Reviewed by Tom Lennie
Reviewing a Morning Star recording is no easy task, as I know of absolutely no artist or group, Christian or otherwise, to compare this team to. They are completely unique. They are alternative worship at its most radical, making many p&w albums sound positively bland in comparison. Their worship style is based on the theology under-pinning the church, which itself is radical and uncompromising. The church's brand of spiritual warfare and the prophetic is definitely controversial, some would say downright dangerous. I have been excited yet cautious about output from Morning Star since first hearing their music on the four-album Heart Of David series some time ago (CR49). Yet there is something quite compelling about their powerful sound, and I couldn't resist sending off for the latest offering from the team. This is their first double-CD containing 14 tracks and a total playing-time of 2 hours 20 mins; average time per track being 10 mins. fl tell you, there's nothing conventional about this group!) All the main Morning Star worship leaders are featured, providing a variety of styles and including (unusually) one song from the children's ministry, a frenzied slab of ska-praise (did I say unconventional!) and a spontaneous percussion-led improvisation of "Jesus Loves Me" (uncon-what?!}. In fact, many tracks contain pieces of spontaneous worship, all of which add to the uniqueness and creative atmosphere of the album. Suzy Wills leads an absolutely stunning gospel-style hymn of praise, "Jeremiah 33", featuring the 32-piece Morning Star Fire Choir. A truly knockout sound. Perhaps the songs with the strongest melodies are those composed by producer Don Potter. "Jesus Christ Is Truth", "A Child Has Been Born" and "Holy As I Am" are all powerful and memorable songs, sounding especially potent when sung by Don. The musicianship too is excellent throughout the set and includes, for example, the deft use of saxophones, sitar and uillean pipes, as well as the guitars, keyboards and percussion which under-gird the project. An amazing album, oozing with inspiration and inventiveness, pulsating with passion and power! Certainly not for the light-hearted, but a near-must for anyone seeking new sounds in worship.
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