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WONDERFULLY MADE (2001)
Wonderfully Made - Click to view! Joy. We all search for it; we all long for it; we all despair when we discover that we can't produce it on our own. And then, when we thought all hope was gone, joy finds us and takes us on a journey like no other. It is easy to mistake the journey for the answer, however, and in the valleys we begin to think that joy is gone forever when it suddenly pulls us up and takes us to a higher hill. It is based on these experiences that The Waiting have given us Wonderfully Made. Employing infectious guitar pop, masterfully arranged and produced by Todd Olsen and Bryan Lenox, Wonderfully Made is a joyful reminder of the good things we find in life.

Poppy rhythms with catchy choruses abound on this CD, yet one never gets the feeling of musical or lyrical shallowness. Each track has been carefully written, revealing profound but simple truths that we often overlook. Complex production that requires multiple listens is also found on this album. "Wonderfully Made", the opening and title track, is a perfect example of this. Driving guitar effects and irresistible harmonies collide with an exposition of Psalm 139 to produce an uplifting track that reminds us of our origins. Though the formula is similar throughout Wonderfully Made, the messages and sounds vary, providing the listener with a new thought and a new experience every track.

A desire for sanctification and a realization of God's presence is clearly seen in the songs on this CD. "Diamonds to Dust" contemplates on the timelessness of material possessions with a fast-paced, spit-those-words-out chorus. A devotional song, "Take Me As I Am" rejoices that God does not demand perfection, but instead works in us to make perfection. Responding with a melody similar to the title track, "What Else Can I Say" unsuccessfully grasps for words other than "I love You" to describe our thankfulness to God. Another song that takes its message from the Psalms, "Every Word", a laid back, restful piece, longs for all our words and thoughts to "be ever pleasing" in God's sight. The Waiting return to a reflection on God's love in "A Lot of Love", joined by Michael Johnston of Smalltown Poets as they sing of their wonder at the abundance of God's love.

Perhaps the most moving song on the album is "Sleepless", a song that any Christian can relate to. Exploring our sin and its effects on life, they cry out, "Oh sin, Oh sin ~ It leaves us here without and hollowed out within ~ Oh sin, Oh sin ~ Like a fool to his folly ~ You keep coming back again." Yet, "Sleepless" is not an admission of defeat. The album's closer, "A Thousand Years (Is Not Enough)", prostrates itself at the feet of God, longing for eternity where we will be perfectly made for worship. As the last sonic beep emanates from the speakers and the CD slows to a stop, it is clear that the CD has come full circle: we have been pulled from the mire of the valley and brought to the glorious sunshine on a mountain. And joy still lives.
- Jason Ewert
March 2002
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