Thinking Out Loud

March 26, 2014

Wednesday Link List

Football Cross at MontanaWestUSA(dot)com

We’re back with another mid-week link meeting! Here’s what your brothers and sisters from random parts of the big ‘C’ church were up to this week. Clicking any of the links below will take you to PARSE, the list’s benevolent patron.

Stay in touch with Paul Wilkinson during the week on Twitter.

Our closing cartoon is rather interesting, don’t you think? The artist is Jess MacCallum and you can click the image to see more.

Evolution Cartoon at JessMacCallum(dot)com

November 1, 2008

Michael W. Smith’s New Album – Worship Again, Again

Filed under: Christianity, music, worship — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 4:05 pm

Perhaps they also considered, “Worship Once More;” or “Even More Worship Again.”   In many ways the departure from the title sequence is a healthy one, since it’s been a long time since Worship and Worship Again hit the streets.   On the other hand, on A New Hallelujah, there is no denying the trademark voice of MWS dominates everything he records, and while the addition of guests such as the African Children’s Choir and Israel Houghton add extra dimension to the recording, it’s the MWS vocals that are heard on this nearly one hour long live album.

With two experienced worship leaders listening to this together, the reactions started out quite different.  I was impressed with the mix; the way you could get a sense of being part of this live audience.   A guy I worked with once told me that in a worship service, the thing people should hear foremost is the sound of their own congregation worshiping.   Not the band.   Not the leader.  This achieved that, in part.   I liked the way the audience was mixed in.  I liked feeling like I was there.  I liked the fullness of the sound that only one of the top selling artists and producers in the genre can bring to the table.

Mrs. W., on the other hand, was struck by the sameness of all the cuts.   She pointed out the similar tempos; the similarity of the songs to other worship songs we knew, including some lyrics that seemed to originate in the earlier songs.   What’s that saying, ‘When you get older, everything reminds you of something else.’   Shouldn’t be the case in modern worship, though.  But mostly, she identified the places where the repetition of lyrics was in excess of anything either of us would do if we were leading worship.    It’s nice to be able to get into a vamp, or a groove, musically, as long as the audience — especially the CD audience — is able to travel with you and follow you into that place musically.   A couple of times we fast-forwarded, as I slowly had to concur with what she was observing.

Despite this, I would look forward to listening to this again.   The production is first rate and the mass-choir feel that’s brought to some of the songs with both Israel Houghton and the African kids is something you don’t get much of in modern worship, with the possible exception of Hillsongs.    I think the album also succeeds in its totality, therefore there’s no mention here of individual tracks; I think it needs to be viewed as a whole.

They did choose great songs, though; and I’d also suggest if you’re going to play this CD, play it loud.   I just wished they had covered more new ground in worship possibilities.

Me:  3 1/2 to 4 stars;  Mrs. W.: 3 stars.    Not that we should ‘rate’ someone else’s expression of worship to God, but then what’s a record review if there’s no bottom line on what you thought of it overall.

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