Arrangers: Andy Watts; A. Stirling Davis III; Giles Lewin .
Three-hundred years ago Charles Wesley, the man who founded Methodism, was born. That anniversary is celebrated with a good selection of Methodist hymns and other old songs on Paradise Found. To be fair, many of these are relatively obscure (certainly to non-Methodists), and some are deadly earnest rather than anthemic, with plenty of strong sentiments in the lyrics, which tend to the wordy, rather than the spare, as with the somewhat sentimental "Dead! Dead! The Child I Lov'd So Well." Of course, there are a few familiar items, like "I Know That My Redeemer Lives," and the work has all been married to stirring tunes. The hymns are fine, although some of them might be a little wasted on non-believers, while the secular material proves a little more interesting -- but it should be noted that the division between religion and secular life seemed to be almost non-existent. Maddy Prior is in her usual good voice, and the Carnival Band give sterling support. More a labor of love than a serious commercial attempt, it's a pleasure to hear, even if it might not warrant repeated listenings. ~ Chris Nickson