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The Ultimate Collection - Click to view!It's hard to be skeptical of a Keith Green "greatest hits" album. Initially, you may disagree with the song selection, but once the music begins, it's hard to resist the emanating passion that seeps into your soul.

Yet, I must express some sympathy for the cynics, if only because there are so many such collections. Each new year brings some new-fangled idea. "Let's do an artists' tribute!" Okay, we can understand that-even if most of the songs are dry and boring. "What about the worship craze: can't we capitalize on that somehow?" Bingo. Your Love Broke Through showcased some of the finest Christian worship leaders doing their best to sell themselves and make Keith Green one of them. On and on it goes, with everybody looking for ways to enhance Keith's image. Can't you see him rolling over in his grave?

The Ultimate Collection could easily be written off as another money-grab, if it were not for its usefulness. For one, this collection has twenty songs, a decent amount for a CD intended to introduce a new generation to Green's music. Chosen to represent the fan favorites, these songs provide a good overview of Green's career. It would have been nice to include some lesser known tracks on here, but it's hard to complain too much-Keith rarely released a bad song.

The other primary attraction in this collection is a bonus DVD disc that has Your Love Broke Through: The Keith Green Story, an hour long documentary that tells the story of Keith's spiritual journey and ministry years. This well done movie will do much more than provide you with a "Keith Green" timeline: it will inspire you as you see how Keith's amazing fire for God propelled his life. It is this DVD that makes this collection worth your money, since old and new fans alike will enjoy watching Keith's story.

That said, I can't help but wish that more people would flock to Keith's original albums rather than these cheap collections. When you take a bunch of songs and throw them together, the original context is lost, replaced by some A&R agent who is more concerned with making money than sending a message. So, treat The Ultimate Collection as the stepping stone that it is: go on and discover the Keith Green that lives outside of label hype and media spin. He was no ordinary pop star...why treat him as one?
- Jason Ewert
May 2003
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