Praise and worship bands have been a staple of the Christian music industry. However, they are becoming so commonplace in the market that new bands have a harder and harder time distinguishing themselves from one another. Bluetree is yet another band hoping to make a place in the mp3 players of the young and old. With their contemporary rock worship sound, they really must showcase both versatility and variety to make an impression. Unfortunately, Bluetree is guilty of missing the mark on both counts.
The style and sound is heavily reminiscent of the albums the Acquire the Fire praise and worship band has released through the years. Avid listeners to praise and worship music will probably feel at home with Bluetree's style on God Of This City (originally released as Greater Things). [On the UK release] "Life's Noise" starts the procession off, leading in with a minute of random noises that makes the listener think that the entire seven minute track is, in fact, an introduction with much of the same. Alas, however, the noise fades out and the real song begins. Mixed with rock and a heavily symphonic approach, "Life's Noise" does start the album out with some promise. "Burn Me Up" sheds the dramatic sound of its predecessor and melds into an atypical rock worship song. "For You" is a slower rock worship song that displays similar characteristics within the genre. "God's Plan" picks up the peppier tempo and feel, before slipping back into the slower tempo selection of the next several songs. The UK band's national debut includes their version of the popular, self-penned praise and worship song, "God of this City" (which also is a recent favorite of mine). And closer to the end of the album, Bluetree includes "Standing Out," which serves as sort of an anthem for this generation.
Overall, while Bluetree does bring new songs to the table, they do not offer a new sound. Playing off the heavily popular praise and worship market, you can imagine in some circles their sound would fit right in. But unfortunately, they'll probably get largely unnoticed as many listeners will pick more popular, recognizable artists to cater to their praise and worship needs. That is not to say that God Of This City is by any means out of place or bad, they do what they do well and have an unabashed love for Christ. But it's the fact that they're so comparable to everyone else that their identity remains almost non-existent.- Review date: 3/1/09, written by Zachary Anderson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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