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Date: 7 April, 2009
George Luke reviews new albums from Tim Hughes, Michael W Smith, Bluetree, Naturally 7, U2 and the fantastically titled Best of Gospel Superfest
Recorded and filmed live at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Tim Hughes’ Happy Day CD/DVD package is a truly exhilarating worship experience.
All Tim’s old favourites are here: “Beautiful One”, “Be My Everything”, “Happy Day” and of course “Here I am to Worship” (sung as a duet with Martin Smith of Delirious?).
There are also four new songs, and a fine rendition of the old hymn “When I Survey”. Other guests include the rap group 29th Chapter, whilst Stu G (Delirious? again) plays guitar in Tim’s backing band for the gig. The DVD gives you the entire concert, plus a handful of Worship Central videos.
Michael W Smith
More live worship comes courtesy of CCM veteran Michael W Smith, whose A New Hallelujah is the third in a series of worship albums, which have so far proved more popular with the buying public than his usual pop recordings.
This time round, Michael is aiming for a multicultural worship experience. To help with this, he’s roped in Israel Houghton, the African Children’s Choir and Mexican worship leader Coalo Zamorano.
Congratulations go to Belfast-based worship band Bluetree, who are currently enjoying mainstream chart success in the USA.
Their album Greater Things debuted at number 125 in Billboard’s Top 200 album chart – a first for a British Christian band.
The album’s title track is already a favourite in youth worship events, and Bluetree have earned a reputation as one of the most exciting new bands to emerge in worship circles in recent years. A very strong album.
If you’re a fan of the way Take 6 used to build layers of sound using only their voices, you’ll enjoy meeting the new kids on the acappella block, Naturally 7. Wall of Sound is actually Naturally 7’s fifth album (all those numbers!).
It brilliantly showcases their fusion of harmony, beatboxing and other vocal shenanigans (I’m still convinced there are a couple of instruments floating about in the mix, though; either that or they’re really good).
The album features covers of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, Extreme’s “More Than Words”, Mr. Mister’s “Broken Wings” and Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”.
Best of Gospel Superfest
Pop svengali Matthew Knowles (father and manager of Beyoncé) has had an interest in Gospel music for quite some time.
The Best of Gospel Superfest CD/DVD package is a compilation of performances from the long-running American television series of the same name, released via Knowles’ Spirit Rising Music company.
The compilation features performances from Tye Tribbett, Angie Winans, Karen Clark-Sheard, and former Shalamar singer Howard Hewett.
Oh yes! And U2 have released a new album. You’ve probably already made your mind up about No Line on the Horizon; you might even have had more luck than me in getting tickets for one of their upcoming gigs.
But if you were planning to buy the CD and haven’t done so yet, do it from here and help Christian Aid out, please…
Use these links to buy the albums from Amazon.co.uk and Christian Aid gets part of the sale fee