Reviews|July 04, 2013 01:22 EDT
Noel Robinson's "Devoted" Album Review
God has given people different gifts. There are some artists who excel within a particular genre of music. Their investment into one genre of Christian music has certainly added shafts of creativity, wisdom and longevity that are in every sense commendable. We need experts in the specifics. Then there are others who are able to trawl their talents across various styles of music. Yet, they have not succumbed to being superficial in their artistry. Noel Robinson belongs to the latter. Though Robinson is often quipped as the purveyor of British Gospel music, his songs transcend genres. On his first record in seven years, "Devoted" finds Robinson covering traditional Gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, dance, modern worship, contemporary Christian music and reggae over these 15 songs. Not only is Robinson's versatility evident in his song choices, but it is apparent through the guests that are red-carpeted on the record. Grammy winning Gospel artist Israel Houghton shares his pen with Robinson on "Let the People Say" and fellow worship leader Tim Hughes sang into the same the microphone as Robinson on "You Are Holy." Other notable artists offering vocal support include Marion Powell, Yolanda Antonio, Lyanne Austin, Richard Butt, Faye Simpson, Guvna B and Chevelle Franklyn.
Robinson is to be congratulated for offering a smorgasbord of musical delights for people of a variegated taste. Those who love Hillsong style of worship will adore "I Believe in You." The slow gorgeous piano intro leading sturdily into a anthemic chorus with a gigantic hook makes this a future congregation worship classic in the making. Worshipping with Robinson on his duet with Tim Hughes on the Chris Tomlin's like "You Are Holy" makes us lost in God's awesome presence. Being the founder of UK's "The Kingdom Worship Movement," they have formerly released "Rain" before on their "The Renewal Live" album. "Rain" is a bombastic worship anthem that builds up our souls as we sing of the outpouring of the Spirit.
Ballad lovers will have much to indulge here. If you are looking for a love song about Christ's relentless love, look no farther than the R&B keyboard driven "You Loved Me." Equally soothing to the soul is the worshipful "I Am Devoted" which finds Robinson waxing poetically: "More than a thousand hallelujah/all creation sings along..." "I Will Worship You" is a big sounding ballad with the orchestrated sounds of strings and Robinson's gorgeous tenor. An African dance beat is brought into the Israel Houghton co-write "Let the People Say;" a song that really makes you want to dance in Jesus' name. While a reggae fun time is had by all on "We Cry Hosannas." Beware though: the conga drum sounds are extremely addictive. But on "Unity" the beat gets slicker morphing into an urban sound with a Brit dance kick and an Auto-voicing to boot.
"Devoted" is never boring; here you get a flavorful tastes of how King Jesus is celebrated through the various traditions and styles of music. And while North America has its share of talented diverse artists, it's great to hear someone from across the ocean. "Devoted" is more than just a worship record; it's one filled with songs birthed from a man whose heart is set on Jesus drawing us to our Lord with love and devotion.