Selah -- Press On

Selah was awarded a Dove Award for Best Inspirational Album of the Year for their debut project, Be Still My Soul, out on Curb Records. Combining the talent of siblings Todd and Nicol Smith with a friend from college, Allen Hall, Selah has been able to sing a mixture of old gospel hymns, worship songs and African spirituals. Their debut release has sold over 100,000 copies nationwide. They now are following up with Press On, a new batch of songs, including some that you may have heard and a couple you haven't.

Press On holds to the basic fibers of Be Still My Soul in that it's a collection of songs that represent the faith of years gone by. Songs like Amazing Grace and Great is Thy Faithfulness are mixed with the worship song, Wonderful, Merciful Savior and the beat-savvy Deep to create an album that will please a wide variety of individuals. Todd and Nicol's vocal ability is the defining factor of this album. Todd's strongest song is Timeless, where his voice simply floats across the music instead of commanding it. He has a tendency to do too many vocal acrobats. He does them well, just too often.

Nicol's raspy, soulful rendition of There Is A Fountain will make you think she was raised in an African-American Church in the middle of Georgia. The idea is not that far-fetched. Todd and Nicol's parents were missionairies in Africa, so the siblings grew up in the Congo, where they learned to sing, speak Swahili, and groove to African beats. Their African heritage is not lost on Press On, where they re-create an old Swahili praise song.

The musical mastermind behind this album is pianist Allen Hall. In a live setting you can't help but just stare at his hands as they glide across the keyboard. Hall even sings a song on Press On. His tribute to the Beatles is simple yet welcomed.

In a phrase:Press On is an album that lends itself to a natural worship experience.

Grade:

Content: B+
Production: B

Review by Paul Oak

You can watch Selah music videos at Godtube.com.