On rare occasions it can do all three.... ' In a world of Satriani and Vai clones, 'Out of the Ashes' is a refreshing change, and Paul Oakley achieves those rare three things... Scott Ward at Sea of Tranquility webzine had this to say in his review of Paul's debut CD 'Out of the Ashes'... Oakley, Paul: Out Of The Ashes There is a wealth of instrumental guitarist out there. Some get it right and many, many never do. It takes much more than the ability to shred or run the fretboard as fast as humanly possible to create music that gets into your soul.
So many forget that this it is still about the melody and not a solo extended out for 3 or 4 minutes. When the artist gets it right it is as if a magical landscape explodes in your head from the sounds that are being sent there through your ears. Music can be a medium that makes you use more than your audio senses. It can make you look at things differently.
It can touch you in ways nothing else can. When the artist is spot on with his instrument there is nothing in this world that will affect you in the same way. All that is to prepare you for the dynamics of an artist I have never had the pleasure of hearing before but have found to be a guy that can depict the world we live in and the feelings that we have through the interpretation of his surroundings and his dreams using his six string. The pen might be mightier than the sword but Paul Oakley proves that the guitar can be mightier than any writing instrument known to man at creating a story or painting a picture.
Here on this disc he gives you 11 interpretations of things going on in his life and our lives as well. From the melodramatic to the whimsical, Oakley delivers an instrumental tour de force. Paul tells me that his first influence was Ritchie Blackmore and after that Gary Moore and David Gilmour. I guess you could say the "more" the merrier no matter how you spell it.
He also mentioned that Uli Jon Roth and Jan Cyrka among his favorite guitarist too. While I hate to really compare Paul as he has a very unique sound but he reminds me more of the Joe Satriani, Gary Hoey and Rod DeGeorge school where the music is more about melody and painting vivid pictures with his playing. This album is not about riffs, it is about storytelling and the ability to create a tale with his music. Take the first song "One Last Ride" that is as he describes it about selling his motorcycle and taking it out for the last time. When you hear the sound of the bike being fired up at the start it is just a prelude to a song that takes you out on the highway for a breathtaking ride.
You can close your eyes and just envision the miles flying by as the music takes you for a two wheeled ride of a lifetime. You can feel the wind as he cranks the throttle and blazes off into the sunset. From there he takes you to the whimsical world that cats live in with "Cattitude". As far as pets go, cats are the ones that have the most attitude and this tune captures it perfectly.
This song shows the way that Paul paints with his music as you can just see a cat rolling around with a ball of yarn or batting the mouse toy. This journey that Oakley takes you on is one that hits upon many different emotions along the way. The beautiful "Hand In Hand" really exudes love while the song "Out Of The Ashes" is full of hope. "Freefall" is all about excitement and you will have a deep respect for history and the finality of death with the majestic "The Last Pharaoh".
Oakley is able to pull such feelings from his instrument. Luckily we are here to benefit from his ability. It is not often you will find an artist of such extreme talent. Both in his playing and his songwriting, Oakley is superb.
By the time you get to the last song "Final Sunset" you will be drained by the pure magic that he has put on this disc. This is what instrumental music is supposed to be, something that you feel as well as hear. Few can pull it off but Paul Oakley does and what he has put out for you is one magical disc that gets into the soul. This is one that you should not just own but treasure for not many will come along like it. 2.
Paul Oakley, Christian songwriter If you’ve ever heard Paul’s songs or been in a context where Paul has lead worship, then you won’t have failed to notice the consuming passion to know God that characterises his songwriting. Whilst this passion and exuberant celebration of songs like Fire, Here I am, Unashamed and Because of You carry an authority and integrity that can only come from having been in that place, songs like Cover me, I need You now, When deep calls to deep and Kiss the River show that Paul is also not shy to tackle issues of pain and suffering in the context of worship. Paul’s song Jesus Lover of my soul has now gone literally all around the globe & been covered by various worship artists as well as translated into many other languages. “The main focus of my writing comes from my walk with God. I’ve seen God and I don’t want to write about anything else. Like Isaiah I felt like I’ve had a radical encounter with God and ‘’I’m ruined, I’m undone!” When you’ve seen God what else is there to write about? He is everything! He’s awesome and He’s jealous for His glory in every aspect of our lives. So whatever I go through, I walk through it with Him & I hope that comes out in the songs.
Music, as well as being a precious gift from God, is for Him as well. There’s almost a sense in which music itself is more complete when it’s to Him & for Him. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for entertainment or performance songs because it all points to a Creator & brings glory to God. I want God at the centre of what I’m saying & writing because He’s totally changed my life.” Whilst some songwriters are renowned for a particular favourite theme, Paul’s songs seem to take you to every point of the compass.
Declaration, reverence, awe, revival & grace are just a few of the subjects Paul touches in his songwriting. For a comprehensive list of themes in a helpful resource reference format, see the ‘resources’ page. Paul’s songwriting and worship leading have been described on more than one occasion as a ‘journey into God’ and Paul has also found this to be true for him throughout the songwriting process.“Certainly the cds have been a bit like a ‘journey into God’ for me. Even some individual songs, like “In this stillness” & “One Thing” have been like a mini adventure into the person and nature of God himself.” Paul’s influence as a ‘well-established leader’ in Christian Music, has come as something of a surprise to him and was never something he anticipated in his early stages of his new life as a Christian. His britpop/new wave background left him wondering if he had anything to bring to the mainstream worship ministry.
Infact, evangelism became the main focus of his writing for the first few years, using his first band as a vehicle for the gospel. His international profile continues to grow. This last year has seen Paul travel to Canada, South Africa, Holland, Germany, Scotland and Northern Ireland and more recently, invitations have opened up for Paul to travel to Brazil, the States, Portugal and Germany & Holland again this year. Although he travels a lot, Paul and his family are very committed to Church of Christ The King - their home church in Brighton (UK) - where he regularly leads the 1,000 strong congregation in worship alongside Dave Fellingham, Stuart Townend, Matt Redman, Phatfish and Kate Simmonds. If you love to celebrate God’s grace & all that Jesus has accomplished for us, yet you’re not satisfied just to stay where you are - you’re hungry for more of God, then Paul’s songs will always resonate with your spirit. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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