We’ve teamed up with our friends over at One Man In The Middle to bring you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music albums aimed at the Christian marketplace. This week we have Liam Blake with his album LHO and a strong overall review score of 9.7 out of 10.
Liam Blake is the secular singer/songwriter for the thinking Christian. Infamously discrete about his own belief system, the 37 year old musician from Lancashire has devoted his adult life to introspection and reflection on his relationship with God and his fellow man and time and time again he is able to crystallise his conclusions in beautifully crafted, articulate and intelligently written songs. His new album LHO expressing these views is out now.
There are hundreds of artists that are singing, recording and trying to bring something new and fresh to a saturated music scene. One of these people who is trying, and succeeding to bring something original into the world is Liam Blake with his latest album LHO.
It is clear from listening through this album that there are many different influences that have been combined to bring this album into reality, but the combination is unique and wonderful. Many of the tracks have an electronic feel to them, with synthesised sounds throughout, even the vocals have been used in places almost instrumentally. Often the vocals in the recording are supported in the music, but sometimes it’s like they have been weaved into the music itself.
Liam’s voice is smooth and light delivering understated power as you listen to the changes in tone which draw you into the lyrics. Speaking of lyrics some listeners will not be happy with the lack of mention of God, Jesus or the lack of Biblical reference – sorry but this is not that type of album. Instead, like the book of Esther in the Bible, Liam has decided not to talk about God directly – although the first track Universal Puppeteer does show there are many questions of the divine that these songs are asking.
Every track here is slightly different – some of them are tracks that will remind you of other songs, some are instantly memorable – like “Old Friend”. “Get Closer”, the next track reminds me of something from a band called “The Gentlemen” with some of his lyrical and vocal presentation – another track “We Don’t Do That Anymore” reminds me of Paul Poulton and his vocal style.
On listening to this album I get the impression that everything on this album is there for a reason. Nothing has been left to chance, it’s not there just because it will appeal to certain people. There is an integrity to this that it is exactly how Liam wanted it to be, this is his vision for the album. The multiple styles, the brilliant vocals, the deliberate avoidance of identifying God whilst singing about faith issues all combine to be a powerful album that is worth acquainting with your ears and connecting with your brain!
For track listing, ranking breakdown and more check out onemaninthemiddle.com