1. What A Love
2. Let It Be
3. With One Voice
4. Nothing Is Impossible
5. Somebody Please
7. Shine On
8. Let The People
9. All Over The World
11. Awesome Wonder
12. One Voice, One Heart
'One Voice' is a collaboration album pulling together over 200 hundred Christian artists and musicians. The list of performers reads like a who's who of Christian music: Erica Campbell (Mary Mary), Darlene Zschech, Martin Smith, Smokie Norful, Tim Hughes, Israel Houghton, Nu Colours, Kierra Kiki Sheard, Brenton Brown, Warryn Campbell, Tommy Sims, Muyiwa, Mal Pope, Lou Fellingham, Matt Redman, Rance Allen, Bishop John Francis, Tre Sheppard and Noel Robinson, to name just a few!
The album is the brain child of London Community Gospel Choir co-founder Lawrence Johnson, inspired after he watched the devastation from the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004... Read More 'One Voice' is a collaboration album pulling together over 200 hundred Christian artists and musicians. The list of performers reads like a who's who of Christian music: Erica Campbell (Mary Mary), Darlene Zschech, Martin Smith, Smokie Norful, Tim Hughes, Israel Houghton, Nu Colours, Kierra Kiki Sheard, Brenton Brown, Warryn Campbell, Tommy Sims, Muyiwa, Mal Pope, Lou Fellingham, Matt Redman, Rance Allen, Bishop John Francis, Tre Sheppard and Noel Robinson, to name just a few!
The album is the brain child of London Community Gospel Choir co-founder Lawrence Johnson, inspired after he watched the devastation from the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 with horror. Just a few short weeks later, and with the help of Les Moir (Survivor Records), 150 artists answered the call and turned up at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London to begin a journey that has been four years in the making.
In the intervening years 'One Voice' has gradually formed into one of the most eagerly anticipated albums of recent times. Opening with the upbeat Gospel sounding song 'What A Love', with its rhythmic clap throughout, the strong male vocalist (David Daniels, Bishop John Francis, Warryn Campbell) intersperse the song with a Craig David style harmony. Several other tracks lean heavily towards the Gospel sound, namely 'Somebody Please' with its moving orchestral backing and the highly talented Israel Houghton's piano led vocals.
'Let It Be' has the feel of an early Motown track, with a simple beat and a strong reliance on the vocals. Remember that duet Mariah Carey did with Luther Vandross? Well, this song is pretty similar. Lyrically 'With One Voice' sets out the theme of the album, "With one voice we will sing, every tribe and every tongue will bring a harmony". One early highlight is 'Nothing is Impossible' which opens with Kierra Kiki Sheard singing before Tre (Onehundredhours) takes over in the faster chorus. For the first time the guitars stand out from the dominant drums of previous tracks.
Soul group Nu Colours perform 'All Over The World' with a heavy bass line and a host of harmonies. But 'Angels' was a slight disappointment for me. This simple song is dominated by the brilliant Erica Campbell (Mary Mary) and Lou Fellingham, but feels a bit repetitive and never really goes anywhere.
Martin Smith, Muyiwa, Israel Houghton, David Ruis and Noel Robinson put their collective talents on 'Shine On'. But Delirious? fans will be disappointed to learn that, as far as I could make out, Martin's only involvement is for about 10 seconds in the second half of the song. Perhaps too many vocalists for one track?
At over 6 and a half minutes 'Awesome Wonder' is by far the longest song on the album, but the first 75 seconds is made up entirely of strings and a delicately played piano. Darlene Zschech's simple opening verse is followed by Ian Pitter's backing, as a warmth starts to spread through the song: "Oh Savior what a wonder You are".
The album saves the best to last in title track 'One Voice One Heart'. Opening with a few rap style "Oh Yeah's" from Hip Hop singer Jahaziel, you wouldn't normally expect to hear Tim Hughes (who co-wrote the song with Mark Beswick) and Matt Redman as the next singers on the track. But somehow it works. All of the main vocalists are mixed together brilliantly around the big choir (consisting of all the collaborating artists). Rap, Gospel, Soul and Worship all come together as one voice. It is the best track on the album by far. A truly fantastic song which meets all the requirements of a top notch collaboration. No wonder it was the song that started this whole project off back in 2005.
If the whole album had sounded like the closing track, this would have easily been the album of the year. The remaining songs don't really fulfill the potential that the wealth of vocal experience would suggest. The album leans more heavily on Gospel than the other genres represented by the vast number of performers, but it does touch on many different styles to keep all audiences satisfied. It definitely feels like a collaboration album rather than a cozy fluid set of songs, but it is a commendable effort nonetheless.
Review by Dave Wood
LTTM Rating 3 out of 5 Stars Standout Tracks:
One Voice One Heart
Nothing is Impossible
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