‘Social Justice & Peace’ by Shane Jacob Philips - songs that cannot fail to reach you(August 24, 2014)
So an artist releases three albums deeply rooted in the traditions of soul, makes a handbrake turn and decides to branch out into folk. Interesting. Will the pulse of one genre transcend into another? Will the messages in the songs strike home?
Shane Jacob Philips has released a mini-album or maxi-EP (call it what you will) called ‘Social Justice & Peace’ and the answer to the earlier questions is yes – to the benefit of both. ‘Social Justice & Peace’ is a collection of stories that take the essence of the artist’s soul heritage and weaves it perfectly into a folk narrative. Add a distinctly sonorous richness of voice, the ability to write inspiring lyrics and sharply precise melodies - the combination quite simply hits the spot.
It’s often said that ‘roads travelled’ make the artist and in turn make the music. Turning the devastation of his father’s death, a painful relationship break up, bankruptcy and prison into something altogether cathartic, these journeys encompass working with homeless youth to a passage of dedication to Mount Kilimanjaro. The songs that result convey the expanse of the voyage through a searching examination of the ills affecting the individual and the wider world we all inhabit. Asking questions, demanding answers and sparing no subject, songs like the reality within ‘A New World’, the revealing quest of ‘Traveling On To Mars’ and the personal exploration of ‘Freedom’ deliver depth of feeling that move that part of us we should value the most.
Once you find the music of Shane Jacob Philips there’s a conviction these songs cannot fail to reach you. No doubt about it.
With Shane Jacob Philips providing the vocals, the musicians on ‘Social Justice & Peace’ are Nick Petrowski and Greg Morency (bass) Kevin Fox (cello) Alain Berge (drums) Guy Kaye (guitar) and Kenny Pearson (organ, piano).
Look for ‘Social Justice & Peace’ here: www.shanephilips.com
Reviewer: Tim Carroll