Reviewed by Tom Lennie
How the quality of New Songs output from Spring Harvest has improved in recent years. Formerly, many of the worship songs featured on the annual output failed to live up to the term "new", and there was a somewhat sterile sound common to session recordings which it appeared to prove well nigh impossible to overcome. Thankfully, that's no longer the case, for overcome they have. Most of the songs are indeed either very or fairly recent, and there's a quality to the recording and production which accords each track far more freshness and vitality, almost as if these are original singer/songwriter takes. In format 'Glory' follows the same pattern as in previous years, with 12 tracks being given full-band treatment and a further 10 (on disc two) having gentler, acoustic arrangements. I find this approach works really well, the result being a two-for-the-price-of-one set-up for a great contemporary worship resource. Part of the credit for the project's success is due to producers, Trevor Michael and Dan Wheeler on discs one and two respectively. Thanks also to the many musicians involved (which include both the above) - such as excellent lead vocals from (on disc one) Neil Wilson, Nigel Briggs, Jen Jarvis and Andreana Tait; and from Rebekah Cox, Quintin Delport and Cathy Burton on disc two. Many terrific songs crop up on each recording, virtually every tune from a different writer - Ed Cash, Vicky Beeching, Matt Redman, Lincoln Brewster. Chris Quilala and Brian Houston to name just a few of the better known (the latter's "Sweet Jesus" is a gem)! A beautiful worshipful album, well worth taking note of.
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22 new songs offering fresh and inspiring ways for churches and individuals to respond in worship.
It is the desire to continue to resource the church with new expressions of worship that's at the heart of Glory, which features 22 songs carefully chosen as the most inspiring to emerge this year. With 12 full-band arrangements, CD1 showcases a carefully chosen collection in anthemic style. CD2 takes a simpler approach, with stripped-down arrangements of just guitar, piano and vocal allowing the songs to breathe.
Whatever your church set-up, or personal preference this fantastic resource unpacks the way worship songs can work equally well in both the most sophisticated and simpliest of contexts.