Music Review: Scottish Worship (Live at Stanely House) – Allan McKinlay

One Man In The Middle brings you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music albums and EPs from Christian artists and musicians in the UK and worldwide. Here we have Scottish Worship (Live at Stanely House) by Allan McKinlay with an overall review score of 8.1 out of 10.

Album Information:

Allan has a passion for the presence of the Lord and his heart is to gather, lead & inspire people to pursue intimacy with God and to be free, passionate, creative & authentic worshipers.

Review:

Allan McKinlay is an artist who has been creating worship music since 2007 but his “Scottish Worship” EP seems to be a bit of a departure. It’s just 5 tracks but it really feels like a bigger release. There are different forms of Celtic worship, from the modern folk worship of Rend Collective through to the reflective treasure trove from Iona. This recording is probably best placed between the two. It hasn’t got that Irish jig style to it, instead it’s more reflective but still in it’s own way infectious music.

The EP kicks off with a party feel, which is only right for this ceilidh, it’s got quite an organic sound with the beat being set by the drum and the audience clapping before the fiddle and guitar kicks in. Don’t worry though the guitars aren’t going to drown everything else out on this release. Before a word is sung the instruments layer up nicely before dropping back to allow the vocal to take centre stage for the verse with just the guitars, drums and keys before launching all the instruments back into the chorus. This catchy anthem is all about the desire to know God more as you would expect from a track called “I Wanna Know You”.

“I Will Love You Lord” is a fairly simple worship track and Allan has managed a trick of stretching just a few lines out over 6 minutes. This is a praise song and is sung through a number of times with different levels of accompaniment from the assorted instruments, but I have to say I think it was a little too much for my tastes. “Open The Doors” also has a little bit of this, but it doesn’t feel quite as laboured and this has a nice cut back section where it’s just the vocals and drums. There is definitely a great assortment of instruments including whistles, harps, violin and even a squeezebox (accordion) all involved in this EP., and I probably missed a few instruments too.

“Where The River Flows” is a prophetic song for Scotland and Glasgow in particular, but it is also a reflection of the book of Revelations where the river flows from the throne of God, and this is a living river. It’s a beautiful picture and a cleverly referenced song.

The EP rounds out with a version of Psalm 136 and uses a liturgical style of leading and choral response. “Give Thanks To God” is quite low key compared to some of the other tracks here, the vocals are front and centre and the leading lines are not just sung by Allan, but spread out giving twisting the standard style a little. There are some beautiful harmonies in these words of worship and praise.

I don’t dislike any track on this release but “I Wanna Know You” and “Give Thanks To God” are probably my favourites and they are opposite ends of the EP and also opposite ends of the scale of this genre of music. All the tracks benefit from Allan McKinlay’s passionate but understated performance and the feeling of a real ‘live’ worship experience that is sometimes a rarity in these days of re-dubbed performances. This Scottish Worship is a great little live EP that deserves a place in your live worship collection.

worshipFor track listing & snippets, ranking breakdown and more, check out onemaninthemiddle.com