Review of “Rocks in My Shoes” by Xan Phillips, radio presenter, Voice FM (Southampton UK)

Rocks In My Shoes

This album is what the religious community needs, someone to come along and deliver pop and praise.

Whether that community takes immediately to Henta Ellis is to be seen but even on first listen to  ‘Oh Glory’ you have to feel it is a classic, it gives me almost the same gospel energy that I felt in the recent Elvis film. 

That had some wonderful moments in which spirit and music combine to bring about revelation. Although ‘Oh glory; may not be as gusty and earthy, it will give parishioners and believers the chance to let their hair down and send their praises high. 

Maybe that’s not the direction for you, but ‘Our Town’ is another appealing song that doesn’t feel like the Lord is being the main focus – where you get a great balance between praise and spirit, where people are feeling the spirit, without being told they are feeling it.

I appreciate that in certain circles of praise it feels good to mention the Lord’s name many times, and you shouldn’t drift too far from that if it pleases the crowd.

However, to me, understanding comes through discovery rather than the bluntness of that some songs possess, they demand to accept the Lord by listening, rather than feeling.

The final song ‘King of Kings’ is my favorite. I like the crow, but I wonder if it detracts too much. I would like to know how the song sounds without it, or with an instrument in its place, just out of curiosity.

The backing musicians and vocalists are excellent. Henta has surrounded herself with people who feel the same way as she does and it shows. Together they will develop and grow, and I can imagine when they play these songs in the right setting, the audience reaction will inspire them further.

I’m hoping that King of Kings, the last track of the album, is a taste of the direction Henta is taking the next album. I look forward to hearing it.

Overall, these ramblings can be boiled down to: classic Henta, great voice and tunes, interesting use of instruments that should deliver pleasure to her main audience.

by Xan Phillips, radio presenter, Voice FM (Southampton UK)