What do Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, and Matt Redman all have in common? Besides being on the same label, sixstepsrecords, they are all involved in the Passion Band, a worship collaboration going ten years strong. While those previously mentioned, plus Christy Nockels (formerly of Watermark), Charlie Hall, Shane & Shane, and many of the others who are involved in Passion Band all have their own separate projects, one individual, Kristian Stanfill, is starting his solo work for the first time, under the title of Attention.
Stanfill is unique in the sense that his backing instrumentalists are considered part of the Kristian Stanfill band, and this sets apart the band from the most of its sixsteps colleagues. The real question is, however: does this save the album from becoming just another face in the worship genre? The answer, unfortunately, is a negative one. Save for a few tracks, most of Attention is anything but exceptional. The album starts off very promisingly with the electric guitar-driven tracks "Alive and Running" and "Kingdom." A hopeful message combined with an exciting sound has many possibilities, and Stanfill scratches the surface with the first two tracks. But rather than continuing on in this style and in the end creating a unique piece of work, most of the rest of the album tends to follow a formula akin to artists like Chris Tomlin: musically safe instrumentation and an unwillingness to break any new ground whatsoever. With such a deceptive beginning, the rest of the album falls short of expectations. The vocals, while uninteresting, are not bad by any means but are indeed too safe, just like the backing music. As a whole, everything is merely decent and not great.
While I do commend the band's message and aim, this record is quite disappointing; Stanfill could have used this debut as an opportunity to shed some fresh light on the flooded worship genre, especially taking into account how monumental the first two tracks were. Instead, we get something that only fits the worship album mold which, for the most part, refuses to venture outside of the precedent. Thus, anyone expecting something different won't find much here that they will want to sink their teeth into. Anyone who heartily enjoys any sixstepsrecords artist will seem right at home with this release, but otherwise, one won't want to give this particular release much Attention.- Reviewed: 4/20/09 written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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