Reviewed by John Cheek
Homegrown in name and location, all songs on this, the first Homegrown Worship collection stemming from Resound Media's Andy Baker, and the arrangements and playing, as well as the original songwriting, all seem to strive for excellence and often get there. The opener, "Psalm 16" gives those sacred words a tremendous treatment with a marvellous, contemporary-sheen to the sound. "Jehovah-Jireh" is a lovely, laid-back, warm look at one of the 99 names of God and how he can be - and is - our eternal provider. An attractive, Maroon 5 feel suggests a track which deserves to be heard on commercial radio but probably never will be. "Teach Us How To Pray", however, is a meditation upon the disciples' request to Jesus for guidance in the matter and, at first, proved irritating. The repeated-refrain, "teach us how to pray" seems at odds with Jesus' words to those same disciples, "do not keep on babbling like pagans. . .," yet repeated-plays broke my resistance and the obvious sincerity of the vocal eventually became enchanting. At other times, the album seems to plod a bit, but with so many songs engaging with God on a level of intimacy, perhaps that can be inevitable. Each track, on its own merits, certainly stands up. The closer, "No Other Place", is reminiscent of Psalm 27, particularly ". . .that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord. . .," and captures perfectly the sensation and experience of yearning after God. Here, the track - like the album - facilitates the satisfying of such divine yearning.
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