excellent performances of “One,” I was pleased to hear a new song (to me) called “Crucified.” Written by Ian Yates and Stephen Gibson, it tells of that morning on Calvary’s hill and our Lord’s crucifixion. A terrifically moving song of worship, it was soon my favourite on the album. Sadly, the last three songs seemed to pass me by, as being very ordinary. And, in summing up, I can’t see me reaching for this album again. 5/10. (December 2020)
ELIM SOUND : You Are Worthy. (Elim Sound)
You are Worthy, featuring Rebecca Sivalogan and Sam Blake, is the first song to be released from Elim sound’s newest project ‘God Is Still Moving’ (release date: 07/05/21). “You Are Worthy” is an upbeat, vertical, praise song that reminds us that when we praise God we join with the angels and all of creation declaring the truth that has been sung through all generations that God alone is worthy to be praised. Both vocalists sound great throughout the song, which has a feel of mega-church influence behind it. Saying that, the production here is far better! A lot of those big church songs seem to be sung to a sound that, sometimes, sounds as if it’s just noise. Here, the music is guitar led, and you can hear every instrument quite clearly. The song motors along nicely, and I can see it going down well at many live events, once re-opened. 8/10. (March 2021)
ELIM SOUND : God is Still Moving. (Elim Sound)
The latest offering from Elim Sound is released 7th May. 15 tracks recorded in the last year in various places. The sleeve notes make for interesting reading, about the selection process for the songs chosen. More than 40 Elim writers were invited onto the project, with over 60 songs been submitted. 25 of these songs were decided upon by a Core Team, before all the writers were asked to rate those remaining tracks. From there, the final 15 were chosen. There’s a lively start with the song “You are Worthy.” It’s a very full sounding track, as with many modern worship songs; ie: lots of reverb, guitar soloing behind the vocals. I think that it could be easily picked up, for congregations who choose to use it. “Wildfire,” as track 1, contains lots of guitar sounds, as well as a catchy tune and lyrics. I would imagine that this song is fun to actually play. I quite liked this album, so far, even if it is probably aimed at a younger generation to myself. This is a compilation of various musicians and worship leaders from within the Elim church movement and, consequently, a few different styles . “I Have a Saviour” is a more country influenced song, with great vocals and well-constructed. In my opinion, it’s a song that could be used by many people, leading worship within a service. I cannot quite put my finger on there being something about “Still Moving.” I love the vocals, the arrangement, and the changes within the song. However, the lyrics sound slightly apologetic, yet still declaring truths. I wonder if it was written out of a struggle and the need to be reminded of the truths? Don’t you just love a song that makes you think? “I Am Yours” is one of the slower songs, that builds nicely as it progresses. I enjoyed the piano taking the lead, musically, for the first time on the recordings. Not wishing to pass comment on each and every track, there are some performance songs included as opposed to songs for corporate worship. A few that stood out include “In the Tension, New Every Morning and There is a River.” Overall, this is an album of good songs, well produced and listenable. My only gripe was virtually every song started with some form of pad which I found a bit monotonous. 8/10. Noel Donaldson. (May 2021)
ELLE LIMEBEAR : Holding Me Still. (Reunion)
“Holding Me Still” is the brand-new debut single from Elle Limebear. It’s a fresh contemporary current sound with great production. Elle’s vocals are beautiful, powerful and strong. The lyrics “So when I call upon You, it's not in vain, everything changes, Jesus, You're still the name, holding me still, holding me still” are a call to this generation and to Elle’s friends, her message is “My hope is for my friends that don’t know Jesus to still identify with these songs,” It would be great for everyone who hears or reads about this song to add it to their playlists, Christian or not, when listening to the hope and truth of these words hope will be set free in people’s lives. Elle says a beautiful thing about her dad Martin Smith (Delirious) “Singing and leading worship with my dad is my favorite thing. I’ve watched and learned from him since I was a little girl - my whole life he has let me fly.” Even though Elle has a famous dad, she is an anointed worship leader in her own right and as she has been able to fly throughout her life, may the words of her debut single enable many others to find a spiritual freedom in themselves and fly in their own right to a place of inward peace. Jesus is “Holding Me Still”. Vivienne Neville 10/10 (March 2019, Album of the Month)
ELLER LIMEBEAR : Lost in Wonder. (Provident)
This is a very listenable album, with great vocals and well produced. The music is primarily aimed at the youth audience, clubs and movements, with trance and dance styles. I enjoyed this, although as an older person it wouldn't be the first I would look for on my playlist. But, I would stick with it and pull the structure apart to learn and appreciate the work involved (a musician thing!). I found the lyrics to be repetative at times but, on the other hand, there are 20 songs. (Great value for money if you bought it as a CD). Personally, my favourite track was “Lord You Have My Heart.” It’s a song I can relate to from my younger days and I prefer this version to her dad's (yes!). As the album went on, I liked it more and more, and I would actually quite like to add it to my aforementioned playlist. “Goodness (Eyes Wide Open)” is released as a single and I hope it gets plenty of airplay, as I think it particularly good. Overall, the album is very good, and you could easily fall in love with Elle’s voice! 9/10. (April 2020)
ELLIE HOLCOMB : Canyon. (Capitol CMG)
Nashville-based Ellie Holcomb is the daughter of well-known music producer Brown Bannister. I first discovered her a few years back after enjoying the music of her husband Drew and his band The Neighbors, with Ellie on backing vocals. With her first album 'As sure as the sun' on my Tidal favourites list since then, and second album 'Red sea road' as well as EPs and singles now under her belt, it was with interest that I looked forward to listening to this, her latest full-length, with 12 tracks of what turns out to be quality CCM. Things get off to a rousing start with 'I don't want to miss a thing' – an ode to the wonders of God's creation (“I've climbed up in a sycamore tree cos I don't want to miss a thing”). The title track is next (“There's a river running through my deepest pain … I'm a canyon”). As the album continues it is evident that Ellie has moved into a more pop-oriented musical direction than her country-tinged earlier output which no doubt arose from her work with husband Drew. What hasn't changed is her note-perfect and distinctive vocal delivery. 'Bridge' (“if you're searching for answers you cannot find, there's a Bridge to the other side”) has a hookey chorus that stays for days(!) – and the same can be said of my first standout 'Stronger' (“you are stronger than your fear”) with a particularly good melody and arrangement. As the music continues it is apparent that here we have an album of consistently well written songs, well arranged and delivered. On 'Sweet ever after' Ellie is joined by an excellent male vocalist – and again on 'Mine' (“I remember the first time you wrapped your tiny hand in mine”), this time the distinctive vocals of husband Drew as they celebrate one of their babies (which one? – they have three children!). This is somewhat toe-curling for me(!), and my low point. It is followed however by my other standout ‘I will carry you’ (“through the darkest night, when you're terrified”) and then the country-flavoured, with slide guitar, 'Gold'. The powerful 'Constellations' is a well-chosen closer. The overall (all-too-common) downside of this album is that over-compression of the sound robs it of its dynamics. Otherwise, 9/10. Dave Deeks (August 2021, Record of the Month)
THE ELMS : Truth, Soul, Rock & Roll. (Sparrow : SPD51978)
Billed as playing "straight ahead authentic rock & roll", The Elms bring guitar music to the fore with this follow up to their critically acclaimed debut. I never heard that one, but this is a gem. With traits of Petra at their best on tracks like "Speaking in Tongues" and "The First Day", there's distinct cutting edge to their music. "Burn & Shine" says "let's get out and tell the world about God" instead of just thinking about it. It's another top song and very radio friendly. Then, there's the jangly sound of "Let Love In". It's a cross between the Byrds "Mr Tambourine Man" and Big Tent Revival's "Letting Go", but still contains it's own individuality. To be honest, there's not a bad song on the album, it's just filled with terrific rock & roll. That is, with the exception of the closing song. In sorrow and despair, when all seems dark - there's a time to let it go. "Smile at Life Again" is one of the most touching songs I've ever heard. One of the releases of the year so far. 10/10 (April 2003, Album of the Month)
ELVIS PRESLEY : He Touched Me. (Alliance : 8443923) - Video
I've got to admit to being one of the few who didn't think much of Elvis' music until long after his death. Since then, however, I've become to appreciate the depth of the music, as well as the phenomenon that was Elvis himself. This video charts his progress from childhood attending an Assembly of God church with his parents through to concerts by Southern Gospel Quartets like the Statesmen and the Blackwood Brothers. There's plenty of interviews with former members of these groups, as well as the legendary Jorannaires. There are a couple of concert songs featured, like "american Trilogy" and "How Great Thou Art", but others are either used as backing music for the narrative, or from amatuer film clips. There's some great stories included, like the time Elvis prayed for one of the members of the backing group who had just been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour. The next day, the tumour had disappeared. To watch the full 90 minutes in one sitting was a bit much, but I was still fascinated by it all. 8/10. (April 2000)
EMERY : Eve. (BC Music)
15 tracks in 42 minutes? I was sure I was in for a solid slice of punk rock, but no, instead I got some very succinct poppy power prog rock. Or I think I did – this band are very hard to pigeonhole, which is a good thing. It’s got the feel of power pop in places (think Wanted, 5 Seconds of Summer) but then throws in some prog-style vocal phrasing (Spock’s Beard sprang to mind) underpinned by some slightly off-kilter drumming and then it’s all heads down and screamed vocal, then back to pop prog (the anthemic “Safe” has some definite early Pink Floyd riffs in there and the guitar pattern on “Streets Of Gold” also – although the Simon and Garfunkel vocals made it fresh – and then they changed style again. Twice). An unusual mix, but one that I rather liked and you certainly can’t claim that it all sounds the same. Add in influences such as Artic Monkeys, Sum 41 and Third Day (let alone the harmony vocal work on “Shame”) and I think it’s fair to say that this is a band with a sound of their own and who are very happy to declare their faith in whatever style best suits the song. Other reviewers more familiar with the band’s work have commented that this is “more of the same”, whereas I (not being so familiar) found it refreshing compared to other albums around at the moment. Best track: Safe 7/10. Paul Ganney (February 2019)
EMILY BALLHOUSE : You Are the King. (
Canadian, Emily Ballhouse shares vocals on this song with Jyoungsfl. In an RnB style reminiscent of Toni Braxton, the track revolves around lyrics such as the “born in a manger; Jesus the reason for the season; and, oh come let us adore Him. Vocally, there’s plenty of FX on Emily’s contribution, and I found it a little annoying. Overall though, it’s quite a catchy little ditty, that I can see younger folk enjoying and taking notice of. Emily is an active blogger and currently writing a book. She says; “As God continuously shows His love in my life, I will tell of it.” I trust that we will hear more from Emily in the future. 7/10. (December 2020)
EMMA GRANT : I Don’t Hate You. ()
Emma Grant is a singer/songwriter, based in Liverpool, and has been singing for as long as she can remember. After a taking time out to get married, start a family, and co-lead an Eden Team, she’s getting ready to release her new album, “Influencer.” This, first, single is a very pleasant listen, and reminded me, vocally, of another UK artist, Kat Mills. Of the song, Emma says; “I was inspired to write it as it doesn’t feel like we disagree well! People are often labelled as ‘this, that or the other’, just for simply disagreeing with someone. Granted, it is not always done very graciously or with love, so I wanted to make it clear that ‘I don’t hate you because we disagree!” Emma’s vocals sit nicely above the music, resulting in a crisp, clear sound, were the lyrics can be easily heard. (Brownie points to the production team). Overall then, this is a lovely song, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. 8/10. (May 2020)
EMMA GRANT : Influencer.   (
Liverpool’s Emma Grant releases her first album in a number of years, after taking a break from music to raise a family. This 10 track offering sees her make a few music moves, stylistically, and makes for a very interesting listen. Her recent single, “I Don’t Hate You,” is one of the best tracks on show, telling how it doesn’t feel like we disagree well! “Know You’re Loved” is the promise that no matter what you might be going through (good or bad), Jesus loves you. In the current Covid-19 situation, we seem to be constantly showered with news, but in recent times overall, fake news has become more prevalent. Emma says; “In an ideal world, you would be able to read an article and trust it was the truth you were reading, but sadly as we know, that's not the case.” The song “Fake News” kicks against believing everything you see and hear, making you fearful because of it. Not afraid to tackle emotive subjects Emma, then, looks at staying in an abusive relationship. Music-wise, she uses an, almost, ambient backing here, with her voice caressing each word. When I first heard Emma’s vocals, she reminded me of Kat Mills. However, hearing more this time, there’s a little leaning in both quality and style to Audrey Assad. “As I Am” is a song of praise, while the title track looks at how we treat our world. On the latter, I thought that the backing was rather “off-putting” towards the vocals, and I wasn’t really keen on the song at all. Of the other songs, the bluesy feel of “At Your Table” made a nice change, while I enjoyed the introduction of a violin to the piano led “What a World.” Emma certainly writes lyrics well, on various subjects, which is nice to see. I get a feeling that her songs would be ideally suited to small gatherings, where she could easily expand on the words being sung. So, after 10 years away from the music scene, Emma can be well pleased with her return.   8/10. (June 2020)
The Encounter (DVD,PureFlix Entertainment, Dove Rated 12+)
The “party of travellers thrown together with a mysterious stranger” story is a well-trodden one, think ‘Identity’, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ and countless others. The twist here is that the mysterious stranger claims to be Jesus ... yes, that one ...while the party of travellers is a classic movie combination of teenage girl fleeing abusive parents, bickering couple on the brink of divorce, millionaire ex-sports star turned businessman and devout Christian on the way to see her boyfriend. One by one, Jesus (played by Bruce Marchiano, who has now played Jesus on film no less than 6 times) draws out the backstories and deepest worries and desires of each of the party accompanied by deep spiritual and scriptural truths. From a Christian point of view it is hard not to feel moved, challenged and encouraged as bible verses and exposition almost fall over each other in their desire to be heard. However, as a movie there are some real issues: the pace is slow; the script doesn’t give the cast much to work with and characterisation is too one-dimensional for the group to be more than a collection of clichés. It is clearly a low-budget affair, set mostly in a 50s style diner, and there is an interesting game of “spot the continuity error” to be had. All that said, the cast do well with what they have, in particular ex-wrestler Steve Borden makes multi-millionaire businessman Nick as irritating and cynical as you expect him to be, and Jaci Velasquez convinces as vulnerable Christian Melissa. The stand-out performance though belongs to Marchiano who brings just the right combination of strength and compassion to his portrayal of Jesus. Overall it is a tough one to grade. It is enjoyable and thought-provoking in equal measure, but ultimately entirely predictable, although the same could be said of most big-budget blockbusters. For a Christian audience, or outreach tool, it is excellent, laden with solid scriptural teaching, but it is not a movie to curl up in front of with the family and a bucket of popcorn. 7/10 David Cooper. (June 2012)
Encounter Worship. Volume 1. FIERCD29
This CD is yet another compilation of all the worship songs that you already own several times over. The main difference about this one though, is that it is an album of cover versions rather than the original artists. You can however still predict most of the tracks, "How Great Is Our God, Famous One, In Christ alone", and of course no worship CD is complete without "My Jesus, My Saviour" To be fair most of the songs on here are ok in themselves, the arrangements are fairly basic, so if you wished to you could adapt them for playing live without too much trouble, but really I just wonder. What's the point? There's nothing here that I've not heard before, and the CD as a whole seems to lack any kind of spark. Why not be Radical, Write something new! There is actually a statement on the sleeve asking people to send in songs to be considered for future projects, presumably anything written in the last five years won't be considered. Go to if you're interested. This is probably best described as Christian lift music. Personally I'd take the stairs. 5/10 Andy Sayner. (July 2007) ENKAY OGBORUCHE : Sure Way.  (Tehila Records) ‘Sure Way’ is an anthem that pays allegiance to JESUS as the only way, the truth and the life. Going into 2022, choosing to put Jesus at the forefront of every decision, choice, plan, action etc. is indeed the SURE WAY. The song is a bright and breezy, afro-pop ditty, that you can’t help but enjoy. The colourful, accompanying, music video really shows the joy that Enkay promotes through the lyrics. “Let me show your glory; let me show your grace; Let me walk in the light of your word; Let me sing with the voice of angels; Let me be like you Lord.” A very pleasing track.   8/10. (March 2022)
ERIC CHAMPION : Natural. (Essential : CD70015).
Rarely does an album contain so many songs that really search, deeply, about the important things in your life. 'Am I Lookin' Good' kicks of with an indie/rock feel and homes in on the fact that we spend so much time on our outward appearance that we forget about the inside. 'God Only Knows' is very radio friendly but 'Hacker's Prayer' sounds morose and easily forgettable. Tired of living life under your own steam? It's about time you really gave yourself to Jesus, so says the ballad 'Giving Up' in a Bryan Adams sort of way. There seems to be times on the album when Eric gives carte' blanche to everyone to do their own thing, as two or three different tunes appear at the same time. However, if you're honestly ready to be challenged, buy the album and be prepared to pray. 7/10. (August 1998)
ERIC KNEIFEL : No Shadows. (
Eric Kneifel is a passionate worship leader in Portland, OR. He's led worship for close to 20 years at several churches along the west coast and in Colorado. Eric’s mission is to encourage and inspire God’s people to worship Him in spirit and truth, both through music and by living daily for His glory. This new album contains 12 self-penned songs of praise and worship. Eric has a distinctive guitar sound, and it gives a bright opening to “I Will Rejoice,” a song that worships our Saviour. His duet with Gabrielle Marita on “This is Our God” is particularly pleasing on the ear. The song is one of many that is just perfect for collective worship. “Make me a vessel, fill me with passion for your cause,” are a few words from “Stir in My Heart.” Again, this melodic tune emphasises the real understanding that Eric has for producing a good congregational song, whilst also engaging the listener. In style, his songs are a cross between Steven Curtis-Chapman and Fernando Ortega, and his vocals are appealing. The title track sounds as if it should be a film score, as I felt it was a very powerful song. Eric’s guitar playing is carefully crafted to suit each track, but he also gives a glimpse of a rock influence on the solo piece within “At Your Feet.” Here, Gabrielle duets with Eric once more on and the voices supplement each other perfectly. “No Shadow” is an interesting album, full of finely chosen lyrics, weaved and put together by Eric, resulting in a lovely collection of songs. 9/10. (November 2016)
ERIC KNIEFEL : My Only Aim. (
Portland, OR based worship leader, Eric Kneifel follows up his great 2016 album with this new song which is based on Acts 20:24: However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. The track itself is one of worship, in which Eric asks Jesus to “Lead me in your ways,” and to “Guide me in your perfect truth.” Backing music is kept to a minimum for the opening verse, leaving Eric’s vocals to be clear and crisp. As the chorus begins, Eric is joined by the voice of Lindsey Linn, who then solo’s on the next verse. The overall sound is fresh and vibrant, and makes for a lovely song of worship. 9/10. (December 2018)
ERIC LEE BRUMLEY : The Devil Goes Fishin' Too: A Gospel Anthology. (
Every now and then an artist comes along bringing something new to CCM. On the strength of this ten track release, in some ways Eric Lee Brumley is a great example. Rather than 'new' however, in Eric's case I should strictly use the word 'different' as he harks back to a very much earlier music scene. "Raised on old time delta blues, gospel, and soul" and becoming a Christian at the tender age of five, he began writing songs at twelve but by his teens was heading for a life of drug taking, theft and prison. Acording to the press info, "his musical influences and incredible vocal talent mixed with his story of redemption and recovery from hard drugs, makes for a powerful debut album". Released by Old Bear Records, the company has also released a mini-documentary on the making of the album. Whilst all the tracks were evidently recorded in the same studio, the recorded acoustic varies quite a bit - sometimes sounding quite low budget and 'live', on other occasions presenting a contemporary, clean and overall good quality sound, whilst 'Wolf in sheep's clothes' sounds like it's been re-mastered from an old 78! Whilst perhaps a deliberate ploy to emphasise the authentic nature of Eric's sound, I nevertheless found the level of vocal reverb to be excessive on some tracks - particularly the closer. He certainly has a powerful set of pipes however, equally able to deliver rockers and 'blues/gospel rock ballads', his musical influences being obvious. The stripped-back instrumentation heavily features tightly delivered organ, drums and bass, sometimes replacing organ with piano, and often featuring effective 'black gospel' backing vocals. 'Train up your child' is a great gospel rock blues track and probably the strongest. Other standouts for me include the ballads 'Open my eyes', 'How can I not', and the upbeat title track. On this evidence, Eric proves himself to be an intriguing new arrival on the 2019 Christian music scene. 8/10. Dave Deeks (October 2019)
ERIN O'DONNELL : A Scrapbook of Sorts. (Alliance : ALD108)
This is the lady who got her recording contract in a cyber cafe! Sounding very much like Suzanne Vega, Erin takes you on a trip around her life. "Be Still & Know" is not the chorus song that many of us know, but a happy ditty that cheers you up the moment you hear it. "I Will Trust in You" is a slower track, complete with summery feel, but that happy feeling still shines out. Looking back on your pre-Christian days, you may find that God was there, even in the darkest of times. That's just what Erin admits to on the classy "Even in My Youth". She's the nearest thing to Amy Grant I've heard for some time and the overall strength of the album is in it's simplistic but memorable lyrics.

It's a good debut. 8/10. (August 1997)

ERIN O'DONNELL. "No Place So Far". (Myrrh : 080688605322)
I've got say that I can't make up my mind about this album. I've listened to it a few times and find it infuriating to the fact that songs which sounded good first listen leave me cold, while songs that, at first, passed me by are now beginning to grow on me. Take, for instance, the title track. Nothing special on first time of hearing but, then, sounds totally different on second listen. In fact, so much so that many listens later, I'm still singing along! "Your Love Will Get Me There" is another one, and I'm really beginning to like this one, too. Erin, herself, has a voice that sounds a little like Sarah Masen but the songs themselves are in the style of, say, Natalie Imbruglia. "There You Are" tells that even if we wander off from Jesus, when we return, He hasn't "moved an inch" and has His arms are still open to welcome us back. Maybe I should have listened to this album for a month or so before reviewing? There again…….7/10. (May 2001)
ERNIE HAASE & THE SIGNATURE SOUND : Glorious Day (Stow Town STR 3117)
Where have I been for the past ten years or so? Whilst southern gospel quartet 'Ernie Haase + Signature Sound' have evidently been around for this length of time and have released seventeen CDs and eight DVDs, this eleven track CD is my first experience of them! Settling down to listen for the first time and hearing it kick off with a male four part harmony vocal / big band arrangement of 'When the saints go marching in', I thought I knew what to expect for the next forty minutes or so. But no. Whilst there are common threads here, there is such a wide variety of styles that I'm not sure what to make of it! Common threads? The male gospel quartet, traditional/gospel lyrics, and lovely clean sound that shows many current releases how it should be done. Variety of styles? 40s swing, big band, blue grass, orchestra, guitar/acoustic, gospel, country/country rock/country pop, gospel rock. I fear that such variety may limit its appeal. And whilst those voices blend really well, when the bass takes the lead on 'Scars in the hands of Jesus' and 'Two coats' it exposes an excessive vibrato that borders on going out of tune. Interesting then, but no 'standouts' for me - and probably of limited interest, ironically as a result of trying to appeal to a wide audience. 6/10. Dave Deeks (October 2013)
ERNIE HAASE & SIGNATURE SOUND : Clear Skies – Live in Bossier City, L.A. (Stow Town Records),
If I didn’t already have my hands on this fabulous live DVD, it would certainly be on my Christmas list! “Clear Skies” the album, was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. This release gives you both songs from the album, plus extras on a 60 minute plus concert. Rarely have I witnessed such great voices on a Christian DVD, which starts with the exciting, title track. The groups harmonies are pitch perfect and bassman, Paul Harkey has the most wonderful tones you’re ever likely to hear. The words to “Give Me Jesus” were originally written by the great Fanny Crosby. Ernie Haase has now come up with modern music to accompany them, and the result is first class. The theme of the concert is unashamedly centred on God and Jesus, including the song “Sailing With Jesus” - living with Him by your side. If you’ve got problems or worries in your life, what better song to hear than “Give Them All To Jesus.” I wasn’t quite so sure about “Happy People.” According to Haase and the boys, God’s people “happy all the time.” Maybe I’m missing something there? However, song after song make great statements about our God and Saviour, and I found the whole thing, very uplifting. A nice touch on the DVD are the interviews with the group members. It just wraps up an almost perfect package. 10/10. (December 2018)
ERNIE HAASE & SIGNATURE SOUND : Keep On, Keeping On. (Stow Town Records)
Over the last few years, I’ve become quite a fan of Ernie Haase & Signature Sound. It’s not just the quality of their songs and voices, but there’s a real uplifting feel to their music. Their 2018 live DVD (Clear Skies) actually gave me a chance to view the boys in concert, and that blew me away. This new album provides more of the same, and neither the opening two tracks disappointed me. There’s, almost, a film score beginning to ‘Morning song’, while the bouncy ‘Good to Be Home’ gives you great feeling of joy. Meanwhile, the title track sees the great harmonies of this group, as they encourage you to ‘Keep on, Keeping On,’ in your life’s journey. ‘Terminal in the Sky’ sees them turn back the years, with a baritone led song that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1940’s compilation. The snappy ‘Ready’ (to do your will) only lasts two and a half minutes, but it’s ideal for radio play. Whether it’s slower songs like ‘Good Friend’ or the foot tappin’ ‘When We Fly Away Home’ Ernie and Signature sound deliver the goods. This is another quality release from one of the most popular quartets in all of Southern Gospel music. 9/10. (September 2021)
ERNIE HAASE & SIGNATURE SOUND and THE BOOTH BROTHERS : Brotherhood – The Live Tour Edition. (Stow Town Records)
This live release comes from two of the most beloved groups in Southern Gospel music. Their concert tour exceeded expectations with sell-out crowds every night, with this recording featuring Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and The Booth Brothers coming together in a more intimate setting to sing familiar songs. If you’ve not heard of these guys then, where have you been? With swinging tunes like “Life’s Railway to Heaven,” “Home” and “All the Gold in California” it’s a lovely way to begin the album. As you’d expect, the vocals are terrific, and the warmth that comes over from these guys is captured really well by the recording. “I’ll Fly Away” is quite a rockin’ tune, with some solo guitar added in for good measure, too. Giving tribute to gospel singer, Squire Parsons, there’s a beautiful duet version of “Sweet Beulah Land.” The sound is stripped back to just a piano and terrific vocal harmonies for the choruses. Downsides? Well, apart from the rather melancholy “Look for Me at Jesus’ Feet,” the only downside is that I wasn’t present at one of the concerts. If you want some spirit filled, southern gospel, this recording is for you. 9/10. (February 2021)
THE ERWINS : What Christmas Really Means. (Stow Town Records)
Although a new release, this album appears to be a compilation of some of their previous festive recordings. But, if you’re like me, many of you will be hearing these songs for the first time. A plus point to any festive album for me, is the fact that only two of the usual, recycled hymns and tunes - “Joy to the World” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Standing proud amongst the other songs is “Good Will.” It’s really joyful number and shows off both the individual and collective voices of The Erwins. “Grown Up Christmas List” is sung in tenor tones but, unfortunately, there are no credits to indicate which of the two male members of the band gets the plaudits. Many of the southern gospel vocal groups seem to use big orchestral backing on their tracks, and The Erwins are no different. Certainly, on “His Name Shall Be Called” this is the case, with the music almost drowning out the vocals at times. Two songs focus on Jesus as a baby; “In the First Light” and “Ordinary Baby.” The former is quite nice, but I found the latter ballad, quite bland. The vocals were good, but the lyrics just seemed to meander along. Of the rest of the songs, I picked out “The Season of Love” for a mention. It’s quite a chirpy tune and centres on people giving from the heart, for that true Christmas meaning. Possibly a disappointing release for fans expecting something new from The Erwins but, for new listeners, a very pleasant festive album. 7/10. (December 2019)
THE ERWINS : This is Love. (Stow Town Records)
Texas-family group, The Erwins, return with 8 brand new songs on this studio recording. The opening “All of My Help” has already been released a single. The song showcases the great harmonies and lead vocals that The Erwins have become known for over the years. The following “Already on His Way God” features some good brass sounds, but it’s those harmonies, again, that are the highlight of “The Blood of Jesus.” It’s a country ballad, akin to the likes of Lonestar at their best, with a great orchestral production. Similarly, “The God I Know” is just as powerful, both in its lyrics and vocal delivery. As is often the case with gospel groups, I’m a little disappointed in an album that is so short in length. I guess, its quality that counts, as opposed to quantity. Certainly, most of the songs on show are of quality. “The Story Ends” has a radio-friendly feel about it, while the title track has a touch of latter-day Dolly Parton about it! Looking back, there was only one song that I wasn’t keen on, but what I did like, left me wanting more. 9/10. (May 2021)
ESMEE KESTER : No Other Name. (
Esmee Kester is a Belgium based international gospel minister and Philanthropist. This single sees her music finding its way into the UK. The theme of the song centres around Jesus, of course. “You’re my love, my saviour; you’re the name above all names.” Yes, the lyrics are fairly predictable, but Esmee puts her own stamp on this gospel ballad. Vocal wise, I compared her to Tamela Mann, and she’s well backed by other singers. Musically, it’s well produced and the electric guitar is very good. I don’t think that the song will win any prizes for its originality but it is an enjoyable listen. 7/10. (March 2019)
ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN SONGS Vol.2 : Let My Words Be Few. (ICC Records)
When reviewing Worship CDs I normally look for one of two things: new songs and/or new arrangements. In short, something to justify adding this CD to my non-trivial collection. This, however, doesn't really fit, being more of a "greatest hits" kind of thing - it doesn't need to add to the cannon, just collect together some of the "best bits" (as the title "Essential..." implies). So, is it? Well, all of the arrangements and performances are very competent and clear (important if you're going to sing along). However, it lacks energy, especially on "Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?". The more melodic stuff works very well, though, such as "You Are My Portion" (a new song to me, so passes one of my two Worship CD tests). Stand-out track, though, is "Open the Skies" (not that I could imagine our congregation singing it, mind) which has a wonderful rhythm running around behind it (and some very subdued powerchords). Essential? It all rather depends on whether you already have worship CDs with these songs on. If you don't, then you could do a lot worse than to buy this. Of course, you may already have done worse, in which case this'd be worth getting so you've got some decent versions of your favourite songs. 7/10. Paul Ganney. (January 2004)
The Essential Worship Chillout Collection. (Kingsway : KMCD2499)
The ever expanding range and style of worship albums released shows no sign of abating and this one is quite a worthy addition - taking a selection of popular songs and re-interpreting them in a more atmospheric/ambient style designed to provide respite from the pace and pressures of everyday life. Cool grooves abound, and within that context the 10 songs chosen are a good selection, with three in particular standing out for me: a great, laidback "In Christ Alone", a surprisingly effective reggae version of "Jesus lover of my soul" and a superb recording of "Light of the World" which is more than a little reminiscent of Right Said Fred, spoken vocal and everything. Not all the songs are as effective as these, but none of them are ever less than interesting, uplifting and (of course) relaxing, with some nice variety in the vocals, sweet harmonies and simple arrangements. Turn off the lights, close your eyes and go with it. You won't be disappointed. 8/10 David Cooper (Jnaury 2004)
The Essential Worship Chillout Collection 2. (Kingsway : KMCD2603)
I've got to be honest. What I expected from this album, was to be able to sit out on a hot summer's day, and to reflect and meditate to the "chillout" tunes. Well, I gave up waiting for a hot summers day when I wasn't at work, and decided to listen to this album both at home, and in the car. The result being, I didn't feel "chilled out" in either setting. Sure, the music didn't pound your brain, nor did it ease my mind after a stress filled day. In fact, it reminded me of elevator and shopping mall music - the stuff that just plays in the background as you go about your day. I found most of the songs, like "Be Lifted Up" and "You Are My Passion" to be nothing more than just very ordinary songs, while the reggae feel of "God is Here" did raise my hopes. There's nice versions of "Beautiful Saviour" and "Outrageous Grace" but, I'm afraid, that the album just fulfill my expectations. 4/10. (August 2005)
ESTHER MOORE : The Answer. (
This debut single from Esther Moore has been released in support of World Refugee Day, and is provocative call to love without condition and reservation. Of the song, Esther says; “The Answer was written from a place of deep wrestling. What is our response when faced with senseless violence and hate- filled attacks on innocents? The natural response is to react with fear and hatred of the individuals responsible and a desire to make them pay. My question, inspired by those who chose another way, was this: what would happen if we chose the most counter-intuitive, difficult and challenging response - and chose to love instead?” The song itself sees Esther with a vocal quality and delivery akin to that of Florence Welch. It’s lovely to be able to hear every word sung so distinctively, when many of today’s productions bury the vocals within a cacophony of sound. “Stand with one voice. Love is the answer.” What a simple message. 7/10. (July 2017)
EVA KROON PIKE : Christmas Revolution. (
I’ve heard a few of Eva’s songs over the last year, and I’ve been quite impressed. This festive single is a happy sounding ditty, that has a great message behind it. Let’s forget all the hype about money and presents and focus on what Christmas is all about – the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. There’s some jangly guitars playing throughout the song, and they carry Eva’s vocals superbly well. She sings about the Christmas Revolution that will bring peace, hope and joy to all. It’s a song that is easy on the ear, and very radio friendly. 8/10. (December 2014)
EVA KROON PIKE : Love is All About You. (
Having been adopted as a child and brought up in a loving Christian home, Florida-based Eva Kroon Pike is a multi-instrumentalist as well as singer-songwriter. On first listening to this eight track EP I was reminded of Sarah Masen. Ms Masen burst onto the ccm scene in the mid 1990's with brilliant albums under the leadership of Charlie Peacock, bringing a fresh vocal style that has since been reflected by numerous other female vocalists – and these albums are still regular listens for me. Whether consciously or otherwise, the five upbeat contemporary ccm pop tracks here clearly imply such an influence – particularly on songs such as 'Not miss a thing' and 'Born to run' (not the Bruce Springsteen one!). Eva's delivery is none the worse for that however, and the three ballads in particular demonstrate a vocal ability of her own. Her lyrics also merit a mention – well-written, arising out of Eva's own personal experiences, with hooky melodies that sound attractive on first listen yet stand further attention. There really isn't a poor song here. Arrangements / production? Don Koch has done a great job, the only slight negative for me being some evidence of vocal effects/autotune. This is an excellent release, well recommended. 9/10. Dave Deeks (December 2014)
EVANS OGBOI : I Am Gifted. (
Songwriter and producer, Evans Ogboi may be a new name to some of you but, with songs like this one, he’s going to be known to many in the future. Think, Kirk Franklin meets Fred Hammond, and you’ve got an idea of what to expect. Backed by some great singers and musicians, Evans sings gospel soul with great feeling. “I am gifted for my purpose. Gifted for my purpose I am gifted, Gifted for Your plan.” The lyrics are repeated several times during the song, but this doesn’t detract from its power and appeal. “I Am Gifted” comes from Ogboi’s forthcoming Koinonia Album Project which was recorded Live at the Iconic City Gates Church in London, and I, for one, Can’t wait for that! 9/10. (October 2019)
EVERLIFE : Everlife. (Authentic : 7770292)
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time but to let these three girls try and sing rock songs was a big mistake. Let's face it, they just haven't got the vocal range to carry songs like "Heaven Open Your Eyes" and "Take A Ride". When they leave the rock sound behind, you do find their voices fitting well to the more pop orientated "I'm Over It and "Lead the Way". One of the three girls has a voice that sounds very much like that of Susan Ashton, and this really comes to the fore on the acoustic backed "Save Me" and "Set Me Free". Although I'm not slating the lyrical content, I did find the songs quite weak throughout. I'm afraid that this album would go down as just "another record" for me. 4/10. (May 2005)
EVERYBODYDUCK :Still Know How To Groove. (Diadem : 92193-1225-2)
With some zany humour and catchy lyrics,, this album starts off really well with songs like 'Sunday Shoes' and the title track. The former looks at the myth(?) that being a Christian is boring, while the latter continues the theme explaining that "Yes I have become a Christian but I still know how to groove". It's these lighter numbers that give the album it's class, complete with it's light rock feel. In between, the band get heavy and the lyrics get lost in the overall production. 'Walk the plank' and 'Closed Doors' are, in sound, reminiscent of 80's band Martha & the Muffin's 'Echo Beach'. Not bad, but not the best. 5/10.
EVERYDAY SUNDAY : Wake up! Wake up! (Inpop Records : POD1406)
This CD is by four guys from Columbus, Ohio, and is an album full of no nonsense guitar led pop/rock songs. I think that this band sound more like a British rock band than an American one. In fact if this CD had come out in the late seventies or early eighties it would have probably have been filed under new wave. That's not to say that it sounds dated though, all the songs seem to be the kind of tune that sticks in your head after you've listened to them a couple of times. There is no let up at all in style or pace, right from the start of the first track with a guitar lick in the intro which reminded me somewhat of "Into the valley" by The Skids (If my memory is correct). A lot of albums that have no variation in pace tend to get me bored by half way through, but this one, it has to be said is an exception. The songs are all well performed, and each one of them stands up on it's own. There isn't anything bad to say about this CD. I reckon that this is an American band that could do very well over here, if they get the chance to be heard that is. If you get the chance to pick up a copy of this CD get it. 10/10 Andy Sayner. (January 2008, Album of the Month)
EVERYONE : Everyone. (Furious Records)
This four piece band from California bring guitar pop back to the fore with a sound that is reminiscent of label-mated Delirious? Well, perhaps that isn't such a surprise, as singer Jeff Searles 1995 album "Inside Me" was produced by Martin Smith. However, there's more to this band than just being a cloned copy. Okay, so the title track could well be the D-boys in disguise, it's still got some great lyrics and super guitars. "Lovely Way" is a bit more melodic - "like Travis", my better half says. Searle's vocals are good all the way through and he's at his best on the rockier numbers. "Thank you", "Jesus Saviour", and "Crazy" reach out as "up and at 'em" praise, but I personally found "Only for You" to be a little bit too heavy and over the top. Lots of good things to come out of this album, so give it a try. 9/10. (May 2003) Forward to the next archive
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