Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sword And Dove (review)

I've been meaning to say how impressed I was with the album Zeph "Zedjah" Daniel and Kel Rowley recently recently, "Sword And Dove".   11 original songs dedicated to the "Sovereign King" . . . represents a lot of patience, craftsmanship and work.  Having written and produced songs myself for a while I know how much it takes to put together that much material.  I was especially impressed with Zeph's production.  When you are an artist yourself but then in a producer's role, it is not easy-- and many simply can't do it--to maintain objectivity and respect for the artist's muse and vision and not override it with your own vision and/or agenda. 

I think Z did a fantastic and careful job working with Kel's material and augmenting it as appropriate with his great soundscape textures and overall coherency of "sound."  Really, that is not easy to do--especially with a new studio . . . . Kel's voice and energy are likewise exceptional and reminded me of a guilty pleasure fave album I use to listen to in the early 80's.  You wouldn't think so maybe, but Olivia Newton John put out an album then--I think it was the one that had "Let's Get Physical" on it--which had some other really great tunes on it . . . and John Ferrar the producer made it a unique ONJ album with extensive use of synthesizers and an overall mystical kind of motif that I was into at the time . . . . Kel's voice also reminds me of some of the better early Madonna tunes that I also liked, believe it or not, back in the day. 

But this is a Christian album, and I think honestly one of the best of any recently made.  I don't like a lot of the mushy-gushy "Jesus is my girlfriend" "contemporary Christian" music that is popular these days, and Sword And Dove is a fresh, innovative departure from that whole commercialized genre.

The music cranks up very nicely--as in, plays loud well!--which is another excellent feature--the quality of the recording clean, big, aurally spacious and punchy, which again shows Zeph's skills in this area.

Honestly, I give the album an A+ . . . for innovation, inspiration, quality and integrity; one of the best new independent releases easily of the year!  [I dig the cover art as well--perfectly fits spirit and tone of the collaboration.  Would make a great poster!]

https://soundcloud.com/zedjah/sets/sword-and-dove-cd-preview

http://www.facebook.com/SwordAndDove?ref=stream

3 comments:

Aurora Zane said...

Hi BroT, this is Kellie Rowley and I just wanted to thank you for your review today. I've been a fan from afar of your music and your blog for the last couple of years. This means a great deal to me to have you like it. God was so good to us through out the entire year and He kept us close to Him and smacked our egos when necessary. Ha!. Thank you, Godspeed and blessings!

Anonymous said...

Now with online resources, recording has taken off in an entirely new direction. Am currently working with a songwriter who hails from where he and I used to perform, and yet we've never met in person.

Would gladly welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you and Zeph. I truly, by the grace of God alone, am an excellent singer. He gave me the talent. Nothing I can lay claim to.

~seeker

Angie said...

Very inspirational album! I'm really enjoying it! It's available on itunes now also. God Bless!

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