Spring Harvest - Perfect Sacrifice: 20 New Songs For The Church
STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 77990-15595 LABEL: Elevation ICC1260D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 RELEASE DATE: 2009-04-20 RRP: £14.99
Reviewed by Paul Poulton
There seems to be a plethora of well written worship songs around at the moment, they lend themselves to congregational adoration of the Lord. I have joined in some of these songs myself at church and if you go to church then you may well have too. "Round The Earth" kicks off the first of this two CD set, it's a Tim Hughes/Eoghan Heaslip song. Energetic drums and pumping bass drive the tune forward, with nice gaps in the vocal phrasing, it's perfect for pushing the genre of worship music a little further forward. Congregations are well used to being pushed these days both rhythmically and with the vocal phrasing. Composers of modern day worship songs fit in syllables where some years ago composers would go for poetic licence and shorten words like "over" to "o're" or "it is" to "'tis". These days we just stick in the extra syllables and let the congregations learn the phrasing because we're a musical lot. The heart stirring song "Amazing God" by Nathan Fellingham/Paul Oakley is the second song; it's simply a great song. The deal is that the 12 songs on CD 1 have a full band and are songs that we can enjoy in church, while CD 2 has 10 songs that have acoustic arrangements for enjoyment in our own private devotions or something like that I guess. But hang on a minute, isn't this release called '20 New Songs...'? I2 on one CD and 10 on the other, isn't that 22 songs? It's things like this that bug me enough to thumb through all the track copyright dates, two of the songs are from 2006, all the others from 2007-2008 so maybe that's it. Anyway, the songs on CD 2 are recorded with rich acoustic guitar tones, finger picked with a precision that Paul Simon wouldn't be ashamed of. Acoustic piano is also used and played simply but effectively. The general tenor of the songs is not as strong as the songs on CD 1 but is never the less quite sweet.
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New Songs are the lifeblood of the church, offering fresh, powerful and inspiring ways to respond in worship. It is this desire that's at the heart of New Song 09/10, which features 20 songs carefully chosen as the most anointed to emerge this year. 12 full-band arrangements on CD1 are complimented by 10 acoustic arrangements on CD2, presenting 22 tracks and 20 unique songs to the Church. While many will enjoy the more gentle approach of CD2 in their personal worship, this is also a fantastic resource, unpacking the way worship songs can work equally well in both the most sophisticated and simpliest of contexts.