Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
The Desperation Band was born of the student ministries of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and their focus is very much worship music. . .but don't stop there thinking they'll be like every other worship band out there. Having previously self-produced a number of studio and live recordings, 'Center Of It All' is the band's first time working with an outside producer, in this case drummer and songwriter Paul Mabury, previously known for his Hillsong work with Brooke Fraser. All I can say is "What a result!" The songs are firmly in the congregational worship realm, and yet sound fresh and vibrant in the way the Gungor CD I listened to recently does. The writing is very much a collaborative effort; the band's Jon Egan co-writing with nine other writers, including Mia Fieldes and Kari Jobe. The result is a collection of superbly strong songs that convey the presence of God and inspire the heart to glorify him. The musical arrangements are meticulously crafted, each song flowing along with the ups and downs of the lyrics, and there is not a single weak moment on the entire CD. If I had to single out songs that particularly resonated with me I would mention three; Firstly the beautiful, gentle reflection "This is My God, holy and pure, Sovereign and sure...devoted and undone I worship you." Second would be "Take Me To The River," based on the river from the temple in Ezekiel 47, which gently builds to a wistful cry to "Baptize me in wonder, Spirit take me under." Thirdly, "You Are The Glory" is one of several anthems with a mighty, rousing chorus to get you looking to God's throne room in praise, with a sweet reverbed guitar riff answering the vocal melody that I have to mention! The videos on the band's website certainly show they had fun making the record, and Jon conveys a sense of integrity in the to-camera clips, reinforcing the impression the songs give that "the Desperation Band has always been more of a ministry than a band. Jon and the guys believe that true change comes when people lay aside their agendas to encounter the true and living God." I can't recommend this highly enough.
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Desperation Band is based out of New Life Church, Colorado Springs, and is led by Jon Egan, along with Jared Anderson and Glenn Packiam.
Recorded at their annual Desperation Conference which draws thousands of college students who are desperate for a deeper walk with God.
"We are extremely excited about this project. We felt a strong pull from the Lord to get outside our comfort zones on this one and see how far we can stretch. For the first time ever, we signed on with an outside producer. Paul Mabury was our first choice. He came on board with enthusiasm and we were all better for it. He pushed on every song, every part, every moment. Nothing was done till it was right. Jason Ingram came to the table as a song producer and ended up co-writing half the record with Jon. Stu G (Delirious) jumped in and mentored the guitar process while also playing on the record. For us, this has been a dream come true. We were pushed and stretched to the max. It was hard. It was exhilarating. We preach that God lives in the risk. We walked it!"