REVIEW: Michael English – Love Is the Golden Rule

Producer:  Jason Clark/Jay DeMarcus
Record Label:  Daywind Records

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 Michael English is arguably one of the greatest talents to ever sing a gospel song.  Michael doesn’t just take a song a sing it…he takes the song and owns it!  Each song has a little “English” put on it and bares his signature vocals and style.  While Michael has put out some great music in recent years with The Prodigal Comes Home (2008) and Some People Change (2012), his last couple of efforts in 2015 fell short and appeared to be more Karaoke than anything.  With this latest release, we have Michael returning back to his more soulful roots and the kind of music that put him on the map.

The recording starts off with the haunting, “MY LOVE” reminding us to be reflective of the Light of Christ as Michael proclaims that “the Light you see is the Christ in me”.

Things slow down for the ballad, “LITTLE IS MUCH”, which predictably include the chorus of the Southern Gospel classic by the same title, as a bridge, but it works wonderfully with the song and is a highlight of the recording, as is Michael’s rendition of “THE LIVING YEARS”, which, those who know Michael’s story, understand the emotional connection Michael has with the song.

The tempo picks up for funk feel of “NONE OF US ARE FREE” before things slow down a bit for the testimonial, “FINALLY COMING HOME”, penned by producer, Jason Clark along with Kenna Turner-West.

Shifting back into “funk mode”, Michael belts out “ONE DROP OF LOVE” before slowing down for the powerfully dramatic worship tune, “CRY HOLY”, which was written by Benjamin Gaither and Marshall Hall.

The tempo gets kick up for the happy feel of the Lee Black/Sue Smith collaboration, “HELLO HAPPINESS” before moving on the anthem, “LOVE IS THE GOLDEN RULE”.  While also recently recorded by Mark Lowry, as you would guess, Michael’s rendition has quite a bit more grit than Mark’s!

The recording closes out with the solemn feel of the comforting, “LET ME HOLD YOU”, reminding us that in our deepest pain, He is holding us.

As I was listening to this recording, I felt a sense of nostalgia or déjà vu …it took me back to his first solo efforts back in the early 90s with his self-titled release and Hope.  This recording has a similar vibe, but with a lot more depth to it, vocally and musically, and it is absolutely refreshing.  Producer, Jason Clark, really brought out the best in Michael and it’s a tremendous musical work of art.  Fans of Michael English will absolutely love this latest release…and fans who haven’t been fans since many years ago, it’s time to get reacquainted…welcome home!


Track Listing:
(stars denote personal favorites)

My Love**
Little is Much**
The Living Years**
None of Us Are Free
Finally Coming Home**
One Drop of Love
Cry Holy**
Hello Happiness
Love is the Golden Rule**
Let Me Hold You


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James Hales

James Hales, from Durham, North Carolina, has been a writer for since 2000. James is our featured reviewer and also contributes to monthly features periodically.
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