Mark Bishop and Forget the Sea

One of the projects that really caught my attention during my extended hiatus was this project with Mark Bishop and his kids/in-laws. I may go back and do a more formal review of this album sometime, but I was extremely impressed with it. Mark brought a truly new and fresh sound to SG with this effort. I remarked to a friend that it was “hipster gospel”, a sound that you would expect to hear at a small coffeehouse somewhere. 

However, things just have never seemed to take off with the group. A quick glance at the website shows one date scheduled in August. It looked with product bundles and their website in general that they were really trying to make a splash. 

This saddens me. Maybe other things have unavoidably gotten in the way, but I was excited to see something truly new and unique in SG. Either way, it’s a sad comment on our industry that innovation so rarely seems to be encouraged and pushed to the top. I hope that they haven’t given up and will keep trying. I for one appreciate the creativity and willingness to try something new. 

Expanded Thoughts: Mark Bishop – “Fields Of Love”

I posted a comment on AVFL’s review of the new project from Mark Bishop with my overall thoughts on the album. This really is a great project. I’ve never been much of a Mark Bishop fan, but this is a really neat concept album. It’s similar to Brian Wilson’s upcoming That Lucky Old Sun album in that it intersperses songs with spoken interludes. With Mark’s country tinged voice, it also reminds you of the musical Oklahoma! with a Christian storyline.

Mickey Gamble stated in the comments that there will be radio releases from this album, which will be quite interesting as very few of the songs will stand alone. Even “Take Another Step”, which would probably be the best suited for a radio single, can stand on its own, but loses some of the punch of the message when it is taken out of the context of the broader story. With such limited radio options, it’s no wonder why Crossroads is hoping to cash in on the internet “viral” marketing sensation. It’s probably the best way to market this project.

While I’m still not the biggest Mark Bishop fan in the world, the album really is very good, and the guest vocals add a lot to it. The biggest positive is just the sheer gusto by all involved to go through with creating such a unique product, especially since the traditional means of marketing said product are basically going to have to fly out the window. There really is some artistic creativity in Southern Gospel music.

%d bloggers like this: