Clarksville, Tennessee worship group Daniel Doss Band may be one of Sparrow Records' newest signings, but the group has roots down deep in church ministry and leading worship. Their major label debut, Greater Than Us All, is a well crafted worship project that is easily an impressive start for a new group, but is at the same time not likely to set the band apart from like worship acts among the industry. Award winning CCM producer Ed Cash steps in to help shape this young band's first national release.
With the album's opening track, "Great God," a reflective guitar riff and piano melody drift in, along with Daniel Doss's softly spoken voice, similar to artists like Aaron Shust. But by the time the chorus drops, any hope of something unique being brought to the table is quickly dashed as it bursts forth with incredible familiarity -- something that hardly wanes as the album unfolds. All of the songs are originals either written by Doss alone or co-written with other popular collaborators like Jason Ingram, Ronnie Freeman, or even producer Ed Cash. And lyrically, the album leans toward the straightforward and simplistic. While there isn't anything necessarily wrong with that, it just adds to the Sunday morning worship familiarity that so many worship albums coming out offer. They may be inspiring at times and are likely to touch hearts abroad, but the problem is, to those desiring something refreshing and new, it just ultimately sounds like the same old thing. When you hear an album that's made up of new material and feel like you've heard it all before, it's a bit disenchanting.
One band that comes to mind while listening to much of Greater Than Us All is INO's MercyMe, partly due to Doss's occasional southern twang in his vocal styling, but also in the overall approach to their songwriting. Doss in "Abba Father" may even remind some of FFH's Jeromy Diebler, before sounding again a bit like MercyMe's Bart Millard. Before the album wraps with its softest ballad, "I Need You," Doss's solo penning, "Love Like Rain" (which was also the title of their 2005 indie release), sounds a lot in delivery and composition to the modern hymn, "In Christ Alone."
While the familiarity factor behind Daniel Doss Band's Greater Than Us All is its biggest hindrance, the album is far from bad when it stands alone. Sadly, records like this are almost a dime a dozen these days and it's tough to get excited about a new band that you most likely wouldn't be able to identify from the rest if you heard them in a mix or on the radio. Doss's heart is in worship and Greater Than Us All wears it on its sleeve. Fans of MercyMe and the worship genre will most likely find a lot to like about Daniel Doss Band's debut, especially if the idea of it offering more of what they're looking for is at all enticing. However, from the standpoint of a music fan looking for something fresh or exciting to worship their Creator to, it most likely won't be found in Daniel Doss Band's Greater Than Us All.- Review date: 3/4/08, written by John DiBiase
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