Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Phil Wickham- Phil Wickham Album Review

Phil Wickham is a Christian singer and songwriter from California, with this self titled album released in 2006, succeeding an independently released record called Give You My World in 2003.

~~~CD COVER~~~
For his self-titled album, the cover looks artistically stylish and really quite modern. In black and white, it features a blurred image of Phil Wickham's profile. It is a simple, but effective shot and definitely reflects well on the album.

The album contains eleven tracks, all written by Phil Wickham himself:

1) "Grace" 5/5
The intro to the song has a beautiful acoustic feel, matched by the soft, slightly rough voice of Phil Wickham; the verse builds up to a dramatic and heartfelt chorus. This is an amazing start to the album, and my favourite song on it.

2) "Messiah" 3.5/5
This song is another soft song. It isn't immediately catchy, and at first I thought it flat. However, there is a gradual increase in dynamics as the song progresses; we get a pretty upbeat sound and a powerful vocal ending.

3) "Mystery" 3.5/5
I've grown to like this song. The overall sound is quite predictable and classic in this genre, but his vocals are fantastic... I'm not so sure about the Oriental sounding Xylophones? Nonetheless, the overall track is powerful and meaningful.

4) "Divine Romance" 3.5/5
The song is a simple acoustic track, with pure vocals and guitar. Whilst this sounds like it should be 5/5, I'm not totally into it. Its good, but lacks a modern edge to it...

5) "Yours Alone" 4/5
The intro of the song has an upbeat and catchy rhythm, with the verse being slightly less than wonderful, but reaching that energetic high in the chorus- making this another strong track.

6) "I Will Wait For You There" 3.5/5
Another acoustic track. What adds to this one is the audible guitar slides during chord changes, which adds a positive raw, unedited feel to the track... for that an extra ½ a star!

7) "I Adore You" 3/5
The upbeat intro translates into a rather shouty song, which has a few nice sounding elements, but overall, not one that can be listened again and again...

8) "Always Forever" 4/5
This simple and raw track is beautiful. The lack of a strong beat and stripped back guitarring allows Phil to voice out passionately and genuinely. The chorus is especially powerful.

9) "Crumble To Pieces" 4.5/5
Crumble to Pieces has a modern pop sounding introduction, the verse and chorus also has this feel... This is another of my favourite tracks, there is something quirky with the melody of the verse- which I LOVE.

10) "Fall Into You" 4/5
A powerful song with a "Delirious?-like" introduction and chorus. Phil's vocals are again phenomenal, and the song has a real strong sound to it.

11) "Holy, Holy, Holy" 3.5/5
This is another song that has a quirky sound to it... it isn't one of my favourites, and is yet to grow on me, but I'm sure it may one day do so... it sounds fun and chirpy.

TRACKS TO LOVE: Grace, Yours Alone, Crumble To Pieces
TRACKS TO SKIP: None of the tracks are skip-worthy, but some just cannot be listened again and again, and sometimes you can grow a bit bored of some tracks.

I didn't mention lyrics in each song, because they are simply beautiful, meaningful and so encouraging. They are written with a genuine and passionate heart, which could be felt through every sung word.

Phil Wickham has an amazing gift. His vocals are powerful, with a natural raw sound to them. The album contains an array of beautifully written tracks; all are meaningful and encouraging. I love his vocals on there, I love the lyrics, but there is something about the acoustic nature of the tracks that sound slightly outdated. I'm sure had I got this in 2006, I would've LOVED IT, but listening to it now, there is a modern edge that is lacking in some tracks. Nonetheless, a few tracks do have that longevity and can be listened to anytime (Grace, Crumble To Pieces).

The whole album is strong, with a few powerful tracks. He can only improve, and as we can see in future albums, he only gets better and better!

Check out "Grace" live below:

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