Tuesday, May 28, 2013

RECORD REVIEW: Nicholas "Nicholas"

(Tate Music Group)

The self-titled debut from 
Nicholas is such a treat,
I'm seriously considering
sending him a lovely
assortment of bath soaps 
as a token of my gratitude.

To legions of rock fans throughout the U.S. and Canada, he's known as Nick Hildyard, the talented and charismatic multi-instrumentalist / frontman for the wildly popular Classic Albums Live touring group. However, to Christian music fans, the Central Florida-based singer / songwriter is known simply as Nicholas. And with his newly released record, Nicholas, he weaves the energy and passion of his sold-out concert appearances into the fabric of his Christian message.

Refreshingly not over-produced, Nicholas was produced by Josh Dougan and Nicholas in late 2012 at TMG Studios in  Mustang, Oklahoma. Boasting a subtle rawness, the record simply showcases a guy with great songs — and the guy is absolutely pouring his heart out. Nick's voice possesses such an honest Claudio Sanchez-meets-Justin Furstenfeld purity that he could be singing the phone book and it would be okay — whatever he's selling, I'm buying!

All eight tracks were written and performed by Nicholas. Completely free of ambiguity, his message is crystal clear throughout — he's singing about Jesus. And he's darn proud of it.

The debut record from Nicholas.
(A bona fide winner!)
"Everything" gets the record off to a strong start with to-the-point lyrics and a hooky melody — a  shining  moment  in a record filled with highlights.

You paid the price with 
your sacrifice Jesus, 
my reward. Your hands, 
the nails still you love 
me. Yes you love me.
(from "Everything")

"Morning Star" is a flat out rocker, punctuated by sharp, crunchy guitar work — possibly the best of the bunch.

The title, "My God is so Real" not only describes the message, but the music as well. This one is VERY real (and powerful)!

"If Only" and "Our Deliverer" are both stripped-down earworms that harken back to the golden singer / songwriter era. True gems, to be sure.

Despite being an acoustic-based tune, "The Things I Do" is edgy and it rocks with the best of 'em.

In sum, Nicholas is a bona fide winner. Kudos to Nick Hildyard for having the nards to so boldly speak truth with his music and for super-charging my spiritual batteries — at a time when I really needed a boost.

-Christopher Long
(May 2013)
Nicholas - Nicholas



C'MON! -

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