SONICFLOOd with Kevin Max
Rebecca St. James
LISTEN: LOUDER (1999)
The idea has been revolutionary from the start: strip away the gloss, image and glamour of the EMI Christian artists (Sparrow, Star Song, forefront, Gotee, re:think, Furious?), and share expressions of worship unashamedly, inviting the audience to Listen to Our Hearts. Yet this whole radical conception was bogged in musical mediocrity, confined exclusively to adult contemporary artists and songs...until now. Listen: Louder teams the artistic aptitude of Switchfoot, Audio Adrenaline, Chasing Furies and many others with an uncluttered, easeful atmosphere of homage directed to God. Staunch guitar and deft passion carry the violent praise of delirious? forward in "Come Like You Promise," petitioning the Lord to come and make sense of life's mystery. On her cut "A Little More," Jennifer Knapp continues in a similar vein, confessing awe at meritless grace, while Newsboys speak of their hold on eternity in a diverse illumination remix of "Hallelujah." Switchfoot's "Spirit" is another simple phrasing inducive to worship, clearing away clouded reality to see Jesus alone as "all." Reworking a cut from their Underdog CD, Audio Adrenaline declare that "It is Well" when you live life obviously dependent on God. While I agree with fans who call it the worst song on their self-titled debut, "Something About that Name," contributed by SONICFLOOd and Kevin Max, feels perfectly at home on this compilation, ultimately deferring to Luna Halo's textured, intricate takeoff of the church chorus "Humble Thyself." Currently a mainstay on alternative Christian radio, "Omega" is rejuvenated by Rebecca St. James for a "psi-phi" version that's marginally better than the original version on Rebecca's Pray album. Achieving an "unpolished gem" effect, The Waiting view the blinding brilliance known in the friendship of God, if but for the mere three minutes that "At Your Feet" progresses. Pairing elements of both acoustic and electric, "Your Faithfulness" examines the dichotomy of Christ's unmoving love and our misguided frustration, through Chasing Furies' multidimensional perspective. Sarah Masen wraps up this 12-song package with "Psalm 139," best described in her own words: "It exhausts all our possibilities for flight. There's no where to go. God has us surrounded." Anchoring this project are the thoughts and expositions of the artists (included in the packaging) that offer further fuel for thought into the reality of worship. Plunge into the limitless depths of the gospel of Jesus Christ, completely lost in the sweet-smelling incense offered in these fifty-six minutes on the landmark compilation Listen: Louder.
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