Review of Robert Critchley’s
“Song Resource Pack”

Christopher Rath

1997/08/15

This review first appeared as a USENET posting to rec.music.christian.  The original article can be still be viewed in the Google Groups archive.

Introduction

Rob’s latest release, the “Song Resource Pack”, consists of a CD recording of four songs packaged along with backing tracks, overhead masters, and leadsheets for the four songs.

Rob has released 4 recordings over the past 8 or 9 nine years, and this one continues to demonstrate his talent, versatility, and gifting as a singer/song-writer of both Worship and Contemporary Christian music.

I’ve known Rob and Dawn Critchley for going on 12 years, and I really like Rob’s music. I use his material at the church I lead worship in, and my family listens to his tapes. I don’t believe Rob’s music gets the exposure it deserves, so I thought I would take time to write and post this review.

Review

“Song Resource Pack” Tracks:

1. Great Big God [4:35] w&m Robert Critchley

2. Mercy Over Me [5:52] w&m Robert Critchley

3. I See A Warrior [5:02] w&m Craig Docksteader

4. To Jesus Be Glory [3:28] w&m Robert Critchley

5.8. Backing/performance tracks for each song.

“Great Big God” is a catchy tune about “A great big God; little bitty devil.” and God’s Kingship. The piece has a marvellous bass line that forms the song’s intro and then underlays throughout. Great Big God has a wonderful AM radio feel to it and almost demands to be played at booming volume on the car radio.

“Mercy Over Me”, my favourite track from the CD, is an anthem declaring the wonder of the ransom Jesus’ death paid for us. The Rhodes-like piano and guitar accompaniment with double-time drum-beat backing give the song a rolling, off-beat feel. This is one I’ll be introducing to our worship team to use in congregational worship. It should work well as a transition from fast-paced praise to slower more intimate worship. In the chorus, “His blood still cries mercy over me”, Rob thankfully resists the temptation to tie the word “pleads” with “blood”; using “pleads” instead with the alternate chorus of, “His prayer still pleads mercy…”

“I See A Warrior” brings images to mind of a watchman on the city wall, calling out as the sun sets, telling all who hear what has taken place that day, and what will occur the next; of Jesus’ work upon the earth. The song has a haunting melody that continues to play in my mind long after I’ve turned the CD off.

“To Jesus Be Glory” is a song of introduction to Jesus and His Father. The drums carry this song through from beginning to end, with acoustic & electric guitars, and keyboards, taking turns with their riffs along-side the percussion. The verses each take the listener/singer from observation of Jesus and the Father to a place of active praise of Jesus. I enjoy this transition every time I listen to the song.

All four tracks stand on their own, and the four work together too: there is a natural progression as one listens-through the CD. Having the backing tracks for the songs makes it much easier to learn to play them. As well, the backing tracks allow the music to be used as “performance” or offertory pieces during a service.

Packaging these tunes as a “Resource Pack” under-sells how great they are to listen to, and I hope Rob re-uses these on a future full-length CD release.

Availability

The Song Resource Pack is priced at $23.00 ($CAN) and can be ordered from the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship’s bookstore (in Toronto, Canada).

Telephone:

416-674-8463 ext. 210
888-865-3473 (US/Can. credit card orders only)

Discography

Solo Releases:

1997 — “Song Resource Pack”, CD.
1995 — “Lift Up A Standard”, cassette tape & CD (songbook available).
1991 — “I Am Yours”, cassette tape.

Releases with the Niagara Worship Band:

1989 — “Celebrate! His Love”, cassette tape.
1988 — “Fill The Air”, cassette tape.

©Copyright 1997, 2001, Christopher & Jean Rath
Telephone: 613-824-4584
Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
Last updated: 2007/02/16 @ 09:52:52 ( )