There seems to be a good trend happening to Christian music these days: modern praise albums. Personally, I can't find myself ever listening to regular praise and worship unless I'm actually singing (or trying to) along at church on Sunday mornings. But thanks to bands like the Insyderz and Code of Ethics, modern praise music is becoming a popular.
And so enter in the latest modern praise installment, and probably the most practical. Sparrow Records ingeniously gathered together a group of chart-topping alternative/pop/rock artists to form Listen:Louder, a album which basically takes last year's Exodus (Rocketown Records) project to a new level.
Listen... features the popular musical talents of Deliriou5?, Audio Adrenaline, Rebecca St. James, and the Newsboys, as well as the less known but also worthy Switchfoot, Chasing Furies, The Waiting, and Sarah Masen.
The compilation begins with Deliriou5?' studio version of "Come Like You Promise," which was also appeared on their "Live and In the Can" album recorded live. The listener then moves into the acoustic-rock-based "A Little More" by Jennifer Knapp before receiving the upbeats of Raze's "Never Gonna Let You Go."
While most of the songs are new and exclusive for the project, the project includes some already-obtainables on it. Sonicflood's Gaither cover "Something About that Name" featuring Kevin Max of dc Talk and Audio Adrenaline's "It Is Well," are two, however Audio A fans may notice something missing from this version (as opposed to the one on their new Underdog album). Jennifer Knapp. While "It is Well" on Underdog is a duet with Knapp, the Listen:Louder rendition is exactly the same except for the complete absence of Knapp.
One of Listen:Louder's many highlights is the presence of Nathan Barlowe's (formerly of Reality Check) new band Luna Halo as they cover "Humble Thyself" in a modern late 90s sound.
Two remixes are included, as well. Rebecca St. James' "Omega" from her 1998 Pray album has been revamped completely from a ballad into a hard rock tune. While the Newsboys' "Hallelujah" was also gutted and reformatted to be a darker, toned down song as it has been resung and remixed.
From strong rock to notable soft ballads, Listen:Louder accomplishes what it was set out to do and we can only hope there is a Volume 2 planned for the future.- Review date: 8/23/99, written by John DiBiase
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