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JFH Staff Review

Open Wide This Window

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 13 tracks: 52 minutes, 53 seconds
Street Date: February 11, 2003

GlassByrd may be a new name to listeners, but the artists are no strangers. GlassByrd teams singer/songwriter and former Common Children frontman Marc Byrd with his wife Christine, who is best known for her solo work as Christine Glass and endless background vocal credits. The duo's debut project Open Wide This Window is hardly their first work together. In the summer of 2000, the two contributed to the Forefront Records worship compilation with the song "The Earth Cries Out" under the artist name Adore. Some may also remember Adore's two-song contribution to Essential Records' Our God of Wonders Volume One. That album's insert also announced the Fall 2002 release of Adore's first project. But that project never came, and soon the husband/wife group didn't resurface till early 2003 appropriately dubbed GlassByrd.

Open Wide This Window is another worship project to add to your vast collection, but it's hardly a typical project. While the sound doesn't stray all that far from most recent Common Children tracks, GlassByrd is its own entity. The dreamy and melodic alt pop/rock makes for an intimate worship setting. And don't scoff at their choice to cover the renowned "God of Wonders." If you're familiar with the song and its origins, you'll know Byrd shared the writing credits with Steve Hindalong. In fact, Byrd or Glass had their hand in each track on this project (sometimes accompanied by other writers like Hindalong and Andrew Thompson). But of the Byrd and Glass teaming, it's Byrd's influence that shines through the strongest.

The only problem I've found with Open Wide This Window is that the sound doesn't differ enough from much of Marc Byrd's work with Common Children. Since 1998 when the band traded its grunge sound for a more melodic and artistic approach, Byrd has been producing a lot of music with the same overall feel. For those not familiar with the Children, GlassByrd will be an altogether fresh sound to worship music for them. And for those who enjoyed much of the sound City On a Hill offered, this project is right up their alley. But just because a feeling of familiarity and sameness permeates Open Wide... that hardly means it is a forgettable project. "I Stand Amazed" is a standout track with humbling lyrics and an intimate musical backdrop that will send chills down the spine of anyone with a heart for worship. "Everywhere I Turn" offers a Lifehouse meets Sixpence feel as a prominent acoustic guitar leads into Christine's silky soft and tender vocals. "I Love You More" is another highlight as Glass's angelic vocals sing out praise to a deliciously chunky electronic beat, "I love You more / I love You more than this... For any words I have to bring to You are not enough / For there's no melody so sweet as Your love / So all creation with me waits for the healing / Until that day, I'll sing Your praise from here."

"Mercy" is a conscious acknowledgement of God's ability to be quick to forgive and pick us up when we've fallen. "Wake Up" is an upbeat and fast paced pop rocker that changes things up slightly for the project. Open Wide This Window ends on a strong note with the delicate sounds of "Jesus You Are Beautiful" (complete with a tasty drum loop) and the anthemic worship ballad "Peace To You."

GlassByrd offers an artistic depth to Worship music that helps their debut Open Wide This Window stand out from the rest in the genre. So while it may occasionally suffer from a strong likeness to Common Children's later work, this duo has much to offer musically and lyrically making Open Wide This Window a worthy debut.

- Review date: 4/30/03, written by John DiBiase

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Buy This CD Online

. Record Label: Word Records
. Album length: 13 tracks, 52 minutes and 53 seconds
. Street Date: February 11, 2003
. Buy It:

Click here for Open Wide This Window Lyrics
  1. This Window
  2. Tonight (I Want To Live In Your World)
  3. Weight Of the World
  4. I Stand Amazed
  5. Everywhere I Turn
  6. I Love You More
  7. Mercy
  8. Wake Up
  9. Hang On
  10. Wounded Healers
  11. God Of Wonders
  12. Jesus, You Are Beautiful
  13. Peace To You
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