STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13717-5962 LABEL: Integrity 5034646050124 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £14.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Sometimes Cross Rhythms reviewers, in their passion to see contemporary worship move away from the formulaic to adapt adventurous new musical approaches, forget the truism that a worship album is first and foremost about the quality of the songs and specifically whether those songs have the potential to connect with acts of congregational worship. Although we may want our worship albums to have The Edge-style guitar pyrotechnics or drum 'n' bass rhythms or our worship singers to sing at least better than the questionable pitching of Scripture In Song or the semi-musical rasp of a Graham Kendrick, it's primarily the memorability of melody and the apposite resonance of the lyrics which should decide whether or not a worship album gets a thumbs up or thumbs down review. Neil Bennetts has been slowly but surely building a reputation as an exceptional songwriter and worship leader. His work at Trinity Cheltenham and his regular worship leading at the New Wine event has made this, his first "solo" album, long overdue and what a delight it is. At least three songs here, Neil's new melody to that classic hymn lyric "Great Redeemer" ("O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"), the catchy "Name Above All Names" (with guest Eoghan Heaslip) and the wistfully beautiful "O Perfect Love" show that Neil is a master of his songwriting craft and the songs here will surely bring many into the presence of God in the years ahead. Now my opening preamble shouldn't lead potential buyers to think that this album lacks production values. In fact the choice of studio maestro Trevor Michael was an inspired one as Trevor, whose previously delivered edgy rock delights for Superhero and [crave] has been able to bring some guitar bite into the proceedings and stop Neil's wistful, lilting music ever becoming soporific. Also spectacular is the beautiful interplay between the rhythm section and the strings arranged by Keith Getty. It's taken way too long for CR to get around to reviewing this gem. Hopefully, many discerning church goers have already discovered the quality of this album.
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
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
The stunning worship album from Neil Bennetts.
12 Tracks including 'God be gracious to us (Everything we're living for), Great Redeemer (O for a thousand tongues), Name above all names, Speak to this heart' and' O perfect love'.
'Everything we're living for' features some of the UK's finest Christian musicians together with the Prague String Orchestra, and also includes duets with worship leaders Eoghan Heaslip, Jules Woodbridge and Cathy Burton.