Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Label: Vineyard Music UKIDSWORSHIP
Time: 17 tracks/54:06 minutes
Remember the 1993 Reunion Records various artists Songs from the Loft sing-a-long praise project? Take that formula, jazz up a couple of tunes, slow down some others and throw in lots and lots of children's voices, and that's the makeup of Vineyard Music UK Kids worship's Great Big God.
I often have problems with children's worship projects which this recording quickly erases. Other praise recordings, ofttimes musical arrangements aren't "grown up," sound like Saturday morning cartoon fare with poor instrumentation, are over-wrought with silly humor, and/or seem just plain condescending to children.
There are a few weak moments here. The keyboard in "God You're Good to Me" is close to that cartoon-soundtrack shtick; thankfully, the instrument is not prevalent. There are some solos sans chorus sung by adult praise and worship leaders; none of the children have solos on this recording, as its focus is on the children's chorus.
Overall, there is a nice variety of fine music arrangements, tempos, and the pace of praise. What works so well with Great Big God is the adult worship leaders meshing well with so many children's voices in a project that includes wonderful, enticing and mature praise and worship.
Let's not kid ourselves, though; Great Big God is for children, and it should be fun.There are wonderful moments here. "Your Love Lasts Forever" is set to a merengue beat and funny lyrics; however, once again, the humor isn't overtly silly. There is a neat rap tune, "Now Listen to Me," and the tempo changes in "Sometimes I Feel Afraid" are frenetic. The reading of "I'm Gonna Clap My Hands" from this recording is excellent! That's just scratching the surface; Great Big God is a lot of fun. After all, the purpose of this project is for children to enjoy praising God!
Obviously, one of this project's focuses is the participatory factor, as it includes a bonus resource CD containing performance notes and backing tracks. Besides the few songs oriented towards solos, this project is one that a youth church or youth group of any size will enjoy being the chorus. That's the reason I immediately thought of all those singers from Songs from the Loft. The formula worked then, and it's about time this formula was applied to a children's praise project. I unreservedly recommend Great Big God to every church that has children!
Olin Jenkins August 19, 2001