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Stay with Me
Artist: Simon Goodall
Label: ICC (UK) 
Length: 10 tracks

 

Taking a clear step away from the acoustic styling of 1997's Plugged In and Connected, Stay with Me is pop. While his vocals bring inevitable Cliff Richard references, Goodall's songs are considerably more contemporary.

The seven original tracks and three covers are given a fairly mainstream pop treatment, hitting the sort of territory Matt Redman is often to be found in, along the softer edges of Delirious? Those two have clearly influenced Goodall as he chooses to cover Redman's "Now To Live the Life," giving it a light dance work over, and Delirious?'s "Deeper," on which he sticks fairly close to the original.

Goodall's writing suits this genre, being fairly direct yet honest, with its clear Christian message. As his choice of covers suggests, Goodall's writing veers towards worship songs; "All I Can Say," co-written with Richard Lacey, would be an obvious choice for a worship record:

Father I lay down my life
In complete surrender to your will
May all my desires be founded in you
That I may bring glory and honour to you
There are a few points at which a slightly more organic sound might have
served the album well, but this is a step forward from its predecessor.

James Stewart

 

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