This City These Streets
Artist: Robin Mark
Label: ICC Records (UK)
Time: 11 tracks/55.54
Popularity in his homeland of Northern Ireland preceded much notice on the mainland for worship leader Robin Mark, but with his "Days Of Elijah" being one of the most popular songs at this year's Spring Harvest, and with this album's release, he seems to be making an impact over here too.
The album contains a mixture of songs intended for corporate worship, and more performance-oriented material. The sounds range from the heavily Celtic-influenced first section of the ten minute opening track, to bluesy influences and some adult pop-rock songs. Once past the introduction, the first track ("Revival") sounds as though it would fit in perfectly at many a recent worship event, as would several others.
Robin's voice occasionally reminds me of a male Angela DiPrima and a few other worship leaders. He mixes this sound with a passion for what he is singing, to make for a world weariness that accentuates the lyrics. His voice isn't technically great, and in places sounds strained (it even cracks slightly on "Hanna's Song"), but it is well-placed for singing along with and is able to handle most of the material well.
Don't expect any big surprises from this album. It's not ground breaking, but it is well crafted and pleasant to relax to. I'm sure a couple of tracks will soon make their way into the British worship vocabulary, and may even cross the pond.
By James Stewart