Traveling Light is no longer just a book by famous Christian author Max Lucado. Brought to you by Creative Trust management (home to such artists as Steven Curtis Chapman), Creative Trust Workshop is the newest label to offer a worship compilation project. While the industry has become inundated with worship project after worship project, only a handful of them really stand out among the rest. Traveling Light is among those few.
The producers of Traveling Light, veterans Brown Bannister and Steve Hindalong, have chosen a ten select songs to flow as one common theme on this project. Ranging from acoustic folk pop to inspirational ballads, Traveling creates a very listenable worship setting. The album appropriately opens with the upbeat acoustic title track nicely vocalized by PFR lead singer Joel Hanson and newcomer Sara Groves. Hanson's vocals are a refreshing sound here. With the turmoil their label Squint experienced last year, the trio has for the most part disappeared.
Amy Grant's inspirational "Gentle Shepherd" follows, a soft ballad that may interrupt the consistent acoustic pop sound of the record, but serves as a nice addition to the project. Grant fans will be excited and pleased to hear some long awaited new music from the icon (before her newest full release hits shelves in May). Jaci Velasquez lends her vocal talents on "In Green Pastures," a soft pop tune with evident heavy influences from Common Children frontman Marc Byrd who also lends his accompaniment and writing skills to Traveling Light. Mac Powell, of Third Day fame, leads "Mountain of God," a song that ultimately could be from Third Day, however includes Ashley Cleveland's famous vocals as backup. Byrd and wife Christine [Glass] Byrd make up what is known as Adore, a group that has only been featured on compilations (they contributed "The Earth Cries Out" to 2000's Eterne) so far.
Husband/wife duo, Fleming & John, who made waves with their 1995 debut Delusions Of Grandeur but have been heard from very little since then, follow with their rendition of the famous hymn "Savior Like a Shepherd." Fleming's delicate vocals compliment the classic, making it feel right at home with the rest of the songs here. Michael Tait's (of dc Talk) side project Tait offers "Following Me," a catchy but slightly redundant upbeat acoustic pop tune. "Rest In Me," sung by The Choir's Derri Daughterty, accompanied by Brown's daughter Ellie Bannister, is a contemplative piano-driven ballad which softly brings the album to a close.
Traveling Light may best be compared as a cross between 2000's Roaring Lambs and City On a Hill. Although not better or more notable than City, Traveling is a project that shouldn't be overlooked.- Review date: 4/7/02 written by John DiBiase
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