STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 78536-15442 LABEL: Survivor SURCD5151 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 2 EXTRAS: bonus DVD RELEASE DATE: 2009-04-10 RRP: £14.99
Reviewed by Ian Thomson
Since their conception as a band in 1994, Yfriday have always been associated with church worship. Recent albums have captured their core energy, but the arrangements and construction of the songs have restricted access for thousands of churchgoers countrywide. Not so with 'Great & Glorious'. In keeping with a new direction for the band, here is an album that goes out of its way to be accessible. In fact, I don't think I have ever bought such a user-friendly CD. The cover contains all the songs' lyrics and chords; guitar-oriented worship ensembles will find this easier than to follow than a tow-truck. Further, check out the bonus DVD, which features video footage of Ken Riley teaching the guitar parts for six of the songs. Most useful is the extensive stripping-down that Yfriday have achieved. Gone are the inimitable high-notes of "Revolution". In their place we have the joy-filled title track which combines the power of Yfriday with lyrics and music that won't sound out of place in chapel on a Sunday morning. Songwriting contributions from Tim Hughes, Matt Redman and Andrew Neve have gone a long way to helping Yfriday make the transition to full on purveyors of congregational worship but in the process show that Ken Riley has developed to become one of the world Church's top composers of corporate worship songs. If you, like your reviewer, are still looking for a bit of complexity, the brilliantly titled "You Will Not Steal Our Children", co-written with Martin Smith, brings an esoteric change to the mood. It's not often you find Christian worship songs addressed to the devil! The production from Sam Gibson is exemplary too and it seems a strong possibility that after the huge success of Riley's "Everlasting God" the great American public will now embrace a superb band that have been blessing us Brits for more than a decade.
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GREAT & GLORIOUS sees a fresh focus for one the UK’s hardest working Christian Artists. The Universal Broadcast heralded the end of one era for the band but following a renewed call from God the band are firmly focused in leading people in worship. Last year also saw Yfriday’s Ken Riley become the first Christian artist to receive an ASCAP award for being one of the top 20 most played songs in USA for his co-write with Brenton Brown on Everlasting God.
This new batch of songs sees co-writes with Delirous’ Martin Smith and Worship Central’s Tim Hughes. Some of the songs have already been used on the band’s pre-Christmas tour. With Delirous co-producer Sam Gibson, the band have crafted a contemporary sounding album that crosses into congregational worship which both inspires and challenges. The launch of Great And Glorious coincides with the band leading worship this year at Spring Harvest and ECG Events. A full UK tour will follow later this year. The album will also include a bonus DVD which will feature a guide to playing the songs for a smaller gatherings.
Tracks include Come Let Us Worship, Alive, You Are Great, Great and Glorious, Saviour and Friend.