In the Christian music industry, creating original material for worship has proven to be a near impossible task. Catalyst, a leadership development organization, partnered with INO records to discover modern worship music already being played in communities and churches nationwide. The Catalyst Music Project was created. This collection of 12 songs, chosen from an original 750 songs submitted by worship leaders and songwriters across America, successfully captures a variety of unique songs to impact this generation.
The collection begins with "Love Is The Answer" by Rob Attaway, a rhythmic and very catchy introduction about proclaiming God's love. Then comes the pleasingly haunting "One Who Overcomes" sung by Phil Wickham, an artist who is already well on his way to a successful music career. Laura Story's "What A Savior" can easily be imagined as simply a Sunday morning favorite, but it is Story's exceptional vocals that elevate this track to the next level. The band Fee has already shown its ability to bring great conviction to any song, and "The Beauty Of The Cross" is no exception. These four paramount tracks set a high precedent for the remainder of the album, one that is nearly lived up to.
"A Thousand Amens" (Tim Timmons), "Better Than I Know" (David Walker) and "Because Of Your Love" (Miriam Ah Kuoi) all have appealing sounds and the performances in "Hallelujah (All I Need)" (Stephen Cole) and "God Of All" (Scott Reed) are pleasant enough, although none can really be considered outstanding. Heather Williams' take on "Emmanuel" displays her very powerful voice, although the track itself is not especially memorable. Perhaps the best song on the record, "Revival's Fire," performed by Andy Cherry, is an example of the direction worship has been heading in, with an infectious sound and profound lyrics ("We cannot lift our voices loud enough to sing Your praise/Or tell the wonders of Your endless grace/Still with one voice we shout the perfect name, Jesus"). Thad Cockrell's "Won't You Be My Love" is a strong closing for the album, providing an honest reflection of the need for Christ.
It is easy to assume that listening to any collection of worship songs would provide the same experience of attending worship on Sunday mornings. But with the Catalyst Music Project, worship is being taken to the next level, with new and old sounds mixed together, creating a very satisfying result.- Review date: 3/4/10, written by Samantha Schaumberg of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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