Maranatha! Music - Top 50 Modern Worship Songs

Published Tuesday 15th April 2014
Maranatha! Music - Top 50 Modern Worship Songs
Maranatha! Music - Top 50 Modern Worship Songs

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 148550-21935
LABEL: Maranatha 0738597220722
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 3
RELEASE DATE: 2014-03-03
RRP: £13.00

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

First, a bit of history. When they were an offshoot of California's Calvary Chapel Maranatha! Music could make a claim to being the founding fathers of the whole modern worship movement. Their 'Praise' series of albums (which went on for an extraordinary 21 volumes) not only brought the church-going public contemporary sounding recordings of songs written for the purpose of worshipping God but as publisher of most of those songs were the primary source for new worship material. However, down the years things changed. Other important sources of worship songs (including America's Integrity Music, Britain's Thankyou Music and Australia's Hillsong Music) effectively broke Maranatha's near monopoly and this, coupled with the label/publisher being sold to Word Records, meant that in recent years Maranatha! have been just one more company releasing recordings of their own copyrights and cover versions of other songs. However, after languishing for a number of years as a minor Word label, Maranatha! Music have come bouncing back to enjoy massive sales with their 'Top 25' and 'Top 50' series. The focal point for these releases has been the regular lists put out by the copyright licensing organisation CCLI which give an indicator of the most popular modern worship songs currently circulating around America's churches. In their 'Top 25 Gospel' series Maranatha! have licensed the original source recordings from the big black gospel companies. But for the modern worship albums they've simply got one of their in-house producers to record covers of the worship hits. So here you have producer Dave Archuletta (whoever he is) putting together versions of songs originally written/recorded by Chris Tomlin, Hillsong, Israel Houghton, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Jeremy Riddle, Michael Gungor and dozens more. The versions are reasonable enough with adequate (if unnamed) lead singers and arrangements which are professional replications of the originals though trying to listen to many of these 50 tracks at one sitting is almost bound to bring words like "dull" and "routine" to mind despite the adoration and passion expressed in many of the lyrics. But then, most people would just select their favourite songs. If you're happy with rather faceless worship music you will want to check this one out.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Product Description
50 of the most popular modern songs of praise and worship are now available in this new super-sized collection, Top 50 Modern Worship Songs. Those who want a long-play, cohesive worship experience will find this triple-disc set packed with the songs they love to sing along to, on Sunday and every day.

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