Vessel of Weakness
Artist: Ralph Van Manen
Label: Artica Records (Word UK)
Length: 11 tracks / 44.14 minutes
Ralph Van Manen is the Netherlands's biggest CCM star, with a string
of albums to his name. In many ways the music is reminiscent of Michael
W. Smith, with a light rock/adult contemporary feel and soulful vocals,
and at other times his voice sounds more like Steven Curtis Chapman. The
electric guitar is fairly prominent, but doesn't really drive the music
as much as it could, never getting beyond the light rock sounds of Bon
Jovi's mellower work.
The lyrics are written and delivered in English, and most are linked
with bible passages in the album sleeve. They are neither particularly
distinctive nor overly disappointing. The Christian emphasis is clear,
if not pushed in the listener's face, which again ought to appeal to fans
of artists like Michael W Smith.
There's nothing exceptional to report in this solid continuation
from Ralph Van Manen. While he could use his talents for something more
distinctive, fans will probably still lap this up.
By James Stewart (12/05/98)