Never for Nothing - CCM Record Reviews archive K

KAIROS : Heart. (Free download from www.kairos-band.co.uk)
I was suspicious - free stuff is often worth every penny. This is more. OK, so the opening organ riff didn't live up to their album - but then the rest of the band piled in and it all made sense. Energy, excellent guitar tone, catchy riff, clear vocals, good song, what more could you want? Download it now. 8/10 Paul Ganney (August 2009)
KAREN DAVIS : Sar Shalom. (Galilee of the Nations)
The Messianic Praise and Worship scene is very strong, with people like Barry & Bata Segal leading the way. Karen Davis has recorded a CD of songs that she says have been "given to her", from God, during some of the most difficult times for Israel. When war, killings, suicide bombings, and the like have happened, Karen has taken to her keyboard and poured her heart out to God in song. These, then, are the resulting pieces. Sadly, only a couple of tracks are sung in English, therefore making it very difficult for me to pass any real judgement on the lyrics. The music sounds good and I have the feeling that "El Gibor V'El Elyon" is a very strong and powerful ballad. "I Will Answer you" is sung in English and sounds good, too. Karen and Her husband continue to lead worship to Arabs and Jews alike, and for that courage and belief, they have my blessing. Sadly, I don't think I can give a rating on this occasion. (July 2003)
KAREN HORNSBY : Karen Hornsby. (www.karenhornsby.com)
When Karen Hornsby took the microphone on ABC's innovative reality show, Rising Star, she did more than wow the judges with her remarkable voice. She touched the hearts of viewers around the country with her poignant story. Not only had this young mother survived a horrific collision with a semi tractor-trailer that left her vehicle engulfed in flames, but she later endured her husband's cancer diagnosis and treatment, and perhaps most devastating, her 2-year-old daughter Gabi was diagnosed with brain cancer. From places of such deep suffering, Karen writes songs of encouragement for the brokenhearted. There are some really touching songs on this album, including the tear jerking “It’s Me.”. This is a song written after doctors revealed the news of her daughter’s condition. “The Time” is a song about loss, and how God can give you the strength to get through it. It’s piano led, as is the ballad “I Surrender.” Karen, then, moves into a bluesy gospel style for “Celebrate” and “Victory.” Full brass backing and guitars add to the overall sound. Pop songs “Use Me” and “I Will Not Be Moved” are both commendable, but I really liked the Dixie Chicks sounding “Let Go & Let God.” It’s a really good song, and the polished production is enhanced by a great fiddle break. Karen’s vocal prowess is put to the test on “I Need You Lord.” This is a classy ballad, and she storms through the song with finesse. I urge you to read Karen’s story at her website. Maybe, then, you’ll realise just what a personal and powerful set of songs these are. 8/10. (September 2016)
KAREN MONEY : Secret Things. (CD from: karenmoney@ntlworld.com
Another new name to the world of UK CCM comes in the form of Nottingham based Karen Money, a young lady with a delightful voice, and the ability to weave lyrics into a delicate musical tapestry. Imagine Enya or Mairre Brennan without the ethereal vocals, and you've got a good idea of Karen's sound and quality. I rarely use this word to describe a song but, 'pretty' describes the opening "Golden Day". I've already spoken about her lyric writing, but the words to "Surrender" are very thoughtful and makes it a very pleasant song to listen to. "Stranger" is a fairly gentle number, while the stronger "Sanctuary" tells of being with God and knowing His love. Lasting just over 30 minutes, it's a rather short album, but, nonetheless, a very worthy introduction by a new talent on the block. 8/10. (November 2005)
KAREN PECK & NEW RIVER : Triumph. (Spring Hill Music :CMD1020).
The name of Karen Peck has become synonymous with Southern Gospel Music. Indeed, the Southern Gospel Music Association has just awarded her the accolade of Female Vocalist of the Year. Her flawless, delightful soprano voice has made its way into the hearts of Gospel Music lovers across America and won her numerous awards from the readers of The Singing News Magazine, Southern Gospel Music's leading fan and trade publication. this is the first album I've heard from Karen and the band and I'm quite impressed. It's more Dolly Parton than, say, Faith Hill, but country buffs of the old style will enjoy this immensely. There's some great songs and you'll find yourself foot tapping to numbers like "Working For My Good" and "Rejoiced in the Lord" very easily. Then, there's the praise and worship style of "Walk in Triumph". Believe me, listening to this, you actually do feel as if you want to go out there and do just that! It's an infectious little album that deserves a little more media attention over here. 9/10. (July 2002)
KARI JOBE : Kari Jobe. (Integrity : 45502)
Kari Jobe is a worship leader and songwriter, based in Dallas, Texas. She doesn't play any instruments on the album, but seems to have gathered some fine musicians around her. Her vocal quality is a refreshing sound and, at times, similar to Leigh Nash. On 'Healer' she sings of Jesus being her hero, and I'm sure that this song will bring Kari lots of radio play. The mid-tempo 'Everyone Needs A Little' is about love being the greatest thing. The simple praise of 'Beautiful' has a lot going forit, and the pretty 'Singing Over Me' has alight touch about it. The song quality differs enough so that Kari's voice doesn't get too repetitive, and she caresses each word as if it's a very precious thing. There's a song of surrender on 'No Sweeter Name' while the power of 'Revelation Song' simply builds and builds. Kari Jobe is a real find in the world of worship music, and this album is a fine collection of songs. 9/10. (June 2009)
KARI JOBE : Gateway Worship Voices. (Integrity : 0000768674093)
This collection of songs is promoted as Kari Jobe’s greatest worship moments. The CD version includes the original audio recordings, bonus lyric videos, chord charts, lead sheets and more. All very useful, but what about the songs? The majestic “No Sweeter Name” is one of those songs that you instantly take a liking to. Certainly, for me, I hope that it becomes a regular worship hit in churches all around the world. The old hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” gets an outing with a male singer dueting with Kari. If you’ve previously pigeon holed Kari as just another pop singer, then her vocals on “You Are Good” may just make you think again. Her singing is controlled, yet strong when needed on this lovely ballad. Walker Beach joins Kari for “Alabaster Jar” – an 8 minute epic! With a title such as “Worship the Great I Am”, there’s no surprise that this number gets a big production. All the stops are pulled out, complete with a full orchestral backing, that makes for one, awesome song. If you’re a little tired of the countless Jesus Culture and Bethel Music albums that are coming out of America, then Kari’s album will be most welcome. She sounds in tune with every song lyric and produces a very listenable recording. 7/10. (June 2016)
KAT MILLS : Out of the Ashes.   (www.katmills.co.uk)
Kat Mills is a singer songwriter from Surrey, United Kingdom. Kat grew up with a classical music background – her father a conductor and her mum an oboist.  Kat is a classically trained singer and has developed her repertoire to include musical theatre and jazz. In addition, Kat plays piano and cello – she writes predominantly on the piano. The striking piano chords of the title track instantly make you prick up your ears. Fresh and vibrant, Kat’s voice shines through. It’s a song about finding God and being thankful for His sacrifice. I liked this song very much but thought that the additional choir towards the end was a little thin, vocally. There’s some lovely saxophone playing from Serge Gorlin on ‘Rock & Salvation’ while ‘Restore My Soul’ is stripped bare, with just piano and cello accompaniment. This works really well and makes the song both intimate and powerful. Kat says; “All of the songs have been written from experiences - or a longing to encourage people that matter what we go through we have a God who is totally awesome and worthy of our praise.” A former sufferer from the illness ME, Kat sings from the heart on the poignant ‘My Grace Covers You’, as well as feeling overjoyed at God’s promise of His love, on ‘Just As You Are’. If I was being picky, I’d say that ‘Choose To Worship’ was my least favourite song. Nothing wrong with the words but I felt that Kat’s vocal range was being tested with this song. The last number, ‘Journey On’, develops into light rock, with the aid of some nice guitar work. Here, Kat’s voice literally soars and proves that there’s more to come from this young lady.   8/10. (July 2015)
KAT MILLS : Voice of Truth.   (www.katmills.co.uk)
Following up her delightful album of 2015, Surry based Kat Mills showcases an array of new songs on this release. With her piano so predominant in most of the songs, it’s hard not to compare her music with that of Adele, and that will give you some idea of the quality of this release. The opening “Be Still” is one such song were you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that it was one of the secular superstar’s recordings. Some songs have been recorded live and “Breathing” is one of  them. Here, an acoustic guitar provides most of the backing as Kat sings about laying her burdens down and gazing upon God. There’s a complete change of style with the reggae enthused “Grace of God.” This is a terrific song and gives simple steps of how to live with God through any situation. I had the privilege of hearing “In Your Arms” a few weeks ago and hearing the story behind it brought me to tears. Kat and husband Ali lost an unborn child a few years ago, and this song is Kat’s journey through the blackness of that time to God’s healing of her M.E. It is such a powerful song and Kat’s vocals simply soar at times. There’s an uptempo pop feel to “Without You.”. Again, Kat bares all in a song that tells of becoming fixated on her problems rather than on God, who is far bigger than any problem. To close the album, we return to just Kat and her piano, with a tender love song to her Father in Heaven. It’s a touching piece of music and a fitting end to a glorious release.   9/10. (July 2016)
KATE SIMMONDS : Heart & Soul. (Kingsway : KMCD2417)
What a surprise this album was! After hearing Kate's contributions on various compilations over the last couple of years, I thought I'd opened the wrong CD as the RnB of "When I Was Lost" burst through my speakers. Then, it was more of the same, with "My God is a Rock" - what was happening? Well, it seems that Kate's decided that she wants to follow the RnB style as practically the whole album contains this genre, in a Yolanda Adams sort of way. I can't say that any of these songs really caught my imagination but, perhaps, "To Be With You" came close. "We Come in Your Name" stands out head and shoulders above the rest of the track listing, for me. It's a great pop p&w number that I really enjoyed. Sadly, I was disappointed with the rest of the fayre as, despite Kate's wonderful voice, the songs were just plain and drab. 2/10. (December 2002)
KATHRYN SCOTT : Satisfy. (Vertical : 27062)
Kathryn Scott is probably best known for her work on several Vineyard albums. I'm told that the song "Hungry" is revered throughout the land but I'm obviously missing something, as I found it very ordinary. Her debut solo lets her sing some of her own compositions, plus others like the Brian Doerksen and Sandra Gage penned "Today", where Kathryn duets with the former. If she reminds me of anyone, it's the sort of uncluttered pop that made Susan Ashton so popular a few years ago. She has a lovely, natural voice and in this live recording it's as pure as the driven snow. "Blessed Be Your Name" is a top notch song that really praises deeply, while "Breathe on Me Now" runs it a close second. The second half of the album drifts somewhat and, until the last track, never quite repeats the heights of the first. Nevertheless, Kathryn Scott sounds as if she'll be around for years to come. 7/10. (February 2004)
KATHRYN SCOTT : I Belong. (Integrity : 42312)
Northern Irelands Kathryn Scott made a decision to follow Jesus at an early age. Her parents had a musical background and, by the age of 9, had begun to write her own songs. Following bible college, Kathryn and her husband planted a church of their own and gradually, the church grew. Her own writing skils grew too, following g a meeting with Brian Doerksen and her critically acclaimed debut 'Satisfy' was released in 2003. She's since appeared on a number of compilation albums and has now released 'I Belong' with a fresh offering of songs that flow from the deep river of worship in her heart. The theme that runs through this album is one of praise and worship for Jesus. Nothing new in that you might think, but Kathryn does it in such a way that you actually feel as if you're finding that out for the first time. She has a lovely voice and it suits the light pop style of most of the songs. 'Everything Changes' and 'No Turning Back' are both radio friendly, with the latter talking about the promise to follow Jesus wherever He may lead. The great thing about this album is that it's very easy to listen too and the messages are clear. She's been likened to Sarah Groves and Norah Jones, but Kathryn looks set to create her own mark on the music scene. 8/10 (January 2008)
KATHY MATTEA : Good News. (Mercury/Alliance)
Three years old this one but it's new to me. With a vocal tone compared to the likes of Annie Lennox, Kathy fails to let herself go with this collection of slow/medium paced worship songs. Quite a few songs here that were new to my ears, made good listening that I'd recommend for listening into in the bath. Nice, hot water, lots of bubbles, and Kathy Mattea's CD bathing you in the love of God. Steve Earle's 'Nothing But A Child' is a prime example of the relaxing tones you can expect throughout. Nothing really bad on this album but a few very ordinary songs. Nevertheless. 7/10. (December 1996)
KATHY PETERS : Love Will Find A Way. (Private Recording. CD £13 Cass£6 from: Kathy Peters, St Andrews Church Office,The Rectory, Highcroft Avenue, Bebington, Wirral, Merseyside, L63 3EX).
Kathy says "At times we all feel weak......if we can put aside our feelings of inadequacy, or unhappiness, and share Gods love, then love will return." The title track kicks things of at nice and easy pace in a Susan Ashton sort of way, and some country style guitars. The lovely feeling it emits, is carried on by 'When We Don't Speak', as she reaches out for the father's hand. It is a very personal collection of songs, written from the very heart of a Christian woman trying to live in today's world. The music is of general high quality, but I would pick out the piano on 'You Will Find Him' as a little special. Kathy's voice suits every song no matter what their style, whether it be the Celtic tinged 'I Hear Your Voice' or the sweet 'Carry Me'. Interestingly enough, I found the two songs written from a mother's perspective the most difficult to listen to but then, I'm not a mother. Kathy Peters is another bright light in British CCM. 9/10. (November 1997)
KATHY TROCCOLI : Love & Mercy. (Reunion : CD10003)
It's 15 years since Kathy began her career with the album "Stubborn Love", yet I don't think that she has ever produced such a great collection of songs as the ones here. I would guess that the lady in question must have felt a real blessing from God when writing these songs, as they are some of the most powerful numbers I've ever heard. I've got to say it right now that I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I listened to "A Baby's Prayer". It's written from a baby's perspective about healing and forgiveness for those who have had or considered abortion, and it is simply beautiful - I played it over and over. "Faithful to Me" is a ballad that tells of the constant fight of trying to live your life for God, while "I Call Him Love" is a song that just reaches out and praises, unrestrained. Sweet vocals, terrific musicians, an album that's destined to become a classic. 10/10. (October 1997, Album of the Month)
KATHY TROCCOLI : Corner of Eden. (Reunion : 02341 0007 2)
I so long for this lady to be consistent with her releases. Her last album was simply a classic and so much better than her previous two releases. This one begins with the powerful 'A Different Road' which, at 6minutes 30 sounds long but simply tells the old story of someone turning their back on God and then realising their mistake. Kathy's vocals are right on song and the music makes a wonderful result. It's then that she starts to lose her way with the gospel/blues 'He Will Make A Way' and the over produced ballad 'Goodbye For Now'. Things start to improve again towards the end and 'Fill Me Up' will, no doubt, have many singing along quite quickly. Kathy Troccoli's music ministers to countless folk around the world but, until she finds that consistency, she'll never reach the Amy Grant league. 5/10. (January 1999)
KATHY TROCCOLI : A Sentimental Christmas. (Reunion : 02341-0026-2)
Although you will know practically all the songs featured on this album, at least Kathy and her production team have tried to make it different. How? By using the big band sound instead of the usual synth sounds. "White Christmas" sounds like a late night lounge bar number, and the self-penned "Only Always" brings out the best in both Miss Troccoli and the players. IF you like the sound of a big band then, in the style of Count Basie, this is for you. Tracks like "Let It Snow", "I'll Be Home For Christmas", and "Silent Night" are all given the right treatment, and there's a terrific trumpet solo on the closing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". One of the better Christmas buys. 7/10. (December 1999)
KATHY TROCCOLI : Love Has A Name. (Reunion : 40489)
Promoted as Reunion's Premier Female Vocalist, Kathy Troccoli has quite a track record. As well as the countless awards she's won, Kathy has also had 15 No.1 songs, as well as 5 Top 20 mainstream hits. This is her 11th album and she's sounding as good as ever. "Parade", I think, will be a massive radio hit. It's one of those songs that comes around now and again, that you just want to play over and over again. "On My Way to You" mixes pop with some blues, before we get into typical Troccoli ballad-land, with "Live For the lord" and "Break My Heart". "God Said It", provides with a reminder of God's promises, as does "Count On Me". Late on in proceedings, Kathy sings the old Foreigner hit "I Want to Know What Love Is". It's an interesting arrangement, and one that is sufficiently different from the original version to stop it being just another copy. It's not an instantly "wow" exclamation album but one that I promise will grow on you. 9/10. (February 2001)
THE KATINAS : Destiny (Gottee : 4728302)
The five Katinas brothers -James, Jesse, Joe, John, and Sam, have been singing together since they were children growing up in American Samoa. Many of their songs communicate a message of family and they have witnessed firsthand how God has worked in their own family relationships. With this, their second album, they've become more chart orientated and taken leaves out of the books of Backstreet Boys and N'Sync, to become one of America's biggest 'boy' bands. Maybe, therefore, being a 40-something adult, I found a lot of the songs too noisy, with too many different voices vying for prominence. It's an album that is very dance orientated, with songs like "It's Real" and "If You Really" getting the bpm moving. Personally, I preferred the close harmonies on pop songs like "Thank You" - a classic if ever there was one - and "Who Do You Love?". "You Are" sees the boys move into a gospel affair that really doesn't work, while I tired very quickly of "Sold Out Believer". Hard to decide my overall opinion of this album. In some respects, the pop side of things are good, but I certainly took a dislike to the dance number. Perhaps I'll sit on the fence with this one. 5/10 (August 2001)
THE KATINAS : The Katinas. (Gotee : 6694 4728042 2)
The Katinas are 5 of 12 children who have been singing together since early childhood. The brothers, (John, Joe, James, Jesse, and Sam), grew up on the tropical Polynesian island of American Samoa. First up, I think that this album is a definite improvement on their 2001 release, "Destiny". The boys seem to have settled for a smooth groove style, with plenty of luscious harmonies standing out in songs like "One More Time" and "Sing Me A Song". "Takin' Me Higher" is a funky affair while the rap of "Nothin' But…." Briefly revisits the "Destiny" style. The guys have toured with the Winans, Andrae Crouch, and many other top names in the world of CCM, and this album should see them climbing the ladder of gospel success. 8/10. (October 2002)
KATO : Seasider. (Private CD Recording £7.99 from: PO Box 61, St Annes, Lancs, FY8 1SS).
Remember the band K? Well, in Star Trek terms, KATO are the next generation, with Captain Keith Ayling still at the helm. "Seasider" is a seven track Brit-pop mini-album that sounds more like the Charlatans than, say Oasis, but with a distinctive Kato twist. "Superhero" is chart material and opens things up with driving guitars and posing the question; "If your hero (Jesus) was 2 9 and living in your home town, what would you say to him"? "Grow" is very similar, but "Into Your Hands" is packed full of energy and I can see this one going down well live. "The Waves Are High" is a slower number that still works well, but "Walking on Water" doesn't quite have the same class about it. Bands may come and go but Keith Ayling and his troops continue to play where others fear to tread. 8/10. (August 1997)
KATO : Home Movie. (Bigskymusic : BSM1106CD)
£12 from : : Keith Ayling, PO Box 61, St. Anne's, Lancashire, England, FY8 1SS. I can't remember the first time that I saw Keith Ayling fronting the now defunct band, K. What impressed me most was the way he led some fine musicians into delivering God's word, through popular music, to young people. A few years down the line, the group name and personnel may have changed but Keith Ayling shows no sign of letting up in his beliefs. This acoustic album features songs, old and new, with a few re-mixes thrown in for good measure. Favourites like "My Imaginary Friend" and "Die For You" now sound like Crowded House, and stand out really well in their new style. "Can't Sleep" features some mellow keyboards, and "Breathe" is another top tune. "So Alive" sounds as good, if not better, than those restrained type of songs that bands like Super Furry Animals and Suede are currently touting about, and "Change" finishes proceedings as a crowning glory. It's not quite perfect but "Home Movie" gives a brilliant snapshot of just who Kato are but, by no means, is it the complete picture. 9/10. (October 1999)
KATO : Welcome to My World. (Elevation : Eled00130)
A look back at the previous NFN reviews of Kato (and K) material will show that I've a lot of time for frontman Keith Ayling and his band. For longer than I care to remember, they have been leading the line of british pop in the world of CCM - albeit living in the shadow of Delirious? ICC's new label Elevation have finally given the guys the record deal they've been waiting for and "Welcome to My World" is the result. The album takes a few tried and trusted songs from the Kato back catalogue and mixes them seamlessly with terrific new stuff. Produced by Dave Lynch (Toploader) we see "Welcome" open the album with an almighty crash of pop power that is electrifying to the soul. "Know What You Believe" is just the same, while "Die For You" has grown up so much it is out of this world. The slower "Strong" sounds a little like the Manic's, and "Trust Me" - although lighter - shows that Keith's writing, too, continues to grow. Think I've said enough? Tough! There's still the quite brilliant "Can't Sleep" and the anthemic "#25" that is truly God inspired. To Keith, Mick, Rick, & Mike, this is a great album, and Bless you for being Kato. 10/10. (May 2001, Album of the Month)
KATO : Songs To Help You Survive. (Elevation : ELE00630)
The second release from Kato on ICC's Elevation label, sees the boys trying to emulate their brilliant debut "Welcome to My World". This time, all the songs are brand new and there's the addition of strings to accompany the bands acknowledged guitar sound. That makes for a sometimes confusing listen to someone like me who's grown up with the previous material. Keith Ayling's lyrics are as sound as ever but it may take fans a little time to get used to this new, more mature sound. "Don't Let Me Fall" is a song that I can readily relate to. When times are dark and things look hopeless, you often cry to God and ask Him not to let you fall from Him. "Butterfly" then kicks in with an attacking thrash of guitar mayhem, as does the wildly fantastic "Won't Back Down". Where full use of the orchestral music is used, "Skydiver" rates as a melodic treat for the listener. "Welcome…" contained a few songs that I was already familiar with, whereas this album is full of new stuff. The band are still as hot, still doing the job, and still producing the goods. 9/10. (October 2002)
KATY RAY : Dreaming For Something More. (Parachute : PMD037)
Australian, Katy Ray has appeared at the infamous Parachute Festival and cites her major influences as K T Tunstall and Coldplay, amongst others. The tracks on this album are all written or co-written by her, and deal with subjects such as failure, survival, hopes, and dreams. "Yesterday's" has a bit of a latin feel to it but I can't say that the song did anything for me. "Dreaming" has a bluesy feel to it but I'd got to mid-album before anything really made me sit up and take note. "Rain Drops" is a smashing song and by far the best song to appear. I really like Katy's vocals on this one and it begins a mid-album renaissance. "Hey Sister" and "Don't Let Me Go" are simpler songs than the previous ones, and they are so much easier to listen to. How many times do we ask God for some time of peace in our lives? Play track 10, called "Peace" and be transported to that very place. It's an acoustic prayer and works well. There's plenty of promise from Katy Ray but, for now, I think that the best is yet to come. 5/10. (June 2007)
KEES KRAAYENOORD : Speak the Words – The Best of… (Kingsway : KWCD3176)
Dutch Worship Leader, songwriter and speaker Kees Kraayenoord, has released 7 previous albums and is quoted as saying “When I was 17, I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do in life; singing, writing and speaking to help people worship.” Well, if this 16 track compilation is anything to go buy, he’s certainly on the right path. Smashing songs such as the opening ‘Jesus, More’ and ‘For the Letting Go’ are just two early highlights of this very enjoyable album. ‘Back to You’ is a terrific, guitar driven song, co written with Arend Jansen and Henk Pool, and worth an instant replay. Kees shares writing credits with Chris Eaton on the ballad ‘Hold On to You forever’, whilst you can simply soak in the beauty of ‘Living Water’. Kees certainly has his own contemporary style, but just once or twice I thought that his songs reminded me of Matt Redman. ‘For the Cross’ for instance was one. ‘Heaven’s King’ tells of our love for Jesus, while the self explanatory titled ‘God Will Send His Angels’ is just full of power. Take a chance, and find out more about Kees Kraayenoord with this fantastic release. 10/10 (June 2011, Album of the Month)
KEITH & KRYSTYN GETTY : Awaken the Dawn. (Kingsway : KMCD3075)
This cd is a "new collection of hymns and songs" from the aforementioned husband and wife duo. Keith is certainly no stranger to the modern hymn genre, having collaborated very successfully with Stuart Townend on probably the most inspirational hymn of modern time, "In Christ Alone". The songs on this cd very much follow in that mould being eminently singable, full of biblical truth and, more importantly, will work in any church regardless of the type of worship band or music group or instrumentation available. The style is contemporary and, as one would expect, has an Irish flavour to it. The album starts with the dreamy and ethereal "Hear, O Israel" before flowing into the more uptempo "Come, People of the Risen King". It is a great start with the latter song being an excellent example of Keith and Kristyn's style. The slightly American influenced "Creation Sings the Fathers Song" follows on before the album turns more intimate with "Still, My Soul, Be Still". It is a fine album, though the songs do not seem to be as instantly memorable as I would like - I've had several listens and I haven't found myself humming any of them yet. However, this album provides some solid and robust modern hymns and fulfils its promise admirably. 8/10 Robin Thompson (November 2009)
KEITH & KRISTYN GETTY : Joy – An Irish Christmas. (Kingsway : KWCD3291)
Keith & Kristyn Getty have enjoyed great success over the past few years with their Celtic/Irish tunes. This Christmas album sees them mix original compositions with well known carols. As you might expect, there are lots of fiddles playing on some of the tracks, and the opening ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ get quite a Celtic treatment. The latter includes the ‘Greengrass Reel’ and it’s hard not to tap your feet along to that one. The couple’s version of ‘What Child Is This?’ is a really joyful sound, while the ‘Magnificat’ is sung in a wistful style, with breathtaking harp and whistle sounds. Mid-album, things quieten down somewhat, and the album becomes more subdued. However, ‘Carol of the Bells’ is a pleasant song, and ‘Joy to the World’ repeats that great Celtic sound of earlier tracks. It’s definitely an a Christmas album with a difference, and that’s what makes it so appealing. 8/10 (December 2011)
KEITH & KRYSTEN GETTY : The New Hymn Makers – Speak O Lord. (Kingsway : KMCD3260)
Keith & Krysten Getty have become popular hymn makers of recent times. ‘In Christ Alone’, written with Stuart Townend, has been a staple diet of churches throughout the Uk and beyond. On this album, all the songs get the traditional church treatment with recordings made at Coventry Cathedral and All Saints, Strand, Manchester. You might think that these modern hymns might struggle in their conversion, but that’s simply not the case. The more traditional organ sound simply envelopes each song whilst the choirs sing their hearts out for the Lord. As well as ‘In Christ Alone’, ‘Oh To See the Dawn’ is a wonderful song. It contains some superb counterparts between the male and female choristers. ‘You’re the Word of God the Father’ is also very pleasing to the ear, and the same can be said of many others. Tracks include ‘Joy Has Dawned’, ‘Speak O Lord’, and ‘Jesus Is Lord’. In all, quite an engaging listen. 7/10. (February 2012)
KEITH & KRISTYN GETTY : Hymns for the Christian Life.   (Gettymusic.com : 51392).
Moving to Nashville has brought Keith & Kristyn Getty a new education in creativity. They have also been thrilled to work with Charlie Peacock as their producer on this album of modern hymns for the church. The usual Celtic pipes and whistles introduce Kristyn’s vocals on ‘Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed’. What a glorious song this is for the Easter season, and a passionate chorus, declaring, the risen Christ. I laughed at the title of the second song, ‘Oh, How Good It Is’. It is good! In fact, it’s really enjoyable and you just want to join in. Moya Brennan takes lead vocals on the lament, ‘A Mother’s Prayer’, and Ricky Skaggs joins the duo for the catchy ‘Simple Living’. I’ve always enjoyed the sound of a traditional reel, and ‘The Village Reel’ is no exception. It’s joyful and musically, very pleasing to the ear. There’s certainly nothing wrong with the lyrical or vocal content of the rest of the songs but, mid-album, I wasn’t quite as impressed with ‘The Perfect Wisdom of Our God’ or ‘Kyrie Eleison’. Country star, Alison Krauss is the next star to join Keith & Kristyn. This time, it’s a wonderful version of ‘In Christ Alone’. There’s also an uptempo outing for ‘Nothing But The Blood’, complete with fiddles and pipes making it one that you just want to dance to. I’ve got to be honest and say that I prefer the more uptempo numbers but I’m sure others will disagree. This is a lovely album, and well worth your hard earned cash.   9/10. (April 2013)
KEITH & KRYSTEN GETTY : Facing A Task Unfinished. (Getty Music : B01EJQ0FIC)
Facing a Task Unfinished is the latest album from pre-eminent modern hymn writers, Keith and Kristyn Getty. The album, which champions congregational singing and mission, follows the radical example of the hymn “Facing a Task Unfinished,” rewritten from its original 1931 version, where its urgent call propelled individuals, families and churches to global witness earlier this year. This studio album features the Getty’s band, live congregational singing, and fresh global sounds as well as guest appearances by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci, Chris Tomlin and artists from around the world. If you’re familiar with the Getty’s music, then there’ll be no surprises to the Celtic style of this release. The formula of using traditional pipes and whistles with both acoustic and electronic instruments have served them well in the past, so why change? The title track opens with a bright musical burst, and Krysten’s unmistakable voice is pure delight. Pounding drums are the backbone of “May the People’s Praise You.” The whole song sound so joyful, it brought a great smile to my face, when listening. Ladysmith Black Mambazo feature heavily on “O Children Come”, but I wasn’t so impressed by this song. However, the feeling was quite the opposite, listening to the bouncy sound of “Lift High the Name of Jesus.” It has to be my favourite track, and I’d love to hear it sung in my church. Of course, there’s also a few quieter numbers, such as the powerful “The Lord is My Salvation” and the prayerful “He Will Hold Me Fast.” At nine and a half minutes long, the instrumental “Beyond These Shores” is a jumble of sounds. To me, it was no more than a band jamming session and I found it quite tiresome. It’s another solid album from the Getty’s and one that will help to keep them in the forefront of modern worship. 8/10. (August 2016)
KEITH GREEN : Gold. (Kingsway : EMID2616)
This month's conundrum is ... how do you begin to review a CD that opens with the track that opened your eyes to the fact that Christian music goes way beyond Hymns Ancient & Modern? This double CD collection pulls together Keith's albums "Songs for the Shepherd" and "No Compromise" and throws in a couple of bonus tracks for good measure, opening CD1 with the version of Psalm 23 that prompted that initial question. There are some great songs here, including the aforementioned " The Lord is my Shepherd", his beautiful rendition of wife, Melody's, great hymn "There is a Redeemer", and the slightly rockier opener to CD2 "Soften Your Heart", and Keith's amazing heart for worship shines through in every song. Musically, however, time hasn't been so kind, and the whole thing sounds rather lightweight compared to what we have come to expect from Christian releases. But that shouldn't detract too much from what is, at heart, an amazing collection of heartfelt, worshipful recordings from a musician that gave so much in so short a time. 7/10 David Cooper (June 2005)
KELLI WILLIAMS : Kelli Williams. (Word : 701964760X).
In her home country of America, Kelli won three consecutive times on Ed McMahon's Star Search 1993' and landed the crown of Teen vocalist - which led to her recording contract. While she credits the likes of Whitney Houston as an important influence, she certainly does have her own style. In parts, that she is a very capable and talented gospel singer. She has some sweet vocals that are best used on tracks such as "You're Never Alone" and the summery "I Wish", but wails intolerably on the big production numbers like "Counting on You". "Thank you" leads us into an Eternal style dance number, the style of which is reprised on track 6 "Holy Spirit". Kelli Williams can only improve with age and she looks likely to be around for some time to come. 6/10 (September 1997)
KELLY MINTER : Good Day. (Word: 080688607326)
The debut album from singer/songwriter Kelly Minter explores the basic Christian themes of faith, hope and love through a solid sonic foundation of rollicking guitars, insightful lyrics and raw vocals. Imagine the rocky Jennifer Knapp being crossed with the more restrained Sarah Masen and you'll get a good idea of what Miss Minter produces. "Believer" is a self assured song that proclaims her as a "Believer" and even though the song is quite repetitive, it's one of those you find whizzing through your head for days."On My Way Back Home" is nice and bouncy, and "Speak to Me" is really good. Listening to Jesus and hearing Him say "Return to Me" is just what track 8 is all about and it's delivered in a really uplifting style. Kelly sounds good enough to make a real difference in the world of female CCM and the lovely "Whatever I Do" is a great, worshipful ending to the album. 8/10. (June 2001)
KENDALL PAYNE : Jordan's Sister. (Capitol : 8517712 5)
The press back up tells us that Kendall Payne's music has some of the jaggedness of Alanis Morisette but with a far more positive message. To be honest, I wish I'd written that as it really goes some way in summing up this album. As for the positive message, you've really got to get deep into Kendall's way of thinking before you even attempt to understand what she's trying to say in her songs. Complicated lyrics? Well, they were, for me. The overall sound is, undoubtedly, akin to Miss Morisette and prime example is "Supermodel", a little ditty about, er…supermodels. Sadly, Miss Payne is a couple of years out of date with her style of music and, to be honest, it shows. "It's Not the Time" is not a raunchy and lends itself to some good hooks but it's all far too late. By far, the best songs come at the end and in a different style to the rest of the album. "Never Leave" is sung with such feeling and a cry for God to that it really shows the mediocrity of the previous tracks. Finally, "Fatherless at 14" looks at what a father, looking down from heaven, might say to his grieving daughter - simply terrific. Unfortunately, three good songs don't make up for the previous ten. 4/10. (June 2000)
KENDALL PAYNE : Grown. (Fierce! : FIERC13)
Already owning Kendall Payne's excellent 1999 CD 'Jordan's Sister', I was pleased to receive this follow-up for review, all of six years later. Kendall's story is one of a brilliant debut 100,000 selling album supported by highly acclaimed personal appearances, a Dove award in 2001 for 'Best Alternative Rock Album', then dropped by a changing record label management who inexplicably did not see her as part of their plans. Here Kendall is back on our CD players - and what an excellent album, more introspective and serious than the first but with a strong character of its own. A bonus is the good sound quality. Those familiar with Sarah Masen will find similarities here, but there is something special about Kendall's voice, perhaps best heard on the opener "Scratch". It's easy to understand why this became a firm favourite with audiences when Kendall supported the Delirious tour on their 2001 D:Tension tour and it is possibly the stand-out track. It is followed by the excellent 'Rollercoaster' - more up-tempo but similarly well arranged and delivered. The remainder of the album remains very good indeed, with best tracks probably "The Moon", "Stand" and "Twenty three". Worth a visit to www.kendallpayne.com, where you can sample the first five tracks. But be warned - you'll probably be tempted to buy! 9/10 Dave Deeks (May 2005, Album of the Month)
KERRIE ROBERTS : Time For the Show. (Reunion : 02341-0170-2)
Billed by many as “the next big thing”, Kerrie Roberts returns to the scene with her second album. At only 35 minutes long, the album is a little short on content, but packed into that time are ten chart orientated pop/dance tunes. Voice wise, Kerrie sounds like a mix between Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. On the title track, it’s pure pop all the way, as she tells that it’s time for us all to show the world who Jesus really is. There’s a more dance beat to ‘Sing’, while ‘What Are You Afraid Of’ gets more of a bouncy beat. Slower songs like the mid-paced ‘Middle of It All’ shows Kerrie’s vocals off to their best, while ‘Masterpiece’ is my pick of the album. It’s aimed at people who don’t necessarily like the way they look – the ones who dream of looking like the top movie stars. The song tells them sensitively that each person is a masterpiece. It’s a pro Jesus album all the way through, and finishes with a belting ballad called ‘Like Jesus Loves’. Indeed, no-one loves like Jesus loves. Kerrie gets writing credits on all the songs, so it’s good to know that she’s not just another conveyer belt singer. Let’s hope that she continues to impress in the future. 8/10. (June 2013)
KESWICK MINISTRIES : Power to Change. (Elevation : 2178D)
The powerful worship and bible teaching have been distinguishing marks of the Keswick Convention over many years. This CD shares many moments of praise and worship from 2016 featuring worship leaders Stuart Townend, Steve James, and Colin Webster. The classic John Newton hymn “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” gets a new treatment from Webster, and the result swings along quite nicely. Keswick stalwarts will, no doubt, have come to expect Celtic led songs from Townend, and “May the Peoples Praise you” will not disappoint. Similarly, that sound is repeated, complete with various pipes on “For the Cause,” and it’s quite enjoyable. I always appreciate live recordings were you can here the worshippers singing alongside the leader, and this is the case with this recording. Somehow, it draws you in to worship along with them. “Glorious Day” is a big number in terms of sound and instruments used. At various points, it sounds as if every instrument available has been thrown into the mix. A number of these songs were new to me, and I found “Living Waters” really lifted my spirits, especially with the trumpet solo. Townend returns with a dour sounding “We Believe” before there’s a rendition of “Amazing Grace” sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Neither were very enthralling. Whether you were at Keswick for these recordings, or not, this album brings over a good selection of songs to enjoy. 7/10. (March 2017)
KESWICK PRAISE VOLUME 15 (ICC : ICCD48130)
There seems to be no shortage of 'live' praise and worship albums being released these days, especially in the run up to Christmas. Although they appear to sell well, I often wonder why, and my cynical self says 'Well, that's why they release them!'. To me live worship just doesn't transfer to CD, and so it puzzles me that any record label should expect to sell beyond the people who were there, unless there was something different, a definite buzz (such as Hillsongs), or the songs are new. Here is a case in point. If you were at Keswick this year, it was probably a wonderful worship occasion, but unfortunately what comes across is very mediocre. When the full band plays, the musicians are good, but there are too many very moderate to slow songs/hymns which make the album drag. Some, such as 'I Will Sing The Wondrous Story' seem to be with only piano accompaniment, which is nice for quiet contemplative worship, but comes over here as Mrs Brown playing in the church hall - with a few more people than usual! Okay, I might be missing the point, you say, and we certainly can't forget to mention the wonderful worshipful words of this collection, that there's a good mix of ancient and modern here, and that the album ends with a great solo performance from Jayne Lewis on 'We Bow Down'. More solo items could have benefited this album, in my opinion. A final note - there's a misprint in the credits which had me amused. Martin Smith's 'Shout To The North' is credited to Curious? Music! A Freudian slip? Or have Delirious? played Keswick yet?! 5/10 Julie Lord (December 2000)
KESWICK PRAISE 16 (ICCD55130)
I know very little about Keswick Praise apart from being aware of it's existence. However, if this album is typical of praise events held there previously, and I was visiting that part of the country, I would make a determined effort to go along. This is an album with a good mixture of traditional and new songs like, "Be Thou My Vision", "Come Lord Jesus", "Tell Out My soul" and "My Jesus, My Saviour". Other songs I particularly liked were "Break Thou the Bread of life", the rousing Kevin Prosch song "He Is the Lord", "Light of the World" (Matt Redman), and "We Have Sung Songs of Victory", a quiet, prayerful number. The vocals and music are very good throughout and it's a nice CD to add to your collection. 7/10. Pam Robinson. (April 2002)
KESWICK PRAISE 18. (ICC : ICCD76530)
Steve James, John Risbridger and Colin Webster are the three leaders on Volume 18 of the Keswick Praise series. Whether it just hit me at the right time I don't know, but this album of well known contemporary songs and old fashioned hymns was just so refreshing. Imagine a mighty church congregation singing to music played by a very competent band. That, in essence, is what you have. But, how alive that congregation sounds! "O For A Thousand Tongues" is sung so brightly and "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" is superb. The version of "Lion of Judah" is certainly the best I've heard since the original Robin Mark one, many moons ago - it's filled with power and vigour. There's also a heartfelt rendition of "Pierced" which is beautifully delivered, and "What A Friend We Have in Jesus". One of the best praise albums around. 9/10. (February 2004)
KESWICK PRAISE 19. (ICC : ICCD82130)
No shocks here I'm afraid. If you've collected any of the previous 18 Keswick praise albums, you've got the idea of what this ones all about. The worship leaders are Sam Chaplin, Steve James and John Risbridger, and I wonder if it's the same Steve James who released a cracking "Voices in the Desert" album some years ago? The musicians are as good as any you'll hear on this type of album, and the songs are all fairly good. "Crown Him with Many Crown", "Holy Holy holy", and "How Deep is The Father's Love" all have that singalong quality that raises your heart a beat or two. What follows, is more of the same, never straying far from well known songs. "Open the Eyes of My Heart" and "Lost in Wonder" are just two more of themany songs that make this album a worthy addition to your Keswick collection. 7/10 (March 2005)
KESWICK PRAISE : Precious Moments. (ICC0918A)
Being a bit of a 'purely music' buff, when this DVD arrived it meant either sitting at the computer to watch it, or finally giving in and buying a DVD player! In the event, the latter found me suitably equipped with a cheapie (amazing for the price!) and the review session began. This is the first DVD in the 'Keswick Praise series', until now CD only. Here we have eleven hymns from the annual Keswick Convention - evidently the world's longest running Bible Convention, now in its 128th year - with beautiful scenes from the Cumbrian area, well chosen to match the mood of each hymn. A pity that there is no way of identifying the scenes - although it is possible, 'Songs of Praise' style, to select the captions for the words being sung. Such is the clarity of the voices however, that much of the time the captions are an unnecessary distraction unless you want to sing along. For me, the two stand-out tracks are 'The power of your love', and 'Be thou my vision' - which includes powerful drumming set against equally powerful sunrise/sunset shots. In the main, arrangements and performances are very good. Weak spots include a 'just the ladies' from the worship leader on 'Crown Him with many crowns' (unnecessary on a recording, and irritating on repeat listens) and voices lagging behind the piano at the beginning of 'Tell out my soul'. It is a pity that details like these should find their way onto a commercial product. Overall however, an uplifting DVD. Check out Keswick Praise CD titles on www.iccrecords.com. 7/10 Dave Deeks (January 2006)
Keswick Reflections – A soundtrack for Your Devotion. (Elevation : ELE1618D)
Here we have a twelve track CD of Keswick Convention favourites set to contemporary instrumental arrangements. These range from traditional examples including 'Be thou my vision' and 'Crown Him with many crowns', to more recent ones as typified by 'In Christ alone' and 'King of Kings, Majesty'. No 'band' as such is credited, but in the small print we see that Mark Edwards has played a major role in proceedings. As to be expected with Mark involved, the musicianship is excellent (including Lucy Payne's cello playing – beautiful) as are the arrangements and Dan Wheeler's overall production. So also is the sound quality, mastered by Phatfish's Luke Fellingham at his Luna Sound studio. It really is difficult to pick a 'standout' track, so I'm not going to try. The one slight criticism I have arrangements-wise is that some are allowed to build a bit more than appropriate for a 'devotional' context – one example being 'Blessing and honour (Ancient of Days)'. Whilst all very enjoyable, I tried the CD out as quiet background music for a 'Sanctuary' service I was leading at our church and found that it was necessary to miss out one or two tracks as they wouldn't suit the overall atmosphere. So, an excellent release – but perhaps a little too interesting/varied musically for its intended purpose as a 'soundtrack for devotion'! 9/10 Dave Deeks. (November 2011)
LIVE WORSHIP from the Keswick Convention : The Whole of Life for Christ. (Elevation : ELE2120D)
As it says on the sleeve notes, this year’s live worship “overflows with wonderful melodies and powerful biblical truths. With worship leaders Lewis Green, Steve James and Stuart Townend, thousands of voices sing out to a magnificent God and express their desire to live The Whole of Life For Christ.” And, really, after listening to the album, you can’t argue with that. There’s no surprises in the format, as music is provided by a competent band of musicians. If you’ve never been to a Keswick live worship event, then think of BBC TV’s Songs of Praise, when light, pop sounds are given to both traditional and modern worship alike. I can never resist a smile when Stuart Townend takes to the stage as I just know that I’m going to hear the Celtic sound of fiddles and whistles. And, on “This is Amazing Grace”, I’m not disappointed. “It is Well With My Soul” and “Take My Life and Let It Be” both sound marvellous, and those gathered help to lift the songs well above average. David and Yvonne Lyon give a first class performance on “All For You”, with the latter’s vocals sounding extremely good. The collective sound of the worshippers comes over well but, perhaps, it’s at its best on “There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood.”. Recordings like this are something of a throwback to simpler times and will still appeal to many. If that’s your taste n worship, this will suit you perfectly. 8/10. (April 2016)
KEVIN MAX : Stereotype Be. (Forefront Records).
So, as the first of the solo projects from the members of DC Talk hits the streets, I wondered just what sort of sound Kevin Max was going to produce. Thankfully, although there are DC traces, the album is different enough from what he's well known for to stand up on it's own. In fact, my initial listen had me thinking back to those heady days when Steve Taylor delighted everyone with his inane sense of humour and great delivery. "Return of the Singer" is one such song that kicks off proceedings, complete with middle eastern instruments defining their own way. "World music, progressive rock and pop" say the sleeve notes and that's quite true. It's a mix that works well on songs like "Angel With No Wings" and "Alycen". Max's vocal strengths are tested to the full on "Dead End Moon" and this has quickly become my favourite track. "I Don't Belong" is another strong number while "Be" left me rather cold. "Her Game", "Deconstructing Venus" and "I Went Over…" didn't set my soul alight either but, as a DC Talk fan, I guess they may grow on me. 7/10. (October 2001)
KEVIN MAX : The Blood. (Fierce! : 829569803927)
To be honest, I've not found much to enjoy in Kevin Max's releases since the demise of DC Talk. He's not really settled to any one particular style and this new release sees him try something else. In his own words this collection contains "stylized adaptations" of gospel classics - not that I'd heard of many of them! He starts things off with one verse of 'The Old Rugged Cross', sung in the style of Iggy Pop. It drones on with a total lack of feeling and it's a real blessing when it stops. Then, we get DC Talk back together again for a version of Prince's 'The Cross'. To be fair, and as a DC fan, I wish they hadn't bothered. I think that it's Toby Mac taking the lead with Kevin Max in the background, but the result is pretty poor. 'Run For A long Time' is pedestrian gospel blues while 'I Know His Blood Can Make Me Whole' is just painful to listen too. It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, but when Amy Grant and Vince Gill join him for 'Up Above My Head' I really shuddered. This is just awful. Even the foot tappin' beat can't rescue it. What possessed Kevin Max to record this album is beyond me, and I can't see many DC Talk fans enjoying it. Towards the end, he does pull things together when he duets with Erica Campbell on 'People Get Ready' but by then, the damage is done. 2/10. (July 2008)
THE KEVIN PROSCH BAND : "Kiss the Son". (Kingsway Music).
Kevin Prosch visits our country on such regularity that he's almost been 'adopted' by the British worshipping churches. Here's a live album that has nine tracks, with some of them lasting well over nine minutes! Listening, I asked myself the question; "Would this CD aid my own, personal worship?". Sadly, the answer was a big "No". Kevin's gravel laden voice takes you through some very repetitive and mundane numbers. However, the epic "Lord of the Dance" is particularly good for half of it's twelve minute duration, while the tasty "Holding On" is far too exceptional for this poor show. "Revelation" is the final track and I was really sunk by the time the whale noises appeared! The live worship event may have been worth while, but it fails to cross onto CD. Sorry. 4/10. (October 1996)
KEVIN PROSCH & BRYN HAWORTH : The Finer Things in Life. (Kingsway : KMCD2028).
This is a collection of songs that use the minimum of instrumental backing, often letting just a couple of guitars stringing the words along. I suppose it could be classed as Folk/Roots but it would be difficult to confine the album to just one style. Prosch leads off with a toe-tapping number called "I Need To Sing". This is followed by an instrumental duet which, although repetitive, is excellent. Not sure what Kevin was doing when writing the title track but it includes such lyrics as "Like the smell of electricity, you're not seen but you are there". Bryn Haworth excels on various mandolins and slide guitar but I did start to get bored with the simple sounds. Indeed, by the third listen, my score had gone down two points. One of the few albums that I've disliked the more I've listened. 6/10 before it falls further. (December 1997)
KIDS COLLECTION. 20 More Songs for Kids. (ICC Records)
Hang on. What's this? A punk song on a children's album?! You had better believe it. The song in question "Stop, Look and Listen", is written by Steve Morgan-Gurr, and just about sums up the spirit of the whole album. Having fun is definitely the key here, which you can gleam from glancing at some of the contributors to this collection. Capt Alan Price pens several numbers, including the first track "La La La La La Jesus is our King", which is one of the strongest and one of my favourites, as it Dave Godfrey's "I Love Ya". I can't really think of any bad thing to say about this album really as it is strong in every respect; the songs are excellent, they are performed well, and the production is very much of the quality you would expect from ICC. In fact, it makes me wonder how the same people could produce the disappointment that was "Kids Praise 2003". If you've got kids, buy this, if not, buy it anyway and have a laugh! 9/10 Robin Thompson (November 2003)
KIDS WORSHIP : Ultimate Collection.   (Integrity : B01GNT20X6)
Here’s 20 songs that have been especially chosen to help kids worship. With the exception of one track from both Cathy Burton and Dave Griffiths, there’s no credits given to the lead vocal, and this led me to remember those horrible Top of the Pops albums done by session singers in the 70’s. The only change here is the appearance of children’s voices, backing most of the adult performances. A lot of the songs remain faithful to the original recordings, but the tacky dance feel given to “History Maker” should never be heard again. “Gods’ Great Dance Floor” and “Happy Day” start the ball rolling, and are followed by a competent version of “My Lighthouse.” As well as singing, lots of children cheer enthusiastically on the “Happy Song” – I guess,  because they ARE happy! “Freedom” has a gospel edge to it, with some off-putting hollering thrown in, whilst I found “Nothing is Impossible” to be rather repetitive in delivery. I’d not heard of the song “Dance, Dance” before, but I thought that it was quite infectious, and one that kids would really love. “I Am Free” is retro punk, with thrashing guitars, but  my favourite track has to be “Soul On Fire.” Everything seems to click musically on this song, and the choir sounds spot on. For once, the kids sound as if they’re meant to be there and not just added into the sound for good measure. All in all, it’s quite a decent selection of songs, with just one or two exceptions. I’d aim the appropriate age range somewhere around 8-12 years, otherwise the listening kids might want to hear the original artists instead.   7/10. (October 2016)
KIERRA "KIKI" SHEARD : This is Me. (EMI : EGD32483)
When this album was released in the US, it rocketed to the top of the Billboard Gospel Album Charts, and entered at #3 in the Christian Album Charts. She is just 18 years old and is the daughter of Rev. J Drew Sheard, and Karen Clark-Sheard, a founding member of Gospel legends the Clark Sisters. The sound is unmistakably urban RnB with a little hip-hop thrown in the mixture. Her producers have worked with the likeso f Mary Mary and Destiny's Child, so there's little wonder I thought that a couple of the tracks sounded vey much like Beyonce Knowles. Not that I'm a great fan of this genre, but I did think that the opening three songs did stand up well to current chart material of a similar sound. But, for me, the album runs out of steam before it really gets going, and one song seemed to aimlessly blend into another. She says that she writes from her own experiences of life. That she may do, but the resulting songs, on the whole, are very limp. 4/10. (December 2006)
KIM BOYCE : As I Am. (Diadem/Word : 92193-1009-2)
It's almost 10 years since I bought Kim's debut album. A former beauty queen, it was quite a novelty to hear this pretty young thing sing about Jesus. Several albums later, Kim Boyce has matured into a fine songstress without ever really hitting the same heights as Amy Grant. From the opening "You" and it's good to be alive feeling, she presents 10 songs from a self prospective. At times, Kim is reminiscent of an early Madonna and the catchy "I Fall in Love" confirms that ideal. She duets with husband Gary Koreiba on "Amazing Love..." and sings passionately for the Lord on "The Communion Song". Kim gives consistantly good albums but there always does seem to be a little something missing. 7/10. (May 1997)
KIM HILL : Surrounded byMercy. (Spirit-Led Records)
Kim Hill is one of those singers who's albums have, so far escaped my attention. True, she's featured on many compilations but this the first time I've had the pleasure of just hearing her. It's a live worship album and features 12 songs. Kim gives everything in her heart to songs like "Born to Worship" and "Famous One", as they sound the glory of God to the fore. "Glory Unto You" gets a bit out of hand and you lose the continuity a little. However, Kim soon pulls things round with "Your Mercy" and the worshipful "Love You More". A competent, if not outstanding, release, and you can see why she's so popular in her own country. 7/10. (December 2003)
KIM HILL : Broken Things. Authentic : 8204252)
Renowned for her leadership at women's conferences and events, it's more than 10 years since Kim Hill last recorded a rock album. But, she returns to her roots with this offering which is very reminiscent of Sheryl Crow, in style. "Here Inside of Me" is about an amazing God, living in you, and it's a strong opening track. "You Don't Belong Here" is a very interesting song. If I read it right, it asks if the likes of gay people and divorcees should really go to church. I'm sure there will be a few comments about that one. "Blame Somebody Else" asks you to take a look at yourself while "Clean" says that God can wash you clean, no matter what you've done. Kim gets writing credits on a few of the songs, but there's also contributions from the likes of Margaret Becker, Jill Phillips, and Kate Miner. Pity is, Kim makes them all sound very much alike. Her vocal range is never really tested, and it makes for a very tired feeling collection. 5/10. (June 2007)
KIM WALKER SMITH : Still Believe. (Elevatin : ELE 1817D)
This is the second solo album from Jesus culture’s Kim Walker Smith, recorded during a night of live worship at the Cascade Theater in Redding, CA. There are no credits or song lyrics on the one page cover, but I’m led to believe that most of the songs are originals. There are only 9 tracks in total, but some of them are quite lengthy, so running time is in excess of 60 minutes. ‘Alive’ starts things off, and this is a belter! At times, the backing music sounds a little like a well known Killers’ track, but it’s an absorbing song. With all the press releases highlighting the fact that it was recorded during a night of live worship, I was rather disappointed with the content overall. For sure, Kim has quite a strong voice but I found very few of the songs having any real pull for collective worship. Indeed, songs like ‘Waste It All’, and ‘Healing Oil’ sounded more like performance orientated numbers that anything else. ‘The King Is Here’ is rather repetitive, and both ‘Spirit Break Out/Spontaneous’ and the aforementioned ‘Healing Oil’ were just monotonous. The audience are obviously loving it all but I found them rather tedious to listen to. Despite all the hype, a rather flat collection of songs. 5/10. (May 2013)
KINDLE : Screaming Serenades. (Alliance : 1902402)
Following their recent successful tour with Kato, I was interested to hear just how this, relatively, new band would perform. Pre-album material wasn't too impressive and, on first hearing, neither was the finished product. But, I'm rarely one to review on just one listen, so I persevered. And, I'm pleased to say, I'm glad I did. Simon Parkin's vocals almost snarl the words at you and I still don't like the opening "Every Little Thing You Do". "Don't Fly Away" becomes more tuneful and this is the track that I think deserves more airplay. Not sure what happens during the album but, halfway through, it steps up a gear in class. "Live For Heaven" finds this Radiohead sounding band in more mellow mood, as does "Someone to Live For". Then, the brilliant "Step on Up" becomes almost anthemic in it's delivery. Predominently a guitar band, these guys have had great backing from a whole host of people in making this a solid, if not excellent, debut. 7/10. (July 2002)
KING OF KINGS ASSEMBLY : "Worship in Jerusalem". (Kingsway Music)
After some of the music I'd listened to this month, this came as a welcome relief. Praise and worship that I could really use myself, and enjoy. Don't expect any sort of Worldwide Message Tribe stuff here, this is pure 'old fashioned' p&w of a powerful kind. Sung by a congregation from Jerusalem, there's slow meditational music, as well as up tempo numbers to clap along too. Yes, I know, it's not the sort of thing I'd usually listen too, but I'm glad I did. 7/10. (October 1996)
KINGDOM : Redeemer. (Dream Records)
This CD leaps from your speakers like a caged ferret sensing daylight – a massive opening riff, buzzsaw guitars, fabulous chorus, grinding bass, solid drumming: what’s not to like? And then it lifts into the intro of Track 2. Surely they can’t keep this up? Well, they pretty much can – whilst they dip things a bit in the middle of the CD they then go for the big finish: the anthemic “Always You” and radio-friendly version of “God Of Fire”. Lyrically it’s praise & worship (I get so fed up with asking myself “who’s this ‘you’ we’re singing to?” – not with this lot); musically it’s indie guitars meets modern metal. There’s the U2-isms, the Tim Hughes-a-likes, the Sum 41-and-a-bit and the Snow Patrol-ish bits (plus the Arctic Monkeys-styled intro to “What I’ve Found” and the Nightwish-y “God Of Fire”). It’s wonderful and every time you think it’s been great it just seems to get better (the lead guitar beneath the vocal on “All For Love”, for example). If I was to nit-pick (me?) then I’d say that it’s not massively original; that the vocals aren’t the best I’ve heard (mind you, I said that of Larry Norman when I first heard him). But they do it so well and I did love the interplay between the two lead vocals and the way they sat just above the band, singing on the wave of energy created there (e.g. “Made Alive”). Best track (not easy, this one): “Redeemer”. 9/10. Paul Ganney. (March 2014, Album of the Month)
KINGDOM : Acoustic Sessions. (Dream Records)
I really liked the last Kingdom CD I heard (Redeemer) but that was more full-on rock, so I wondered what I might be getting with this one. Some bands do the “Acoustic Sessions” type of thing well and re-arrange for the medium (think of Eric Clapton and “Layla”), but others – well, they just sound like they’d rather be doing the electric versions. This CD falls into the “suitably different” category. It’s not as laid-back as the term “Acoustic” may lead you to believe: there’s still a full drum and bass complement, for example (and they do sneak the electrics into the background on songs like “Flood Song”), but the arrangements are. It’s more country rock in feel, or up-tempo praise and worship (to be fair, they do describe themselves as a worship team). I’ve left the tag for this review as “Rock” although it’s certainly softer than their previous outing. I was a bit negative about the vocals last time out, but this album makes them shine better, as though they’re more suited to this format, the two leads sitting more comfortably against this backing. What of the songs themselves? Well, they’re mostly the ones you already know (if you’re a Kingdom fan) with songs such as “Victorious” sounding more like it escaped from a praise and worship album (albeit a very good one) than a performance rock one. This track just keeps on building and building – it’d go down a storm at Soul Survivor. And it’s just one of many (check out the build on “There Is A King” for another great example) where the choruses are so, well, singable. “Redeemer” has a lovely string part that works just as well in the original rock setting and this acoustic one. The ethos of the band is best summed up by this from band member Nate Parrish: “The world doesn't need more Christian bands or Christian products...it needs more Christ. It is our hope that through our music and through our lives Christ is glorified and people find their hope in Him.” Think of this CD as an acoustic greatest hits and you won’t be far wrong. It really is that good. If anything I preferred the tracks at the start of the CD (and preferred their rock incarnations overall), but you may well prefer the latter ones and these versions. There are no fillers here. Best track: “Flood Song” (although I almost picked “Redeemer” again). 8/10 Paul Ganney (November 2015)
KINGDOM FAITH : I Make All Things New. (ICC : ICCD60830)
Here's a collection of 17 songs (mostly new) that are aimed at capturing the presence and holiness of God and those who focus on His majesty and glory. It opens with three songs of exciting praise before going into four quieter, worship numbers. Darlene Zschech's "Overwhelmed" is quite outstanding - the female vocalist excelling in her delivery. "Jesus, Awesome God" is also very strong and powerful. From then on, things get a bit samey although Martin Stanesby's "Jesus, Your Glory Fills This Place" is pretty good. For the other tracks, I just felt that the production left a little to be desired. Somehow, many of the songs sounded too old fashioned in their end result. Couldn't quite put my finger on it but, after several plays, I was still waiting for something to happen. 4/10. (April 2002)
THE KINGS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : String Heaven. Fierce : FIERCD36)
This orchestra has a career spanning 25 years, bringing improvised music to audiences. They say that this is the first time that they have used worship songs and promise "special moments". Like any music, I guess that you have to be tuned in to enjoy a specific style, and maybe this was why I didn't enjoy this collection. All the pieces seemed to be of one pace, and many sounded alike. My hopes had been raised by the opening 'Be Still for the Presence of the Lord' - a tune that had a calming effect after my busy day. Sadly, as I say, these hopes were short lived, and I found myself dozing off in between 'Jesus Christ, I Think Upon Your Sacrifice' and 'In Christ Alone'. The instrumentation is fine, and the orchestra are fine musicians but I just thought the whole concept felt, like me, a little tired. 'Amazing Grace', 'Here is love' and 'What a Friend I've Found' are three of the other songs on show on a rather disappointing release. 4/10. (Feburary 2008)
THE KINGS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : String Heaven II - Lost in Love. Fierce : Fiercd48)
Recorded in July of 2008, the Kings Chamber Orchestra are directed by Gerrard Le Feuvre, who also plays the cello. The accompanying sleeve notes say that "prayer" is at the heart of the music and, with this in mind, the tempo of all the music is gentle. Indeed, gentle is one word that certainly describes the opening 'Lost in Wonder'. I believe that it's a viola playing the melody of 'Shout to the Lord', and I really enjoyed this track - bathing in the wonderment of, what is, God's love. The delicate harp sound on 'Knowing You' is enjoyable, but the same sound does get rather lost in the production on 'As the Deer'. The collection is never going to set the world alight with it's sound, but for the individual, I can see the benefit in aiding prayer. 6/10 (May 2009)
THE KINGS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA : Christmas Stringheaven. (Kingsway : KMCD3071)
Directed and produced by Gerald Le Feurve, this is a recording made by an orchestra that has performed over 300 Christmas concerts, spanning 25 years. The press release says that this is the sort of album that "reaches out across the boundaries and connects with a wide audience." Well, all I can say is, that it didn't connect me to the sound of chamber music. I also would question it's appeal to a "wide audience", as I feel that this sort of music is rather limited to lover's of it's genre. I listened intently to the sounds of 'O Come All Ye Faithful', and the shortened version of 'Ding Dong Merrily On High', but wasn't moved by either. The piece entitled 'Pastoral' was simply awful, and mournful in sound. Other hymns like 'In the Bleak Midwinter' and 'Away in a Manger' passed me by, while the version of 'Isn't He Beautiful' sounded similar to the Hovis Bread TV adverts (UK Reader's will understand what I mean!). So, no, I didn't enjoy this CD, and it failed to ignite the Christmas spirit. 2/10. (December 2009)
KINGSWAY WORSHIP LEADERS (KMCD2478)
Now, I usually don't review samplers due to the time and space limitations of NFN, but this one slipped in by accident. For £1.99 you get 12 full tracks from worship leaders such as Kate Simmonds, Geralidine Latty, and Noel Richards. Robin Mark's "Find Rest All the Earth" is delivered in typical Mark style, and I loved playing the track. Brian Houston's gritty display is a little different to the norm' on "You Are Mystical", and Dave Bilbrough is at his best with "Everybody Sing". The only one I really didn't like was Robert Critchley's "Your Love is Better Than Wine". How many more songs will use the cliché about being drawn "like a moth to the flame"? Well worth your money. 9/10. (July 2003)
KIRAN YOUNG WIMBERLY & THE MCGRATHS : Celtic Psalms. (Elevation : ELE2186)
Here’s an album that is a little different from the usual releases. It contains 12 authentic, traditional Irish and Scottish airs and melodies set to a selection of psalms. Recorded in Belfast, ancient words and traditional music combine to lead the listener into the presence of God. Acoustic instruments are used throughout and there’s some really nice violin playing on the opening “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” Kiran’s voice is pure and bright, and is joined on numerous occasions by Ellen, Chloe, Kelly and Declan McGrath. The result, on the whole, is very pleasant. There’s some peaceful guitar playing on “I Lift My Eyes Up to the Hills,” and I found this track particularly charming. “You Have Turned My Sorrow” features harp and cello, as well as flute sounds. It’s a lovely rendition and one of my favourite tracks. “Make a noise to God”, sings Kiran on the acappella song “Sing to the Lord,” a haunting melody. A minor moan was that I found the songs to be of very similar tempo. However, “Hear My Cry O God” bucks that trend and is a delightful little ditty. For those who like quieter music for relaxation of meditational purposes, this album is delightful. 8/10. (January 2017)
KIRK FRANKLIN'S NU NATION : God's Property. (B-Rite Music: IND900093)
Promoted as a 'Top Hit' in the USA, I wondered just what to expect from this black gospel team. What you do get is a mixture of traditional and rap music, recorded in Dallas. Certain tracks, including 'Stomp' sound very much like MC Hammer did in his day. Others, such as 'It's Rainin' and 'So Good' are just what you would expect from a gospel choir - sweet backing and a front singer who can holler with the best. 'Love' is a personal testimony, that works well, but it's the straight forward choir filled songs that stand out. 'The Storm is Over' is, perhaps, the pick. It's an album that begins well, dips into tedium during the middle, and then rises again for a strong finish. I've heard better, but then, I've heard a lot worse! 5/10. (January 1998)
KIRK FRANKLIN : The Fight of My Life. (Integrity : GC71677)
It's hard to believe that this album marks the 15th anniversary of Kirk's involvement in contemporary gospel music. This album contains over 70 minutes of music, as Kirk is joined by many friends to play, mainly, gospel music, with some RnB and pop styles thrown in for good measure. The song 'Declaration' is as hard hitting as any pro Jesus song that you will hear. Realising that your life is a mess and that our Lord is the only one who can save you, hits the nail right on the head. There's lots of smooth female harmonies on songs like 'Help Me Believe' and 'Hide Me', and Kirk shines through on 'How It Used To Be'. 'I Am God' produces a rockier edge to the sound, with distorted guitars and well used string pads. It's a corker of the track, and gets my vote for being a radio hit. Friends on the album include 11 year old Donovan Owens, who he duets with on 'A Whole Nation'. Also appearing is DA T.R.U.T.H, who gives his all on the rap orientated 'I Like Me'. With 16 tracks on show, I thought that the album seemed to run out of steam towards the end, but I'm sure that true Kirk fans will lap this up. 7/10. (April 2008)
KIRSTY STARLING : Kirsty Starling (Word : 8862632)
Kirsty's life changed when she joined 6 other finalists on a live TV talent showcase, wit the winner being picked by an audience phone in. although Kirsty came second, Warner Bros legendary producer David Foster had seen enough to offer her a recording contract. Her songs reminded me of all sorts of singers, from the Whitney Houston type balled "Broken" to the well written Faith Hill sound of "All For You". "Water" is the best song for me and it's given two outings on the track listing. The first is obviously a radio edit mix, with edgy guitars, while the second version features some more string effects for that easier listening touch. "There Will Come a Day" gets a little raunchier, and Kirsty's delivery isn't quite the same. It's a sound debut all in all, and there's plenty to build on for the future. 8/10. (October 2003)
KISS THE FISH : Kiss the Fish. (www.kissthefish.com)
The first thing you notice about this CD is the vocal: it's unusual, but not unpleasantly so. Didi (the owner of said voice) has a decent range, even getting into some Elvis-isms in "God Saved Us". The music is mostly mid-tempo, with some decent arrangements (including recorder, violin and contra bass) and has a semi-hypnotic effect to it. The only time it doesn't really work is on "I Don't Smoke" which aims for a Billy Bragg-style electric guitar & vocal but doesn't really suit the song. Clear standouts are the opener, "This Life" which builds and twists and gets into your head and "Artificial Stimulation" which rocks along very nicely. The lyrics are occasionally in straight P&W territory (not that that's a bad thing - sometimes you spend so long trying to work out what a song's about you miss the music). Overall the CD gets better as it goes along and when you consider that the opener's one of the better tracks this says it's well worth checking out. I'd love to tell you more about the band, but their website is still only a shell, so you'll have to go by the CD (or buy the CD), which is well worth a listen or two. 7/10 Paul Ganney (December 2009)
KISSES FROM HEAVEN - Streams Of Worship. (Kingsway : KMCD2557)
Three of the most well known, and talented US female singers get together on this album of well known praise and worship songs. But, before you think, "Oh, not another worship album", let me tell you that most of these songs have been given a makeover that really does bring more life to them than before. Tim Hughes' "Beautiful One" must have been sung in churches up and down the land, thousands of times over the last couple of years but Michelle Tumes' version has a great production that suits her voice to a tee. In fact, a great deal of thought has gone into a lot of these songs to make them shine. Christine Dente brings a good version of "Here I Am to Worship" and then produces her best moment on Matt Redman's "Once Again". Michelle, then returns to triumphant form with Godfrey Birtill's "Outrageous Grace, while Susan Ashton's highlight must be her powerful rendition of "In Christ Alone". No, it's certainly not just another worship album! 8/10. (April 2005)
KITE : Mighty Flood. (Little Misty Music : LMSTAD4D).
It's almost a year since I first heard this guy in concert, and I believe that this album was practically finished then. So, a year on, Kite's songs stand up well to my memories of that live performance, and the crafted opener 'Precious Holy Spirit' kicks things off nicely. The style that runs through is a laid back soul feel, although at the forefront of one such song called 'My God, Holy God'. The album's title comes from track 6 in which Kite cries that Jesus came into his heart "like a mighty flood". "How High" was the song I really wanted to hear again, and I wasn't disappointed by it's immediate freshness. Kite has a knack of finding the right sort of catchy chorus and the formula is repeated on "Carry Me Home". His voice does seem to be stretched once or twice but, as a whole, carries quite a bit of texture. Not specifically a p&w album, but I got quite a lot out of it. 8/10. (December 1997)
KLAUS : Glory - An Evening of Worship with... (Integrity : 44372)
Klaus was born in Germany and now lives in Canada. He writes or co-writes all the tracks on this album, which was recorded live at the Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas. It's an exciting start, as Klaus whips up the audience with the enigmatic 'The Lord Reigns'. It's a similar formula for the second track, 'Give You Glory' and both songs are pure quality. 'You are The Joy' is a delicious love song to God, while the acoustic led delivery of 'No-one is Like You' reminded me of the vocal style of Neil Diamond. A nice surprise was the guitar sound on 'Stay Amazed'. I've got to say that it was really good to hear this instrument given it's own space to praise God. I'd not heard any of the tracks before, so it was a pleasure to hear them and join in the worship of those gathered. The title track builds into a mighty crecendo of sound, while the closing 'When I Speak Your Name' raises Jesus high. Guest vocalists Kari Jobe and Elizabeth Clark only add to what is, a very good album from a very talented and gifted songwriter. 9/10 (December 2008)
KRIS BAINES : Selah Hymns 2. (ICC : ICCD73830)
Following on from his successful first collection, New Zealand based Kris Baines plays more well known tunes on solo piano. Undoubtedly, a very talented pianist, Kris manages to make this simple sound into a very pleasant experience, whether for private or small group worship and meditation. Saying that, if you just want to relax and unwind from the pressures of the day, hymns like "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" will help you do just that. Other tracks include "Be Thou My Vision", "I Cannot Tell" and How Great Thou Art". 6/10. (November 2003)
KRISSY NORDHOFF : Thank Him. (ICC : ICMKCD006)
I've not come across the songs of Krissy Nordhoff before so this was a pleasant surprise. Reminding me a lot of Canadian, Carolyn Arrends, Krissy bases her tracks around simple acoustic settings, with the minimum of backing. Not that it's just one girl and her guitar, it's just that the music is kept simple, thus you can concentrate more on listening to the lyrics. Indeed, the lyrics are a strong point of this album and never more so than on the sweet "Little Things". But, back to the beginning, and it's the title track that starts proceedings. It's a nice start, too, with Krissy's voice instantly getting your attention as one of quality. The song "Ninety-nine" sings about how glad Jesus is when "one lost sheep, is found", and this has a really strong chorus. Krissy wanders, occasionally, into a country feel and I felt this strongest on "Daisy Days" - it wouldn't be lost on any country radio station. All in all, it's a lovely album. 9/10. (April 2005, Album of the Month)
KRISTENE DIMARCO : Safe Place. (Elevation : ELE1772D)
Kristene is part of the Jesus Culture movement in America, and released her first album, four years ago, under the name Kristene Mueller. This release lies somewhere in the area of folk and light pop, and kicks off with the lullaby, title track. ‘A Long Time Ago’ tells of having a secure relationship with God. I didn’t care much for ‘Believer’ upon first listen, but subsequent hearing made me change my mind about the song. Kristene’s voice is very nice and it reminded me of a cross between Natalie Imbruglia and Sara Groves. On ‘A Lonely Carpenter’ she tells how Jesus went into the wilderness to pray, and asks if we take time to listen to God? ‘Deanna’s Song’ is quite catchy, while ‘Limitless’ is a prayer of praise to a limitless and boundless Father. So, there’s nothing wrong with the lyrical content of the songs, but their lasting appeal is questionable. Nothing really excited me but, there again, I didn’t dislike any of them. It’s a pleasant enough offering but I doubt that it will be appearing again in my Cd player too often. 6/10. (July 2012)
KRISTINE DIMARCO : Mighty. (Jesus Cluture : B002287702)
I’ve never been a big fan of music emanating from the Jesus Culture stable but last month’s 10/10 for Brian Johnson is followed up by a simply stunning release from Kristine Dimarco. What a wonderful voice she has! Sometimes she’s delicate, like Leigh Nash, while at other times she powerful and exciting in a Darlene Zscech sort of way. The album begins with “Jesus, Your Love”. It almost has a Celtic feel to it, and is raised to thrilling heights when Kristine is joined by a choir. Even as early as the third track, I could sense that Kristine was making each song her own, passionately giving her all. On “I Will Follow You”, I simply love it when she sings the title words. It almost gave me a spine tingling chill, they are so precious. “Carry Me” and “Lily’s Song” are commanding songs but even they are surpassed by the authority in “Wonderful”. Here, the focus is on The Cross. “Oh the wonderful, wonderful, wonderful cross; Where all my weaknesses has a place to die.” Song after song just soaks you in God’s love and I love it. 10/10. (January 2016, Album of the Month)
KRISTIAN STANFILL : Attention. (Survivor : SURCD5157)
An Atlanta native, Kristian began playing music at 13, leading worship for his home church throughout high school. After graduating college in 2002, he started leading worship at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta. In 2005 he became actively involved in the Passion movement and has since progressed to become lead worshipper. This debut album sees him produce an eleven song CD, in a mainly rock style. Kristian, unashamedly, nails his colours to the mast for all to see, as he uses the names of Jesus and Lord in his songs, with the regularity that some artists steer well away from. 'Alive and Running' proclaims Jesus as Lord, while 'Lord of All' is pretty self explanatory. This is a young man with no fear of letting the world know of his saviour and the only downside to this album is that many of the songs sound very much alike. I must admit that the album didn't rate high on first hearing, but subsequent listens raised it's final score. 'Faithfull' and 'I Need You Jesus' are, perhaps the pick of the rest of the listing. 7/10 (September 2009)
KRISTYNA MYLES : Paint a Brighter Day.   (Take Note Recordings : Takenote 002)
Discovered playing the streets of Manchester, MOBO award nominee, Kristyna Myles went on to win BBC Radio 5 Live’s Busker of the Year competition in 2005. A self-penned song ‘My Lord’ was featured on the album ‘Songbird 2008’ alongside artists such as Amy Winehouse and Eva Cassidy. Since then, Kristyna has worked with numerous international stars, and released her critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Pinch Me Quick’. This follow up is very much in the modern gospel style and, after a short intro, moves into the song ‘I’m Getting into This’. It’s not a bad song, but it didn’t really set my pulses racing. However, ‘Heaven Knows’ did grab my attention. We all know that the road to Heaven isn’t easy. We try, we fall, but God dusts us down and picks us up again. Kristyna’s song is one of encouragement, and just what I needed at this time. ‘Drop Me A Line’ has a funky sound about it, while the album’s title track features some light, jazz guitar playing from Ben Williams. Indeed, it was this song that had me comparing her voice to that of Pixie Lott! There’s a little southern gospel feel about both ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ and ‘Heavy on My Soul’, with the former being ideal for tapping your feet to. Kristyna obviously has a terrific voice, and it’s at its best, perhaps, on the song ‘Garment of Shame’.  It begins as a dainty, little ballad, but grows into something far more powerful. Her 2013 single, ‘The Paris Match’, was called “Stunning”, by no less than Paul Weller, and what a compliment that is. I can only add my admiration to this British talent, for an album that should pick up plenty of sales both here in the UK and across the Atlantic.   8/10.   (June 2015)
KRYSTAL MEYERS : Dying For A Heart. (Essential : 083061081522)
Since the release of her self-titled debut album, 17 year old Krystal Meyers has received awards, performed before more than 400,000 people, fisnihsed school and now completed her second album. It's style is definitely rock and, in the mould of Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. She takes on issues that are faced daily by her peers and attacks them with great venom in songs like "Collide" and "The Beauty of Grace". "The Situation" is a hard hitting number revealing to the spiritually blind about God's love reaching out to them, while "Only You Make Me Happy" is a declaration of her own faith, and relationship with an almighty God. If you like your modern rock loud and proud, you'll love this album. For me, the one nagging question was "were the songs all too much alike"? Nevertheless....9/10. (January 2007)
KRYSTAL MEYERS : Make Some Noise. (Essential : ER10871)
Tennessee based Krystal Meyers has already topped album charts in Asia with this album, so I was expecting something special when I listened. She takes co-writing credits on all the songs but, in my opinion, she should try something different. Rarely have I come across an album where upon listening, I couldn't remember one single track by the end. 'Make Some Noise' is an 80's style pop track and I hoped that things would improve. Sadly, both the following 'Love It Away' and 'Shine' are instantly forgettable. 'S.O.S. is a medium paced rocker about being made whole but Krystal's voice lacks conviction and sounds over produced, By the time I had listened to the album for a third time I was convinced that this is one of the most unmemorable releases I've ever heard. 2/10 (March 2009)
KUTLESS : Hearts of the Innocent. (BEC Recordings : BED50969)
This is the Oregon based band's 4th album. The title track is a message of awareness, of which vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall says is "a wake up call to the generation of adults to take a closer look at the neglected youth across the world". The track itself is full of driving guitars and rhythms, and makes a great start to the album. The next track is the current single, "Shut Me Out", which claims that no-one should stop you from speaking about the truth of God. Anyone who has seen the accompanying video will know just how superb this song is. Kutless play modern rock but that shouldn't stop old rock school lovers from sampling the delights of this release. The slower "Smile" tells about faith, and just what a difference your smile can make to someone, while the power and love of "Promise of a Lifetime", made this track my favourite. The closing acoustic versions of some songs lack the same conviction of their full blown version, but this is a terrific album. 9/10. (September 2006)
KUTLESS : Live From Portland. (BEC Recordings : BED64848)
As with many live albums these days, this is a two disc set featuring both a cd and dvd of the concert in question. Interestingly, the track listing for both is the same although there has been some editing of some of the songs to fit them on the cd. I'm not sure I like that, but at least it means that songs aren't missed off. As a band, Kutless are a great outfit, a Casting Crowns with more attitude in a way, but with as much sincerity. Crunching guitar sounds abound here and the two guitarists work extremely well together, almost sounding as one instrument. For all that though it is the two worship songs that stand out, "Strong Tower" and "Better is One Day", neither of which are Kutless songs. That in a sense emphasises their main weakness - their own material just isn't quite as memorable or melodic. Their songs are good but lack that little something that makes them great. However, as a package they are a good band, strongly evidenced by the dvd which is engaging both visually and aurally. I suspect this is also one of those albums that gets better with each repeated play too and that is not a bad thing at all. 8/10 Robin Thompson. (May 2007)
KUTLESS : It Is Well. (Bec : BED67174)
This is the sixth studio album from the Portland rockers and similar to their 2005 release "Strong Tower", this is a worship album. Worship has been an important part of the bands music and live performances, not surprising since the band started out as a worship band under the name "Call Box" in 2000. These aren't Kutless worship songs on this album, but instead they are well known songs and hymns given the Kutless treatment. This album has one of the best intros I have encountered - it is hard to describe in words but it involves the title track and a church choir. It's magnificent and is probably my favourite moment. Other tracks of note are the Vineyard song "Hungry", this version being better than the original in my opinion, and "Redeemer" which is basically the song "There is a Redeemer". I have to say the Kutless do worship rather well and I cannot find faults with the songs presented on this album. If I do have one criticism it is that they are largely mid-paced numbers. I think they have missed an opportunity to pick some more vibrant numbers and give them the real heavy rock treatment. As it stands this is an excellent worship album but a disappointing heavy metal one. So really, this is tame Kutless if you like, but still good Kutless nonetheless! 9/10 Robin Thompson. (December 2009) Forward to the next archive
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