The Kingdom Vineyard - Welcomed In

Published Wednesday 29th April 2009
The Kingdom Vineyard - Welcomed In
The Kingdom Vineyard - Welcomed In

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 78961-15362
LABEL: Independent KVCD_01
RRP: £9.99

Reviewed by Doug Holland

This is the first CD released by the Kingdom Vineyard church of St Andrews, Scotland. It comprises nine tracks which total approximately 50 minutes and it is home-grown in content, performance and production. The song genre is predominantly soft pop, with a piano and electric or acoustic guitar sharing the majority of the lead roles but with effective contributions from a variety of orchestral instruments. The vocals are extremely accomplished and some delightful lead voices are evident, with these supported by plenty of well chosen, placed and delivered harmonies. The production values are clear and crisp and good use is made of space in the music. The majority of songs are unexceptional however, with the modern trend of "massive statement going completely undeveloped and unexplained" being dominant. Also (and again not untypically in modern Christian recordings), the subject of the majority of the songs here is the singer rather than God, which waters down the sense of "worship" in the listening experience. Interestingly, probably the best song in the collection is another re-working of Psalm 23 called "Green Pastures" and this song may well out-live the rest of the album. There is clearly a great deal of talent associated with the Kingdom Vineyard, and hopefully subsequent offerings will suggest more of a desire for self expression rather than slotting so generically into the current trends of modern worship.

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Product Description
Welcomed In features nine new worship songs penned and played by members of the Kingdom Vineyard, Scotland. It was 18 months in the making and produced by Jesse Duley, who has played guitars on various Vineyard Records recordings. The songs on Welcomed In make up the core of worship songs currently being used at the church, so this album an intimate worship experience to listen to but also a great resource.

Reader Comments

Posted by Toby Foster in St Andrews @ 09:48 on May 1 2009

I agree with much of this review, but would like to challenge its obvious double standard in regard to something that is an immovable fixture in Vineyard: Intimacy in Worship.
The very characteristics the reviewer critiques in the home-grown songs are also highly evident throughout Psalm 23, which he professes to prefer. Here too "the subject is the singer" every bit as much, and "massive statements going completely undeveloped and unexplained' are endemic throughout (eg "a table He has furnished", what does that mean?)
As to the "sense of worship" and being "unexceptional", the former must be a matter of personal taste, because where this album IS exceptional, in the contemporary worship-song-market, is that every song on the album is used regularly in Sunday worship, and has proved accessible, singable and extremely effective in helping people enter consciously into the presence of God. The Christian music world is awash with stuff you can listen-to-in-your-car-and-feel-good. This album is the Kingdom Vineyard's first effort at producing something that will help the church to worship corporately.
My own view is that it does pretty much "what it says on the tin"; its subject being "Welcomed In". Future projects will attempt to address different aspects of the life of a disciple. The song-writers are all young, and will doubtless mature as poets, lyricists and musicians, but they already touch a chord with young and old, and it has been an extraordinary privilege to work with so much talent in such a small, new church.
Thanks for the review, and I'm glad you found some things to enjoy there. I hope you'll like our next album even better.
Toby Foster
Senior Pastor, Kingdom Vineyard

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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