Speed of Life

Speed of Life

by The Christians
     
 

When the Christians released their debut album in 1987, they were certainly a breath of fresh air. Mixing '60s- and '70s-influenced soul with a then-modern pop flair, that self-titled album was an instant success. With songs chiefly written by the enormously talented Henry Priestman (the very same man who handled the same role in new wave/power pop legends Yachts…  See more details below

Overview

When the Christians released their debut album in 1987, they were certainly a breath of fresh air. Mixing '60s- and '70s-influenced soul with a then-modern pop flair, that self-titled album was an instant success. With songs chiefly written by the enormously talented Henry Priestman (the very same man who handled the same role in new wave/power pop legends Yachts nearly a decade before), the Christians were a pop phenomenon. With lead vocals handled by Garry Christian and backing vocals by his brother, Russell, and multi-instrumentalist Priestman, the band's sound was instantly identifiable. They were so popular that even Seal was compared to the Christians as he began to get his own career off the ground in the early '90s. While subsequent albums Colours (1990), Happy in Hell (1992), and Prodigal Sons (2003) contained some amazing tracks, the albums didn't achieve the success they deserved and the trio went their separate ways. In 2009, the Christians were reborn with only Garry remaining from the original lineup. It took another three years before new music emerged in the shape of Speed of Life, but it was an album that was worth the wait. Speed of Life succeeds on its own terms. Though the album is missing the original trio's distinct harmonies and Priestman's exemplary songwriting skills, Garry adds a fine full-length to the band's already wonderful musical legacy. In fact, Speed of Life is the band's most consistent album since their 1987 debut. Now, it may not have songs as strong as some of the material on Colours and Happy in Hell, but track for track, Speed of Life brings the band's sound right up to date. With songs co-written by bandmembers Barry Parker, Neil Griffiths, and Joey Ankrah, and collaborations with Paul Barlow plus a cover of Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues," Speed of Life is never short of a great tune. Add Garry's passionate vocals and you've got an album that old fans will embrace just as lovingly as a new generation of listeners who may not be familiar with the band's back catalog will. More acoustic-based than their past releases, the Christians of 2012 keep the production minimal and concentrate on the songs and the vocals. Very much in the same vein as their past releases, the album is chock-full of songs that reveal themselves with each listen. The first half of the album is flawless but Speed of Life loses a little steam as it progresses, especially once the band starts relying on grooves instead of melodies. But, at the same time, their unique blend of pop and soul never ceases to engage the listener. With Speed of Life, Garry has managed to create a new Christians platter that encompasses all that was great about the band without turning them into a tired oldies act, and that is pretty damn impressive indeed. Anything else would have been blasphemy. ~ Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/04/2012
Label:
Cherry Red Uk
UPC:
5013929153035
catalogNumber:
2915303

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Christians   Primary Artist
Garry Christian   Group Member
Joe Ankrah   Group Member
Barry Parker   Group Member
Michael Ohayon   Group Member
Stewart Boyle   Group Member
Neil Griffiths   Group Member
Momo Hafsi   Group Member
Paul Walsham   Group Member
Michael Triggs   Group Member
Cliff Watson   Group Member
Lionel Duke   Group Member

Technical Credits

Christians   Producer
Marvin Gaye   Composer
Laurent Gueneau   Producer
Ronnie Stone   Producer
Paul Barlow   Composer
Garry Christian   Composer
Joe Ankrah   Composer
Barry Parker   Composer
Neil Griffiths   Composer

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