Reviewed by Tom Lennie
"Blended worship" - incorporating a range of styles, sometimes on a single track - is becoming an increasingly employed term in Hosanna ranks, who seek to provide on one disc a complete worship experience that will appeal to all believers. But it's a risky ploy - we all know what is said of he who seeks to be Jack of all trades! Little-known Travis Cottrell succeeds magnificently on this 72-min gathering of notable songs that, with perfect balance, infuses the deft abilities of a rock worship band, a full-bodied gospel choir and an orchestra. After an understated intro, the set kicks off with a stream of varied, celebratory praise songs that revel in God's glory. From the rock-praise of Hillsong United's "God Is Great" to Travis's own "Your Name" - drenched in swathes of gospel-funk - to Israel Houghton's flowing "Sweeter" (where, as elsewhere, Cottrell is reminiscent in sound and style to Tommy Walker), one gets lifted and lost in abandoned, unabashed adoration which encourages worship to be great fun as well as God-glorifying. Indeed with drawn-out - but never overdone - tracks that average over five minutes a piece, it's clear just how much Travis and team are enjoying themselves. Traditional styles find an apt place too, with sensitive renditions of both an old and modern hymn. If there's one complaint, it's that Cottrell's own tunes are few in number (three in total - all good ones), but the covers are so well-rendered - equalling if not outdoing the originals - that one really can't complain! Such is the case with Redman's "Blessed Be Your Name" and more intimate tracks like Kathryn Scott's "Search Me, Know Me" (a duet with Dave Lubben), and DeShazo/Sadler's "Be Unto Your Name". With never a dull moment, this has got to be as good as blended worship gets. An excellent all-round worship encounter, and to top it all, some tasty cover art!
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