B.C. indie CDs tackle theology, philosophy and just plain rawk
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By David F. Dawes

Andy Park: Unshakable, Ion Worship

AS one might expect from one of the leading lights of B.C. worship music, singer/ songwriter Andy Park’s work is musically assured, with appealing vocals which demonstrate spiritual conviction. Perhaps best known for The River is Here, Park delivers a fresh batch of insights on this recent release.

The title song is a bracing celebration of the encouragement Christians can derive from their saviour. ‘Revive us Again’ evinces a strong commitment to revival, and features an inspiring chorus. The chorus of ‘You Are God’ has an intensity worthy of Delirious?

‘Saviour of the World’ could be described as ‘rocking soteriology’; a powerful tribute to Jesus, it uses some lines (“We worship you, Lamb of God”) which might seem cliched on paper – but which are deeply stirring when sung full tilt. Who knew rock ’n roll could be so theologically astute? andypark.ca

Corey Doak: Light on the Darkest Line

Outstanding arrangements provide a fine showcase for this talented artist. ‘The Builder’ has a great opening, combining echoing guitar riffs with wind chimes. The lyrics are a good application of scripture, stressing the importance of not living one’s life in vain. In ‘Windfall,’ spoken verses are addressed to Jesus; a reference to a pillar of fire is a nice touch.

These songs don’t rely on the blatantly propagandistic lyrics of so many CCM musicians. Rather, they are infused with faith, with elements of the Bible woven throughout.  coreydoak.com

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Barb Elyett: The Simple Side

This album kicks off in high style with a horn section. Elyett’s excellent voice is enlivened by solid harmonies. The songs tend toward philosophical ruminations on life. For me, the highlight is the finale, ‘The Lord’s Prayer,’ in which the singer cuts loose with some particularly good, passionate vocalizing. barbelyett.com

Firstborn Live: Flesh ’n Bone

The opener, ‘Let Him In,’ just plain rawks. ‘I’ve Got Something’ has a blazing guitar solo and excellent group vocal. One standout is ‘Straight Highway,’ in which the singer shouts out several of John the Baptist’s choicest lines. The other highlight is ‘I Will Return,’ featuring Rosemary Reuss-Connors on vocal. My only complaint is that she doesn’t sing lead on more songs.  firstbornlive.com

Gene Murphy & the Knitting Club: Travellers  on the Black Line

This is an interesting collection combining gospel with observations on the human condition. A good example of the latter is this lyric: “I’m gonna love you to heaven, cause I can’t stand  you on earth.” Highlights include Carol Keating’s lead vocal on ‘Heaven must be Beautiful’; and Murphy’s rewrite of the trad classic ‘Bound for Glory.’  bluesrock.ca

June 2008