Music Review: Quiet My Soul (Live Acoustic Sessions) by Noel Richards, Tricia Richards

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May 05, 2018
Quiet My Soul

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In the last couple of years, we have been re-visiting some of our better known songs. Those who have attended any of our recent concerts, will have heard our acoustic versions of songs such as “All Heaven Declares”, “To Be In Your Presence” and “You Laid Aside Your Majesty”.

Talking with our producer – Caroline Bonnett – we decided it would be a great idea to capture these versions of the songs in a live studio setting, with our acoustic guitars and voices. The only additional vocal and guitar was provided by Harun Kotch (who has played on our last couple of albums).

We wanted to record the songs in the way they are heard at our concerts and this new CD “Quiet My Soul – live acoustic sessions” - is the result.

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Quiet My Soul by Noel & Tricia Richards
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Noel and Tricia Richards were very much pioneers of the worship music that we enjoy in our churches today contributing countless classic choruses to the rich history of Christian music. Now, semi-retired to Spain, they continue to play live concerts, but in a more intimate setting than the one-time events in many of the world's largest stadiums. Their concerts these days see the couple share some of the stories behind the songs, or tales from their lives, and then share acoustic versions of their songs and some covers, still pointing the way to worship.

"Quiet My Soul" is an attempt to capture something like you might expect at one of their concerts, without the stories in between. With this recording everything is stripped right back to acoustic guitars and Noel and Tricia literally recording what they play and presenting it to us on CD or download. While this album is only six tracks long they have presented some of these tracks as medleys which is like getting a 'buy one, get one free' deal.

The EP opens with a track that might not be all that familiar, it is a track from the Hudson Taylors which comprised Noel, Brian Houston and Wayne Drain. "Sacred Place" is a passionate song of drawing near to God, this intimacy leads into "You Laid Aside Your Majesty" which is probably one of Noel's most well known songs. The title track for this collection is "Quiet My Soul" which is a new track from Noel and Tricia which is just a prayer for those moments when our thoughts run away from us, worried about the next twist or turn of life. It is a beautifully simple song that many of us need in our day to day lives and reminds us that God can quiet our soul because we hope and trust in Him. This is backed up with the next track which is "Our Confidence is in the Lord".

The next track is a pairing of a classic track from Noel and Tricia and a classic hymn. "To Be In Your Presence" is about the lingering moments spent with God and has been a contemplative worship song since it's release in 1991, to then add the element of "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" is clever, oh and what a simple but beautiful version! The next track combines two Noel and Tricia favourites with "All Heaven Declares" and "By Your Side" and you really can't go wrong with this. Although there is no female echoed part on "All Heaven Declares" that we have got used to adding in our worship. As Noel explains in the concert, it was never written that way, despite one lady's insistence at a Songs of Praise recording! The album rounds out with another newer track, their 2016 song "God Be In My Head" which is a reminder that we need to be conscious of God in every moment of every day.

In many of the songs of this album it is Noel that brings the primary vocal, while Tricia beautifully complements with her backing vocal. Only on the last track does Tricia bring the main vocal. This project will be a nostalgia trip for many who grew up with these songs in their worship. It is quite beautiful and there is a Spirit inspiration in the way that they have chosen to put these songs together. For me, the stand-out track is the combination of "To Be In Your Presence" with "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms", I am not sure anyone else would have put these together but it is an inspirational and positive declaration of our closeness with God in that moment of worship. With that comfort where else would you rather be than in the presence, the very arms of God!

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