STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 20951-11675 LABEL: Fair Trade Services 000768399729 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 EXTRAS: Bonus disc RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Allan Clare
MercyMe's first record label album, originally released in 2001, is getting a 2 CD 'Platinum Edition' release. The second disk consists of various interviews with the band and three different versions of the band's crossover classic "I Can Only Imagine". In other words, it's NOT worth buying if you already own the album. However, if it's relatively catchy, pop-rock you want (with the emphasis on pop) this is the album to get. "I Can Only Imagine" really IS a superb song, but it's indicative of the rest of the album that it stands out so much. Bart Millard is a fine country-tinged vocalist, and the rest of the band play well (gosh, I sound like my mother). What I'm trying to say is I found it all a little bit bland. After playing it many, many times for this review, there are only three or four tracks whose tunes I can recall. Even the rockiest track, "House Of God", doesn't have a lead guitar solo - despite the nasty riff, it all fades away into the general niceness.
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During 2001, MercyMe released 'Almost There'. Track 5 on that album, 'I Can Only Imagine', delivered an unabashedly strong message about what heaven might be like.
The album sold millions across the world and took its rightful place along megastar pop acts on the Billboard Top 200 pop charts for months. This laid-back worship band from Greenville, Texas quickly evolved from being Christian music’s fastest-selling new act in 2001 to one of the most successful bands in all musical genres.
Their initial debut, Almost There was certified Gold in less than a year, becoming the best-selling debut project of 2001 in the Christian music industry. Overall MercyMe has sold over 4 million records in a relatively short amount of time.
This platinum edition includes the original recording of Almost There album plus a bonus disc featuring previously unreleased versions of 'I Can Only Imagine', a video of 'I Can Only Imagine' and an exclusive interview with lead singer Bart Millard.