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MATT REDMAN
[ the father's song ]

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THE FATHER'S SONG (2000)
The Father's Song - Click to view!How could a service scheduled to end at 11pm finally wrap up at 2am after a few additional unplanned hours of worship? When was the last time you pulled off the freeway, crying and singing to a melody far more than music? Why would a lone worshiper kneel at the front for hours after the band left? These are the actions of those who hear the transcendent tune of God and His love; the same singleminded profession brought to the Throne in The Father's Song. As always with songwriter Matt Redman, this album is a journey of change. The first leg of his trip is "Take the World but Give Me Jesus," an emphatic, all-or-nothing single featuring Stu G. of delirious? on guitar. Mixed by Martin Smith, "Light of the World" ensouls an illumination of Jesus' glory that angels long for and prophets seek out. Beholding the travail of darkness and the triumph of unstoppable passion, the next entreaty crowns Jesus the "King of this Heart." Audibly, Redman's new sound dabbles in rock, soul, and pop, yet never fully explores any one path; while some say this displays mediocrity, I believe it permits leeway for the words to speak. "I won't bring an empty song," decrees the brisk tune "Justice and Mercy," a return to Redman's earlier style. Resonant with a perfect forte of piano, strings, and light guitar, "The Father's Song" is a delicate overture of a King and His mercy--a title track unequaled since The Heart of Worship. Punctuated by the full-bodied, trolling London Community Gospel Choir, "Nothing is Too Much" chants of our purpose to love and worship the Lord unreservedly. Track seven, "You Led Me to the Cross," keeps near the wooden, blood-stained place of sacrifice, not heeding the selfish cries of our subsistence. While bass player Rick Heil superadds to nearly every track, SONICFLOOd runs the distance with Redman as they enliven a "Holy Moment" with activating upheaval and unstifled grit. Taking the core track from the Revival Generation: Lovely Noise CD, cut nine presides in the holy, welcoming caress of our "Sacred King." Pointing to Jesus and His universal greatness, a deluge of harmony and scripture unravel "Revelation." Relishing freedom songs, battle victory, and the wounds of salvation, "Thank You for the Blood" adds to the fadeless substance of the project with its staccato strings and well-handled production. The only banal Redman cut I've heard, "You Must Increase" is easily forgettable. It is followed by "Let My Words Be Few," the simplest of love songs that illustrates more is less--both in worship, and the sonic texture of this CD. Closing the 65-minute disc, an everlasting song progresses "On and On" in a continuous, all-encompassing veneration. Reshaping his musical mold, Redman's latest will never be what The Heart of Worship was; however, it does succeed in being itself: a worshiper's lavish, gratified response to The Father's Song.
- Josh M. Shepherd

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