the baby and the bathwater


Wonderful CD’s
December 17, 2008, 7:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As 2008 draws to a close, it is good to reflect on some worship things. And in my seasonal reflections, I want to start with some worship cd’s.

OK, so regular readers of my blog know that I am a little tired of most worship cd’s. But there have been some recently that have made their way into my car stereo and been given a few – sometimes more than a few – airings. They stay in my car stereo because they actually lift my Spirit and help me encounter God – yes even in the car.

I would do a top 10 list. But actually I think I can only find 4 I like.

Break the Silence – Johnny Parks

This has been in my car for months now – most of the last year in fact. I think it actually came out in 2007, but I only picked it up this year. It is a beautiful album, with a couple of incredible musical and emotional moments. There is a real depth to the lyrics that seems to be born out of a desire to worship rather than just write songs – depth that is also reflected in the arrangements and the mixes which are powerful but not harsh. If I have one gripe – although it’s a minor one – it seems that it’s almost impossible these days to get a worship album ‘for this generation’ that doesn’t start with an overdone, energetic guitar riff predictably diving into an uptempo sort of anthem type thing. Why is that? Is it just that I am now not ‘this generation’ so ‘don’t understand’.

This is our God – Hillsong

Famed in the summer for it’s inclusion of the song ‘healer’ by fallen pastor Mike Gugliellmucci, this is a great album. In fact, I still really like the song ‘healer’ although understandably it’s not really being used in churches since. My children, mercifully unaffected by the sad story that surrounds it, still love the song and keep asking for us to play it. An innocence that we as parents want to protect for a lot longer. This song aside, there are still some other great songs, including ‘stronger’ and the title track. Creatively, though, it is much the same as previous Hillsong albums. But actually in this case it doesn’t bother me. This, after all, is essentially a church at worship and they are just being themselves. That’s fine by me. Only gripe? Well the first couple of songs are a bit ‘out there’ and start with that usual guitar riff thing……

Nothing to Fear – David Gate

Previously of Survivor Records, but now just doing stuff in and for and with church (my church!), David released his latest album that he also produced himself. Can’t say enough things positive about these songs and this album. It starts well, too (No guitar riff). Sonically this is very different to anything else I’ve heard in a while. The instruments sound like what they are meant to sound like – much more acoustic and real than on most over-produced albums. Songs are great. None of mine, though, so it only gets 9.5/10 rather than the full 10/10 if one of my tunes had been on there.

Wonderful Story – Eoghan Heaslip

Just out. Wonderful songs. Great vocals. Now of course I am biased as Eoghan is a friend and we have led worship together for many years. And also, Eoghan is someone who has benefited hugely from this year’s x-factor – because now everyone knows how to pronounce his name…But bias aside, this is still a great cd. Eoghan and I wrote some songs together earlier in the year, and it’s exciting to hear them make it on this album, and hear them produced by someone of the calibre of Nathan Nockles. The King has come, The way that you father me, What you’ve called me to, All to You…the list goes on. Great song after great song. The guitar riff intro is back though…….

Now I would, of course, mention my cd too, only it came out 3 years ago. Funny though. I didn’t want to listen to it for ages after I made it. But this year I have been listening to it much more. I still love the sound that Clever Trevor brought to it. The strings from Prague are awesome. James White’s solos are just incredible. And there in the middle of it all somewhere is a somewhat stumbling worship leader. Anyway, as I say, I would mention it, but I’ve just realised that the opening track begins with this guitar riff……

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