Matt Redman is a name that is instantly associable with worship music near and far. Regularly his music tops the Christian charts, years after their release. Most famous of these being "Blessed Be Your Name," a song that took the world by storm, and has been performed and covered by numerous bands over the years (e.g. Newsboys, Tree63, Rebecca St James). Since the success of that particular song, and associated project (back in 2002), Redman has released two other projects (and a greatest hits), but none of these have stood out against the newer names in the industry. We Shall Not Be Shaken is Matt Redman's latest project, after a three year wait, aiming to bring newer songs into the hands of worshippers worldwide.
The project opens with the new single "This is How We Know." The song picks up the main point from John 3:16 that "For you so loved the world, that you gave your only Son." The song could easily be adapted to be played in a variety of ways; live, acoustically, plugged-in, as with many of this writer's songs. As a worship album should be, the lyrics of this song and others are very strong, allowing the listener to get swept along as each line passes. Songs such as "Through it All" (reminding the listener that through everything God remains faithful) and "How Great is Your Faithfulness" leave the listener with their message a long time after the song has finished.
At the same time though, a lot of effort has been put into the arrangement of the music, meaning this project succeeds on both fronts. It's very likely that all listeners will find at least one song that they really enjoy due to the wide range of sounds on this project, showing Matt Redman's talent as a songwriter. For example, the title song of the album, "We Shall Not be Shaken," takes a more electric guitar lead approach. This is something that till recently worship leaders have tended to avoid. One of Matt Redman's previous jobs was working with an organisation called Soul Survivor. For those who have not heard of it, this camp happens worldwide and draws numerous young people in. The lyrics and sound would work well at such an event, whilst conveying a strong message of standing firm in the faith.
There are points when the project sounds like it is going back to the tried and tested Matt Redman sound. Not that this is a bad thing (seeing as it's these songs still being sung today), but they are instantly recognisable as 'old style'. To Matt's credit though, there are not many points to feel this, and at the same time it does provide a quiet break from the liveliness of other songs.
As a worship project, there is not much to fault with this release. It is also hard to pick out a particular song that will become THE church hit, since its down to other worship leaders to build on these songs presented. However, one thing can be said, you will be hearing a lot of Matt Redman over the coming year, and that's a good thing!- Review date: 8/23/09, written by David Couch of Jesusfreakhideout.com