Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Worship Together have put together sheet music, chord charts and overhead masters for 13 established hymns for church use in a stylish and practical format to accompany the recent album of the same name by the Passion Band. The size of the book is slightly less than A4 and the rustic cover artwork represents the theme contained in the collection's title and is immediately pleasing to the eye. The natural question is why, given the inclusion of these hymns in countless church music books, is yet another collection being offered? The answer may lie in the fact that these hymns have been arranged and added to by modern composers such as David Crowder, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin and Charlie Hall with the aim of bringing these anointed songs bang up to date for a new generation. Surprisingly and refreshingly, not too many of the usual suspects are represented here with "How Great Thou Art" being the most familiar. Other hymns featured are "All Creatures Of Our God And King", the "Doxology" with David Crowder's rewritten amen ending and Beethoven's "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee". But what really comes across is the superiority and sheer poetry of these hymns when likened to what is generally being written today. Compare if you will "Here Is Love" with the lyric "Grace and love, like mighty rivers/Poured incessant from above/Heav'n's peace and perfect justice/Kissed a guilty world in love" with Matt Redman's additional words "No love is higher, no love is wider/No love deeper, no love truer/No love is higher, no love is wider/No love is like your love, O Lord." In principle, the whole project seems like a great idea. However, given the slim number of songs featured in this book and the fact that the enhanced CD already contains chord charts and overhead masters, the release of this book does appear to be an exercise in cashing in on the fact that the sheet music has not been included in the disc when it could so easily have been.
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