[ on both ]
[ one ]
Maranatha! Praise Band
The Burn Service Band
The Stoneleigh Band
[ two ]
Ten Shekel Shirt
I COULD SING OF YOUR LOVE FOREVER 2 (2001)
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I COULD SING OF YOUR LOVE FOREVER (2000)
With the last decade's influx of new worship albums, and worldwide distribution available via internet, CD buying choices are getting harder and harder. Worship Together has solved this conundrum by compiling I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever (ICSOYLF), a two-disc set of 25 songs central to the expansionary, worldwide worship movement. For once, an A&R department did their job right, classing the material into Studio and Live discs; however, it begins anticlimactically with SONICFLOOd's muffled cover of the classic "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever." Darrell Evans superbly remedies this with "Trading My Sorrows," his ever-popular single driven by a "Yes, Lord" chorus of agreement and consent. Taken from the boisterous Road to OneDay project, the immense, frantic "Did You Feel?" is presented by Matt Redman in a full-throated yet unadorned fashion. The granddaddy of them all, delirious?, strike up their keen, life-enhancing sound on "Shout to the North," a rustic, British highlands-styled chorus. Tom Lane brings a shifting, accented request to Heaven in "Pour Out Your Spirit," followed by the Redman/Martin Smith duet "Heart of Worship," a permanent, comely landmark of today's church. In a rare studio recording, Kingsway artist Tim Hughes drums up an overwhelming melody that ransacks the subject of "Joy" suitably. Harmonica-tinged and energetic to the fifth power, delirious? burst with elation on "The Happy Song," often called their only country hit (and always requested loudly at Texas gigs). Another signpost recognized by all segments of the church population, "Open the Eyes of My Heart" seems somewhat dilettante as delivered by the Maranatha! Praise Band. Weaning away from the Studio disc's louder focus, an early Redman song seizes the soul "Once Again" in a refrain of youthful wonder. Already included on Revival Generation's ICSOYLF release, Passion's "We Fall Down" still rests at Jesus' feet. Pleasing strings and light instrumentation finish up CD one, the more recent Passion creation "Jesus, Lover of My Soul" bestowing renown on the name above all. Chock full of the teeming throng's shrill cries and constant improvisation by whoever's on stage, the Live disc opens with "You're Worthy of My Praise," from Passion: Better is One Day. Increasingly visible guitarist Noel Richards declares, "Come, Now is the Time to Worship," in Vineyard's splendid jewel that gladly chooses Christ over the world. Another previously independent leader, Paul Oakley, won't let go of "Jesus, Friend of Sinners" as he rocks to a lively, irregular progression. Impossibly hooky and harmonic, the Passion band claims that "Every Move I Make" is made possible by God's waves of mercy. A curious phrasing of glory is Brenton Brown's "Lord, Reign in Me," whose acoustic stop-start techniques showcase he and his band's tightness. Using the fewest words of any ICSOYLF track, "I Will Exalt Your Name" precedes Passion's sixth and final song, "Better is One Day," the fadeless, striking anthem of so many worshipers. The spontaneity of Redman proves a beneficial accessory to the Hillsongs staple "Shout to the Lord," a roaring, towering melody recorded at Great Britain's Wembley Stadium. Pyrophonic and fumigated with the smoke of altar praise, "Set Me on Fire" goes against the grain ala the electric zeal of The Burn Service. Mirroring the cry of millions, "We Want to See Jesus Lifted High" tumbles strongholds and flies banners for the furthering of Jesus and His kingdom (Noel Richards differentiates by allowing a minute-long, crowd-only repeat of the powerful chorus). His British poise and perseverance so true, Redman bows out on "Thank You for the Blood," a literal, capacious dissertation on deliverance from sin's penalties. The Stoneleigh Band adds a jazzy, congregational feel to delirious?'s intimate, unstationary masterpiece "What A Friend I've Found." You can't help but smile at the spirit of these artists; their reveries of youth and twinklings of eternity assert truly that I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.
- Josh M. Shepherd
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