This is a short EP that was released back in February by Martin Bailey. It is just a simple 3-track worship CD recorded by Martin to begin to get his music heard by a wider audience.
"Joy, Strengthen & Restore" starts with "Oh My Joy" which is a worship expression about the joy that we have in Christ. This joy is bought for us through Jesus death and proved to us by his resurrection. It is a celebration that Jesus is alive and that as we follow Him we can have a fullness of joy. The next track "I Can Do All Things" is about the strength that God uses through us, we don't have to be the best in everything, instead, we have to be submitted to God, falling on our knees. On our knees, we simply believe Philippians 4:13, that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength and put our trust in God for His provision for us. The last track on this little release is the rather wonderful sounding "Keep On Movin'" complete with some great piano styling in a honky-tonk style backed by some organ. The piano reminds me a little of some of Keith Green's material. Not surprisingly, this final song is about the restoration that God gives us as we keep moving through life, Jesus brings us the refreshing.
It is clear that this release has a fairly tight budget and it seems to be self-produced. I feel that this is where it actually lets itself down a little, because I think with some outside professional production this little release would sound a lot better. The music and backing don't have the freedom to explore the variation available that can be useful in making each part of a song more interesting and intriguing to listen to. Where this release is most let down is the vocal, it doesn't have the professional edge, a producer might encourage Martin to try things slightly differently in the studio and then take the best and add some wizardry to just take some of the edges off. Does any of this mean that you should write off the effort? Definitely not, these songs have something to say, there are probably bits and pieces that could be tightened up a little, but that sort of thing comes with experiencing the process more and more and is a constant learning curve for all.
Martin has put this release out there, there are many people who never even get this far in their music - so I want to encourage him to keep going and to stretch himself to sing, write and play outside of his comfort zone and to maybe collaborate with someone more experienced in making a commercial product, something that isn't easy on a small budget. Martin has released a 6-track EP in June which means that he is already building his knowledge of the process and working towards his goals. Keep on movin' forward Martin!