Rob Halligan Releases
Click on a cover pic to view the details of each release.
Love Come Down
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Midlands-based singer/songwriter Halligan’s new album is the latest in a long line of quality releases that showcase the experienced troubadour’s ability to offer up passionate, heartfelt songs about faith and life in accessible and memorable fashion. With Foundry Music Lab’s dream team of Graeme Duffin and Sandy Jones once again at the helm, Halligan’s songs are given the treatment they deserve and numbers such as the call to unity “Common Language” and the God-to-man song “I Can’t Make You Walk” contain the right amount of production polish whilst allowing the man’s trademark gritty vocals and faith-on-sleeve lyrics to shine through. Alongside the more fully-fleshed tracks, this release also sees Halligan in familiar stripped-back territory with the likes of the beautiful piano song “Fearfully And Wonderfully” and the Billy Bragg-like “Pride Of Place” – an ode to the courage of the black athletes who took part in the Nazi-tinged 1936 Berlin Olympics – reflecting the writer’s faith in God and an overriding social conscience respectively. Succeeding in keeping things varied stylistically, the slow blues of “Without Your Fire” prompts a stellar vocal performance from Halligan together with some impassioned guitar work from Duffin whilst remade versions of a couple of older numbers – “Streets Of This Town” and “Dancing With Seagulls” – top another accomplished release.
Reviewed by Ian Whitwood
One of UK Christian music’s most experienced singer/songwriters, the Coventry-based Halligan here offers a stimulating and thought-provoking set with more than a bit of Americana about it. “Caught Up” begins philosophically, “Sometimes there are no easy answers/Sometimes the questions feel/Like canyons in my mind.” “I Ain’t Dead Yet” and the title track are more autobiographical. “Hosanna” describes key moments in the Gospel narrative, “No castle walls or palace halls/Just starlight shining down” and “As he rode in they hailed their King/And sang as he passed by” with the song reaching a crescendo as the choir sings the chorus, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna again” with passion making this a truly standout track. On the song “The Boots I Never Wore” Rob sings, “Lead me down the road you had to take/When they took your freedom away,” reflecting his social conscience and empathy for the Syrian refugees and the Global Care charity. The final track, “This Is Our God” underlines and establishes Rob’s gospel credentials, “This is our God who loved the world so much/ He sent His only son.” A well balanced album showcasing Rob’s singing and songwriting talents skilfully produced by the always consistent Graeme Duffin.
We All Write The Songs
Reviewed by Andy Shaw
Once again, the long-established Midlands-based songsmith has journeyed to the Foundry Music Lab in Scotland to work with Wet Wet Wet guitarist Graeme Duffin and producer Sandy Jones. The overall sound of the record sees a focus on acoustic instrumentation with a number of tracks stripped back to just vocal and acoustic guitar and others sticking to a four-piece band of guitar, bass, drums and keys. There are nods to a number of influences in the music with the blues-tinged “God Knows What It’s Like” providing electric guitar licks and an impressive technical solo and the Americana/country feel on “Bigger Than That” alongside the more traditional folk sound. Rob Halligan has a knack for writing songs that feel familiar even though you haven’t heard them before, instantly accessible and engaging. Opener “We Listened To Ray” is a classic folk tune telling the tale of the range of influences we have in our lives with a sing-along chorus that provides the title for the album, “And we all write the songs/And we all sing along/And the world dances on to the tune of our song.” The theme of community and the importance of love and encouragement for each other is repeated throughout the record giving messages of hope in the face of tragedy (“When Heroes Fall”) and a promise of support and love no matter what (“Hold You Tonight”). There is also a clear focus on God’s love as the only thing that can be relied on (“Hold Lightly”) with the power to overcome anything (“Love Is Bigger”). Up to Rob’s usual high standards.