STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82232-15846 LABEL: Survivor SURCD5155 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-08-07 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
The New Wine event at Royal Bath and West Showground, Somerset is an important part of the Christian calendar. This is the first studio recording associated with New Wine and features some recordings from Ireland's Eoghan Heaslip, former Shine member Nicki Rogers, Canadian veteran David Ruis and Cheltenham-based worship man David Gate. Here we have 11 original worship songs that aim to help the listener encounter God. Despite the undoubted prowess of the personnel involved and the God-glorifying nature of the songs, this is regrettably a rather underwhelming collection of lacklustre performances that fail to inspire. The main problem here is the lack of variety in the album's pace with the vast majority of the songs on offer defaulting to a pedestrian speed that makes them sound unintentionally morose. 'New Wine Worship' cannot be faulted for its crisp production values and for attempting to bring some new worship songs to the public ear. But, without the ability to shift up a gear when needed, this release is largely run of the mill.
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The New Wine conferences have done for hundreds of churches what Starbucks has done for the morning coffee; they’ve given it a reason to get out. Gathering together year on year across the country, the event never fails to send people home with stories of transformation, rejuvenation and revelation by the thousand.
Worship has always been a central part of the events, and after countless classic live albums, Saving Grace represents the first trip into a studio for the musicians and worship leaders that make up the annual soundtrack.
Featuring songwriters Eoghan Heaslip, Neil Bennet, David Ruis and David Gate – who all also sing on the album, along with Nikki Rodgers, Nicole Brown and Jules Woodbridge – the album not only manages to connect with the roots of live worship that run so deep within New Wine, but also serves up a truly intimate worship encounter for any listener.