Reviewed by David Faulkner
Over the years, Dallas's Christ For The Nations Institute has nurtured many worship writers and performers, from Marty Nystrom, whose "As The Deer" is today a long established worship staple, through to more recent figures such as Kari Jobe. This CD/DVD release gives you a flavour of their current roster, including Gabriel Allred, Jonathan Lewis and Jared Ellis. Originally released independently in 2011, a year later it is being distributed by Integrity. Most of the songs are self-penned, although a couple of Brian Johnson/Jeremy Riddle cuts are included, most notably "You Are Good", which was much featured at the 2012 New Wine Leadership Conference. Is there anything to distinguish this from hundreds of other modern worship CDs? Not really. The musical style is akin to much of what we've heard in the genre ever since half the Christian world started to make safe clones of Delirious?. The lyrical content is worthy but not daring - yes, there are more lines about Jesus being beautiful. It's stadium rock megachurch worship for a younger generation. But for all the lack of a unique stamp upon this recording, you cannot fault the energy, passion and honesty on display. It's more than competent at what it does. You never know, a significant worship leader or composer of the future might well be hidden here. One final footnote, it's called 37 because, amazingly, CFN have now released 37 recordings!
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This 37th project from Christ for the Nations Institute marks the beginning for their first label partnership in the school's rich 41-year history.
CFNI has given birth to business and global government leaders as well as worship leaders and artists like Russ Taff, Marty Nystrom (As The Deer), Kari Jobe, Thomas Walker, Walker Beach, Kevin Jonas (Father & Manager of Jonas Brothers), David Moore (Gateway Worship) and many, many more.
CFNI has been and will continue to be fertile ground for worship leaders and songwriters who are saturated in its environment of passionate worship, prayer and Bible study. Integrity Music is excited to join in harvesting this fertile ground for the Kingdom of God; blessing the Church with the songs and sounds of worship birthed in young hearts from around the world.