Never for Nothing - CCM Record Reviews archive Y

Y FRIDAY : Rainmaker. (Soul Survivor : SURCD 039)
Delirious? Have inspired many of the young bands currently playing the local Christian circuits up and down the country, but here's one who have gone one step further. Y Friday have been playing in their native north-east of England for some time, and have now been picked up by Soul Survivor. The music isn't just a Delirious? tribute, and the band's style reflects that. Based around the vocals and songwriting of Ken Riley, they cleverly mix rock with praise and worship that, overall, works well. "Holy, Holy, Holy" is quite an attacking number while the following "Closer" and "Thank You For the Cross" show the true strength of Riley's gifts. It's not a one man show though, far from it, in fact. The rest of the band show what skillful musicians they are, especially on my favourite track "Greatest". "Part of Me", on the other hand, is quite weak in comparisson and "If" is another that didn't make the grade. However, the closing "Here" is a song of epic proportions with the simple statement "I Will Worship You". 8/10. (January 2000)
YFRIDAY : Everlasting God (The Very Best of...) : (Kingsway : SURCD5207)
They may not have had the chart success of Delirious?, but one shouldn't under estimate the ministry of Yfriday and the lives that they have touched. From a distance, I've followed this band over the year's and have supported them in prayer many times. Ken Riley has been the writing force behind the band, and there's material here that dates back to 1999 with songs such as 'Closer' and the classic 'Holy, Holy, Holy'. Some of the sound is quite raw, but I think that adds to the pure passion of songs such as ''Rise' and 'Hands Up'. Some of the recordings are from live concerts, but the quality of the sound remains. 'Everlasting God' is a smoother sounding song, while the driving rhythms of 'Start of the Summer' had me strumming my fingers along. There's a real purple patch on the second disc. 'Rain' is anthemic, while 'One Hope' and Yahew' have a sound very much in the Green Day mould. 'Saved the Day' is energetic and empowering, while the closing 'Saviour and Friend' takes things right down for some prayerful reflection and praise. This double CD is a celebration of their ministry, and a fitting end to their work. 9/10 (December 2010)
YAZZ : Turning Back to You. (ICC : EMMPYZ01)
Yazz is fondly remembered for her big uplifting hit single 'The Only Way is Up'. Sadly, most of the follow up singles didn't do so well. These days, she lives in Europe and has a strong faith, which she now sings about. The album has some good points, but also some lows. The first radio single, 'Freedom' is a bit of a mixture. It's a Yolanda Adams gospel sort of thing, but really doesn't take off. 'Love Creation' speaks for itself, while 'You Are My Daily Bread' tells of being empty without Jesus in your life. 'Strength to Carry On' is a summer sounding number, and it's quite nice to listen and relax to. What I did find mid-album was that the album seemed to run out of stream. There are some great sentiments in the lyrics, but the structure of some of the songs left a lot to be desired. It all ends with a touching, if rather short, version of 'Amazing Grace', sung accappella. Not the exciting album I was hoping for but there are some quality moments. 6/10. (Feburary 2008)
YAZZ : This is Love. (YazzMusic : EMMPCD9)
I guess no matter how many years pass, Yazz will always be fondly known for her 1988 #1 hit, ‘The Only Way Is Up’. Her voice may have mellowed a little since those times, but her faith is stronger than ever. This mix of self-penned and cover songs, finds her in doing what she does best, and makes for an enjoyable listen. The title track is sung acappella, and Yazz says that she always puts one track on her album in this style as God loves the human voice. ‘Summer Rain’ is a lively, jazz funk affair, and I really enjoyed this song. Yazz then goes into a lighter mode, with Bob Marley’s ‘Redmeption Song ’ sounding like a summer smash. ‘Portrait’ and ‘People Get Ready’ sound similar, but ‘Narrow Road’ hits all the right notes when celebrating the joy of choosing the right path, and following Jesus. Her vocals really soar on the Hillsong classic ‘Praise’, and the chorus gets a boogie woogie feel. It’s not an album that will instantly wow you, but it may well be one of those slow burners, that take time for you to really appreciate. 8/10. (April 2012)
YOUTH ALIVE : The Plan (Hillsongs : HMACD115)
Here's the Hillsongs Australia youth album that is supposed to reach the parts of young people that other albums cannot reach! So many styles contained within the 10 tracks that there must be something for everybody. Saying that, styles are spread so thinly that you may well find you only enjoying one particular track out of the whole thing. For grunge and metal fans, take "Servethe Man" or "God Made the World", complete with it's Metallica guitars and grunting vocals. For the dance freaks, there's the sugary synth pop "Real" or the rapping "True Disciple". Even if you're stuck in the 80's with Bon Jovi rock, try "Are You Hungry". I think it's a brave try for something a bit different but I'm not convinced that it will actually serve it's purpose. Let's pray I'm wrong. 5/10. (May 1999) Forward to the next archive
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