Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
"More than ever, my heart's desire is to help lift hearts, minds and voices to glorify God." Well that's worked, thanks to God's obvious anointing on Graham Kendrick over the last few decades. With such a prolific output he could be classed as the Haydn or Mozart of the British church and as with both of those gentlemen, some music stands out head and shoulders above the rest. We have here 30 of Graham's best-loved songs and what a relief to find that all except three are new arrangements and recordings rather than this being one of Kingsway's over familiar "from the archives" compilations. Produced by a variety of production teams the arrangements ooze musicality and sensitivity whether in the gentleness of "For This I Have Jesus" or in the energy of "Teach Me To Dance" and each song is given space to breathe, never over-produced. Eight songs are duets, one of these being the absolute standout track for me - "Lord You've Been Good To Me" with Martin Smith, taken from the 'What Grace' album - the timbres of their two voices blend perfectly. Other highlights are the combination of reflection and victory of "Amazing Love," the beautiful arrangement of the "May The Fragrance" duet with Nicki Rogers, and the poignancy of the closing "Until The Day" duet with Darlene Zschech. Lyrically, the album is suffused with Jesus, evoking memories of past glories and glory to come, and the title is perfectly apt. Graham says "It's when people say some things like: 'That song is how I feel. . . that's what I believe too. . . that's what we wanted to sing but didn't have the words. . . that song carried me through tough times. . . that line always moves me to tears'; it's then that I feel most humbled, privileged and grateful to have been given the gift of song-making, to have been on this journey." What a journey it has been, and long may it continue! It's worth mentioning that if you buy it from iTunes you will receive two additional bonus tracks not present on the CD version.
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With a song back catalogue that’s bursting with classics, you’d be forgiven for not remembering just how many loved and time tested worship songs have been penned by Graham Kendrick. He’s inspired a generation of worshippers and shown a strength of commitment to the worship of the church that’s can’t be overlooked.
The Very Best Of Graham Kendrick (Knowing You Jesus) features classic songs such as Amazing Love, Meekness & Majesty, Is Anyone Thirsty?, Knowing You Jesus and Servant King are given a fresh lease of life by beautiful new arrangements and recordings. Including duets with Matt Redman, Darlene Zschech, Martin Smith and Paul Baloche.
No song writer or worship leader is more deserving of, or as long overdue for, a greatest hits as Graham Kendrick. Each of the 28 worship songs compound the reason why Graham has been at the heart of contemporary worship for so many decades.