Lamont Hiebert (Ten Shekel Shirt)
CREATION WORSHIPS (2002)
Creation music festivals are all the rage. Split into East and West versions, they rehash Woodstock and add some God. It seems to be working thus far. The festivals draw thousands of music junkies from all across the nation. Creation Worships brings together the hype of the festivals and melds it with another trend: Modern worship. The result is a fun, energetic sampling of both worlds.
The roster of this album is a who's who of contemporary P&W leaders. Rita Springer, Lincoln Brewster, Paul Baloche, Lamont Hiebert (of Ten Shekel Shirt fame) and Jami Smith belt out their tunes as well as a few from Darrell Evans and the mighty Martin Smith (of delirious? fame).
Lamont starts the album off with his "Meet with Me" from TSS's Much album. Every riff, every beat, every distortion is verbatim of the Much version. The only addition is a background vocal or two, and the festival-goers cheering at the end. The dying strains of "Meet with Me" morph effortlessly with the classic "Open the Eyes of My Heart." The song is given in a lively way, and you can hear the crowd joining in happily as the worship leaders end the song in the traditional drums-only manner. Lincoln Brewster carries the crowd's enthusiasm with his radio hit "Take me Higher." The simple lyrics of "Take Me higher, draw me closer…" float on the waves of a delicious pounding beat. The beat quiets down to accommodate Jami Smith's "Your Love is Deep." The song is only four and a half minutes long, but it seems to drag on longer due to the sing-songy chorus of "Your love is deep, Your love is high, Your love is long, Your love is wide." Even Jami's awesome, gravel-y, rock-chick voice can't save this song from itself. Jami later lends her vocals to the lengthy "Breathe." For eight minutes listeners try to remember if 'desperate for you' comes before or after 'lost without you,' but the spirit of worship lies so heavy on this track, that the slip of a wrong line doesn't matter much at all.
Recent worship releases have taught us that an album isn't worth its salt unless it contains a cover of a delirious? song. In Creation Worships, the d: of choice is the timeless "Lead Me." Serious d:heads will notice that Vertical lists the song as "Lead Me, Oh Lead Me," even though the song is simply titled "Lead Me." Quibbles aside, the song is still amazing, and Lincoln Brewster handles the easy electric guitar bits in a very fine way.
The album as a whole is a fun, energetic sampling of the best and brightest of modern worship. Long-time contemporary worshipers will enjoy the compilation of all their favorite songs, and the 'newbies' will love the intro to the whole big wide world of today's worship scene. There is a huge joy found in praising God, and this album revels in it. Indeed, God loves it when His Creation Worships!
Although thrown together in about 3 minutes, this site has the latest bios and some other info on Vertical's roster of modern worship artists.
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