STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 49080-16011 LABEL: Forerunner FM003 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-05-18 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Doug Holland
Without doubt one of the traits of the singer renowned for his prophetic approach to worship is his ability to walk the line between the justified and valuable exploration of musical and lyrical God-centred ideas and unjustified self-indulgence. Hearteningly, this 64-minute,10-track offering, originally released in 2002 demonstrates none of the latter but offers directness, passion and insight. Upton's songs are put together and sound like nobody else's; he never wastes a phrase of the lyric, is completely original, avoiding going anywhere near the trite, and his melodies invariably provoke a sense of expectation at being about to move on to somewhere yet more interesting. His voice is edgy (especially towards the top of his range) and its effect (unlike the majority of performers) is sharpened by the minimalist approach to the use of backing vocals. Leading from the keyboard, Upton is supported expertly on this collection of self-penned tracks by acoustic guitar, bass, drums, cello and violin, and once the final track has faded away the listener is left with only the contradictory emotions of disappointment at that fact and a sense thankfulness and satisfaction at having been present when very important issues were tackled.
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It's not good music that breaks the yoke; it is the anointing of Jesus that breaks the yoke and sets us free. All through the Bible God used people who didn't have a clue, who didn't have all the answers and who didn't really know anything. They had no strategy - or their only strategy appeared to be to look to heaven and say, 'my eyes are on You, great victorious warrior, You are my shinning star'. In the end, it's our own choice whether to live out our own strategies thereby living so that others see only 'our' abilities; but then we'll end up just like the enemy - just another "dying star". God is building an army of sons and daughters whose single-minded passion is for His purposes alone.
Stars rise and fall but sons don't. God has raised up a generation of sons and daughters, not a generation of superstars. But as long as we continue trying to be someone or something we will never be anything of worth to God. Jesus was worth everything to God. Jesus was the ultimate warrior, the ultimate pastor, the ultimate intercessor, the ultimate worshipper, and the ultimate teacher; and not because Jesus was the ultimate superstar, but because Jesus was the ultimate son. The songs on this cd call us from stardom into sonship.