Album Review – Paul Irwin – Forgive Me

forgive_album

The following CD Review is of a local artist who resides in my own country of Northern Ireland. Paul Irwin commenced his singing ministry at the tender age of 16,  at a Gospel Mission close to his hometown of Fivemiletown. Since then, Paul has had the opportunity to present the Gospel through song all over Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and in Scotland.  Paul counts this as a tremendous privilege and blessing to be able to share the Gospel through the very accessible medium of song.

Paul’s musical influences are derived mainly from the Southern Gospel and Contemporary genres. His all time favourite vocalist would be Steve Green.  Guy Penrod, David Phelps and Marshall Hall would also be stylistic influences. In terms of groups in Southern Gospel, Paul draws upon material that the Gaither Vocal Band, Greater Vision, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound and many others have recorded. When you consider all the different influences and contrasting styles of music that each artist contributes, what Paul then translates into each project is a great mix of material, from “Because He Lives” to more modern day classics such as “Thank You for The Cross”.

“Forgive Me” is Paul Irwin’s fourth album. I feel that with each release the level of quality goes up another notch. This is in terms of the vocals, production and basically everything! The initial projects were of a high standard, but Paul is raising the bar in terms of quality, the quality of the song selection, vocals, tracks and the aesthetic appeal of the CD case and contents. The presentation, CD inlay and the photography are of a standard similar to what the Gaither Vocal Band, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound or any other “big-name” group would produce. It is the simple little things like this which often can be overlooked, yet make such a big difference in the final equation.

The song selection has something for everyone. This is not to say that it is a mishmash of genres and stylings, rather it is a carefully pieced together collection of material that anyone can comfortably listen too all the way through. Often i find myself skipping tracks on other projects just to get to the favourites, but not on this project.  One thing  i particularly like about the project as a whole was the use of new tracks. The project does not always have the same track that other artists have used. For example on “He Made A Change” the track used was not the same one that Ernie Haase & Signature Sound used on “Get Away Jordan”. It is different and this really does allow for new interpretations which gives the listener a more original experience. Another big plus for me is the clarity and diction that Paul uses in his vocals. Nothing annoys me more than an artist performing a song where you have to struggle to make out the words. You do not have this problem on a Paul Irwin project. Every word is clear and concise without being too “proper” or compromising the musicality of the song.

Track Listing

  1. Favourite Song of All
  2. There Is A Fountain
  3. He Made A Change
  4. He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels
  5. Thank You For The Cross
  6. Go Ask
  7. When He Comes Again
  8. Tears Are A Language
  9. Jesus What A Friend
  10. Forgive Me
  11. Favourite Song of All (Reprise)

Standout tracks would have to be “There Is A  Fountain”, “He Made a Change”, “He Could Have Called Ten Thousand Angels”, “Go Ask” and “Jesus What A Friend”. These are my personal favourites, the entire album is very strong indeed. “Go Ask” is what i would have envisioned the Gaither Vocal Band version had Guy Penrod had the lead for example. it was also nice to hear it being sung, instead of being partly recited like ol’ Bill!! On “He Made A Change” there is a strong progressive feel and an element of  Michael English thrown in for good measure. This works very well and slots into one of my all time favourite cuts of this song.

The album is not, however, a collection of  parodies of other artists. It is original and fresh, injecting new life into older songs, and putting a new perspective on others. I would highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys  Southern Gospel, Gospel or Contemporary Gospel music.

The album is available from www.paulirwinmusic.com.  You can also purchase Paul’s preceeding album, “Castles In The Sand”. The website also has booking details, photos and a biography. You can also listen to some samples of the latest project. Be sure to listen, purchase and let me know what you think. If you have ever wondered what Southern Gospel, Gospel or whatever you wish to label SG, sounded like from a Northern Irish perspective, you will not be disappointed.

Tags Paul Irwin
Category CD Reviews

Philip Boles

Philip is the biggest Southern Gospel fan in Northern Ireland and possibly outside of the USA. He sings with a Northern Irish trio called, "Solid Ground" and blogs when spare time allows. You can follow Philip on Twitter.

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  1. Keith Anderson
    Reply October 09, 11:29 #1 Keith Anderson

    Excellent review young sir. I would say that you have got it spot on with this album. This is without doubt, Pauls best project to date. I would encourage all your readers to go and purchase this album and experience another side of the southern gospel music genre.

    I have known Paul now for more than 10 years. We are work mates, neighbours and good friends. It was Paul that introduced me to Southern Gospel music and now I am just as fanatical about it as He is. I have watched him grow, musically wise that is, right from the start of his 1st album all those years ago, to what He has become with this his latest project. He is a perfectionist when it comes to his music. This is very evident when you listen to this album.

    Blog is looking very well and great to have the NI perspective online.




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