STYLE: Ambient/Meditational RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 134382-20448 LABEL: Integrity 700220785465 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2013-03-04 RRP: £10.00
Reviewed by Stephen Luff
Redding, California's Bethel Music have quickly gained a reputation for high quality worship albums. Their latest release, billed as pushing the creative boundaries of worship with a totally instrumental album, uses their previously released songs, deconstructed and rearranged to create something quite different. The opener, "What Does It Sound Like", switches between strings and an engaging beat, a little like running a race, while "God I Look To You" has a beautiful worship feel; "Forgiven" in contrast creates an atmosphere of joy and celebration. I especially enjoyed "Worthy Is The Lamb" with its background choir. I have to mention, however, that it took a number of plays of the disc for me to really "tune in" to what the album is all about as it is not like other "instrumental praise" albums and to the casual listener, it can sound a little like a film soundtrack. I did find the sound effects in parts of the album, for example telephone dialling and a ham radio, a little out of place. However, the project will reap rewards with frequent listening.
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Without Words began as an instrumental experiment by the Bethel Music community who set out to push the creative boundaries of worship. Each song offers a distinct listening experience and carries its own story. Songs from previous Bethel Music albums have been deconstructed and re-arranged into versions that hint at original melodies through unique instrumentation and modern sounds. Each track creates a dynamic, ambient, and cinematic atmosphere- free from lyric and discourse. The album ventures into new territory and explores what it is to worship without words.