Southern Gospel artist Mark Bishop has been involved with a substantial number of releases over the years, both as a solo artist and as a part of The Bishops. Last year saw the release of Seasons, a solid collection of some of his best songs. Thankfully, his fans haven't had to wait long to hear a fresh release, as his latest offering, A Different Light, hit shelves in early 2018. While the album still rests within Bishop's comfort zone, it does see him stretch a little as an artist, pushing more into the singer-songwriter realm.
Bishop opens A Different Light with "More Than Enough," a solid track which showcases some of what's new this time around. Containing devout lyrics ("I who had no right to ask for God's Love / He went to the Father with more than enough"), this track helps the album off to a good start. He follows this up with "I'm in Good Hands," a song boasting simplistically beautiful guitar work with a lovely piano complement. Unfortunately, the added drum set creates an awkward contrast, which the song could have done without.
Featuring a tasteful choir, "God is Powerful" is a surprisingly enjoyable song. Stuck between nostalgic and contemporary, the song's curious components create a memorable and quality track, and one of the album highlights. Another notable track is "Refrigerator Door," which, while somewhat cliché, tells a beautiful story. "What it Comes Down to is Me" and "Tell Me You Saw me" are both good songs which bring a gentle familiarity and will greatly appeal to Bishop's current listener base.
"Couldn't Feel Any Better" is an upbeat and energetic (albeit short) song which does a good job to start wrapping up the album. The last two tracks, "Fly, Fly Away Little Birdie" and "I'm Gonna Wish I Had Worried Less" are solid-yet-forgettable efforts. The album does end on a nice note, though, and is one that is easy to recommend for fans of the genre.
Ultimately, the entirety of A Different Light feels intimate and personal, almost as if listening to a small, live performance. The album is highly Gospel-centric, unashamedly presenting the story of Christ at every turn. For fans of Southern Gospel, A Different Light is slated to be a popular addition to Bishop's discography. For those unattuned with the genre, there will be a few tracks here worth listening to, but this above-average album isn't likely to change your opinions anytime soon. A Different Light shows healthy amounts of both artistic growth and familiarity for Bishop, a mark which few releases reach.- Review date: 3/19/18, written by David Craft of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Sonlite Records / Crossroads Entertainment & Marketing
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