Rebecca St. James
Michael W. Smith
Martin Smith (delirious?)
YOUR LOVE BROKE THROUGH: THE WORSHIP SONGS OF KEITH GREEN (2002)
As it was once said in a movie: "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die." Keith Green has, indeed, reached the status of "legend," inspiring Sparrow Records to compile a tribute album to his work. Your Love Broke Through: The Worship Songs of Keith Green boasts such artists as Martin Smith (lead singer/songwriter for Delirious?), Michelle Tumes, Rebecca St. James and a host of other big ticket names. It has every appearance of being of being absolutely fabulous; unfortunately, in this case appearances are deceiving.
Perhaps it lacks Keith's "from-the-gut" zeal; perhaps his songs just don't lend themselves to glitterization, or maybe the artists didn't have much time to really work with the songs. Whatever the reason, this album is a waste of time, both for the artists and the listener.
Michelle Tumes who sings "There is a Redeemer", Rebecca St. James ("Your Love Broke Through") and Twila Paris ("Rushing Wind") all opt for a breathy, techno-spacey sound to update their songs. Loops and synthesizers abound, leaving little room for any feeling. The artists do well with the technical sound, but to leave behind the passion that was the trademark of Green's songs is a true tragedy.
Choosing "He's the One" for his song, Michael W. Smith plays the piano in such a way that one might think Michael snuck one of his own songs onto the album. All elements that Keith had in the original (save the lyrics and the idea of the melody) are ripped out and replaced by a Smitty sound reminiscent of his early CD's. Yet again we see the music, void of the passion.
There are, as is the case with most mediocre CD's, a few bright spots. Chris Tomlin's version of "Lord I'm Gonna Love You" and newcomer Jason Upton's rendition of "You Are The One" are very decent. Maybe these worship leaders have a better understanding of the spirit of the songs. One can always leave it to the worship leaders to actually worship when singing! Your Love Broke Through is also mercifully short - just shy of 40 minutes.
Save your time and your money. If you really want to experience the songs of Keith Green, buy the original item. The Ministry Years Vols. 1 and 2 are brilliant servings of Keith's music and spirit. No Christian music collection should be lacking even one of those albums. Bottom Line: Accept no substitutes.
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