Thursday, 20 May 2010

Phil Wickham- Cannons Album Review

Phil Wickham is a Christian singer and songwriter from California. Cannons is his third album, released in 2007.

~~~CD COVER~~~
The CD cover has a sepia toned image of Phil Wickham on a rowing boat on a lake with reeds. The stylish yet simple font of the title in the centre has light radiating from behind. This album called Cannons is inspired by the very thing; Phil also taking inspiration from The Chronicles of Narnia- the record is about the universe exploding for the glory of God.

The album contains twelve tracks as follows, all written by Phil Wickham himself:

1) "Must I Wait" 5/5
A very mysterious sounding intro is followed by a rocky verse and chorus. Again, this is an upbeat and catchy song which I absolutely love and is one of my favourite songs on this album. There is a "Delirious?" feel to the song but Phil makes it his own. Lyrically stunning, the song speaks of waiting for the day to come, when we can all rejoice in Heaven.

2) "After Your Heart" 5/5
The keyboard intro leads to a catchy and rocky verse, yet explodes into a pop chorus. This mix of a shouty verse and a softer chorus works well here, and the overall sound is addictive and fun. The lyrics are amazingly inspirational and create some immense images.

3) "Desire" 4/5
The song is strong and has a "Keane" sound to it. It is a great track that has longevity and you can listen to this pretty much all the time. Again, the lyrics are heartfelt and genuinely written.

4) "Cannons" 4/5
Soft rock is the genre of the title song "Cannons". The chorus sounds like a typical worship song chorus, whilst the verse has slightly more edge. It is a good song, with fantastic lyrics that reflect what Phil wants to express through the album. The song progresses to a stronger level at the bridge.

5) "Sailing on a Ship" 4/5
The first thing I notice is the amazing imagery that I am filled with through the words. The verse itself isn't that grabbing, but the softness leads onto an interesting and quirky chorus that sets this song apart from the rest.

6) "The Light Will Come" 3.5/5
This soft track is stripped back and is acoustic. It has a nice melody but does not have the explosive quality of the other tracks we have heard so far. Lyrics are great though.

7) "Shining" 3.5/5
"Shining" brings us a fun and pop sounding intro that does not follow- The verse is softly sung but has an upbeat backing that matches better with the chorus. Midway we are reintroduced to the fun pop sound of the chorus and from then on, the song is pure brilliant.

8) "Beautiful" 3.5/5
Whilst this song also has a soft verse, it gradually builds up to a more dynamic sound. It isn't obvious and is subtly catchy. It is a beautifully written song of admiration to God.

9) "True Love" 5/5
The song definitely has a classic love song intro, a soft verse which breaks into a catchy chorus that isn't typical at all, and has more of a rock quality to it. The lyrics again are phenomenal.

10) "Jesus, Lord of Heaven" 4/5
This song has been translated into seven different languages. The chorus is simply phenomenal due to its amazing lyrics: "Your love is deeper... than any ocean higher... than the heavens reaches... beyond the stars in the sky..." and its wonderful upbeat sound.

11) "Home" 5/5
The quirky sound of the verse is stripped back and is focussed on Phil's vocals... which progresses to a more dynamic sound and an explosive chorus. The song is about the Prodigal son's return to his father, and this song is just so beautiful and meaningful.

Listen to "Home":

Behind the song:

12) "Spirit Fall" 3.5/5
The last song on the album is a strong track with an upbeat chorus. I think perhaps "Home" would be a more appropriate finish to the album, but nonetheless a good song.

TRACKS TO LOVE: Must I Wait, After Your Heart, True Love, Home
TRACKS TO SKIP: I can honestly say every song is great- none is skip worthy

The album on the whole has a more mainstream sound, which works phenomenally well. My only critique on his previous album was the lack of a modern sound; this album is full of it. This album is stunning and is perfected lyrically, vocally and musically.

I can only urge you to buy this and experience the wonderful sound that is written, performed and sung by Phil Wickham himself; the lyrics provide great encouragement and has beautiful words that have not failed to inspire me and see the beauty of God's glory.

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