Reviewed by Keith Singleton
Praise and worship albums can be quite difficult to pigeon hole as they usually cross several genres, so this has been placed in pop as it's a good a place as any! I am confident though that most people will find something on this album that they like, which is probably just as well as a lot of it will no doubt find its way into a lot of church music books! A lot of praise and worship albums can sound very samey but thankfully the Soul Survivor boys keep managing to come up with new, refreshing and distinctive material, and this album is packed with such. On offer you get 11 guitar-based tracks, three each written by Matt Redman and Tim Hughes respectively, two each from Martin Layzell and Chris Tomlin and the remaining track from Paul Baloche. The thing that strikes me about the lyrics is the honesty and vulnerability of hearts open before God, which is exactly where we should be in worship. There is no attempt to be clever with lyrics, or to be musically complex. The lyrics of "Making Melody" ("I'm making melody in my heart to you") and "I Lift You High" ("I lift you high and bow down low/How high can you be?/How low can I go?") are just so simple they're brilliant and will help to lead people straight into the presence of God which is essentially what worship music is all about. Elsewhere we have a new arrangement of the classic hymn "When I Survey" which works really well, with the addition of a chorus. The whole album consists of songs that exalt God and at the same time remind us of how insignificant we are in comparison. A word of warning about "Open The Eyes Of My Heart" though - learn the words thoroughly, or you might find yourself slipping into U2's "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For!", particularly as the opening riff of the following song bears an uncanny resemblance to that of the aforementioned song! Live albums often do not stand up to repeated listening, particularly if there is any dialogue in between the songs, but there is none of that here and I can imagine that this is one album I will be playing for quite some time to come. A cracking album all round and I have no hesitation in recommending it wholeheartedly.
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