Easily one of the UK's most recognisable international Gospel music ambassadors, Muyiwa is back - along with Riversongz - with a new album, 'Declaring His Name All Over The World'.
It's the final instalment in their successful 'Declaring...' series, and if this is your first sampling of Muyiwa and Riversongz (as unlikely
as that may be) then there's no better place to start...
In an age when superlatives are too readily (and too generously) employed, Muyiwa is the real deal: a much-loved, hugely popular, inspirational figure in the UK gospel music scene.
Declaring His Name All Around The World is produced
by gospel legend Kevin Bond, and features
contributions from worship artists from China and India,
as well as guest vocalists Darwin Hobbs and Mary
I happened to be in the right place at the right time
when Muyiwa picked up the very first batch of CDs
(photo), and - of course - I had to twist his arm for a
copy ahead of the official release date...
Several plays (and one lost album later - I still can't find my CD) it's good to see that the very first Riversongz project not recorded as a live event delivers on all fronts: the intention to incorporate global languages and worship is interesting, and the guest appearances add an interesting dimension (I Love You Lord, the Darwin Hobbs guest track is an immediate mid-tempo standout).
African and Caribbean
There's also the usual, almost obligatory African and Caribbean cuts that are already radio favourites: Jehovah Jireh strongly taps into the bright Caribbean sound and Only You Be God catches the current African music groundswell - not that that's really anything new: strong Nigerian/West African songs are a Riversongz staple.
Widely Accessible Music
However, Muyiwa & Riversongz's strength has always been the widely accessible nature of the music, and in addition to the ethnic sounds (The Name of The Lord should also be added to that list) are the uptempo reverence of King of Kings, I Will Call on Him, Glory to God in The Highest and The Lord's Prayer...
At the mellow end of things, the emotionally-charged My Heritage (Apata) is a powerful tribute and testimony to his mother, and Come Lord Jesus, This is Our God, I Praise Your Name round off the slow set.
With Grammy-award winning Kevin Bond at the production helm, the music is just on the right side of delivering an album with the right amount of drive and musical empathy. As ever, the lyrics are immediate, accessible and will more than likely connect with even the most casual of listeners...
As I said: if you're a fan, then you're most certainly going to want to pick this up. If you're not, it's an absolutely excellent introduction to one of the UK's best.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5