Casting Crowns has had monumental success, even though they only have two records to their name. With numerous number one singles from their debut, and almost as many coming from their sophomore recording, you'd think they'd just keep churning out the hits, year after year. But instead, this 7-member youth-leader-led supergroup slows it down, releasing a second live CD/DVD, this time covering songs from their latest release, Lifesong. NOTE: The DVD portion of the disc was not available to me at the time of this release, so that section of the album will not be covered here.
The seven song audio CD part of the album comes as no shocker to anyone. It's an exact replica of what Casting Crowns did two years ago, with their Live From Atlanta CD/DVD. Crowns doesn't use a lot of effects in the studio, making the live show they have to offer an almost carbon copy of the album versions. It seems Crowns just wants to make quality music for their fans. These live sessions seem to just be bonuses, perhaps for people who may just be getting into the band. It seems, though, that while cutting the songs for the live versions, the audience was muted out for the majority of the time. Most people who go to Casting Crowns shows know every single word to the songs (my own experience has proved that), yet the audience is barely heard on all the songs, even though the group always has the words on a screen for the audience to sing along with.
Some songs have also lost their live feel, for they need to be heard live, rather than recorded live. Songs that lose their rock edge, like "Father, Spirit, Jesus" and "Set Me Free" need to be experienced in person to be completely appreciated. It sounds like some of the rock edge was even muffled at points in each song. It's better to see this group live, than just listen to them live on CD.
Overall, if you love Casting Crowns with a passion, you'll likely dive right into this next live recording, and the DVD as well. If you're a new fan, you might be inclined to pick this one up to check out what the group is like in a live show. But if you're a regular fan of worship records and maybe already have Lifesong, pass this one by.- Review date: 10/2/06, written by Justin Mabee
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