CD Review – Michael English: Love Is The Golden Rule by Jimmy Reno
Michael English is one of the rare vocalists in Christian music who has a following in both the Southern gospel industry and in the Contemporary Christian market. Including stops with the Happy Goodmans, the Singing Americans and the Gaither Vocal Band, English has firmly established his roots in Southern gospel.
His subsequent solo career launched English into becoming a household name in the Contemporary market.
The latest album for English, “Love Is the Golden Rule,” was produced by his long-time friend and fellow artist, Jason Clark of the Nelons.
Clark points out that the intent of “Love Is the Golden Rule” was a return to the vintage English style of his past solo albums, like “Hope,” which was released on Curb Records in 1993.
“What an honor to produce and arrange this project for one of the world’s most legendary singers and performers,” Clark said. “As a lifelong fan, I suggested to Michael that we make this recording the one his fan base has long been waiting for. It is undoubtedly and unashamedly, vintage English. Production took over eight months as we assembled a cast of the world’s greatest musicians, writers, singers, engineers, from various genres of music. Michael worked extremely hard, and what he delivered on this recording, I believe, is some of his best work in his entire career.”
English’s foray back into the adult contemporary field has produced one of his best efforts to date. The project kicks things off with “My Love.” This mid-tempo number reassures us of His love for us and that the sun will rise despite hardships we endure.
“Little Is Much” is up next, and while it’s not the Kittie L. Suffield song of a similar title in 1924, it’s message is very similar. This is a tender ballad that English sings with a lot of passion. Little definitely is much when our God is in it, a simple, powerful truth.
In 1988, Mike + the Mechanics released their second album, titled “The Living Years.” English has remade the title song from that album. English identifies with this specific number as he laments his relationship with his father. The song’s theme, about saying what you need to say to your loved ones while they are still here, is a very thought-provoking truth. English excels vocally on this ballad.
“Finally Coming Home,” is another highlight of the album. This ballad, which English sings with conviction, is the classic prodigal son story.
“Hello Happiness,” is a fun, light, upbeat tune that is easy to tap your toes on.
Vintage can be defined as an exceptionally fine wine from the crop of a good year. English and Clark paired up with the goal of producing a project that meets this definition, and they have delivered.
This project harkens back stylistically to English’s early solo career. He sings with passion and conviction throughout the album. Listeners will welcome English’s signature vocal stylings as well as the excellent instrumentation.
“Love Is the Golden Rule,” is sure to be a favorite of English fans very quickly. This is a must-have project for fans of adult Contemporary Christian music.
By Jimmy Reno
First published November 2017 by SGNScoops Magazine
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