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  Never Looking Back: Live Worship from a Burn Service
Artists: Jessie Lane, Ryan Delmore and Joel Limpic
Label: Vineyard Music
Time: 12 tracks/55:25 minutes
 
Never Looking Back is the third project from the Vineyard line of The Burn Service (Five Cities Vineyard at Oak Park Four Square Church in Arroyo Grande, CA). The first was the dynamic Your Love Reaches Me: Touching the Father's Heart #37, including blockbuster classics such as the title song, "Come, Now is the Time to Worship," "Perfect Timing," "My Lord, My God," and "Set Me on Fire." The follow-up, The Burn Service, is a perfectly-timed hit, with some tracks re-played from Your Love Reaches Me, plus new tracks, "Real Love" and "I Love Your Presence."
 
These first two projects set lofty goals for Never Looking Back, and there's still room for fine-tuning with future Burn Service projects.
 
Never Looking Back makes a gear shift, production-wise, to bring newcomer Joel Limpic to the worship team of Ryan Delmore and Jessie Lane and move Darren Clarke to the role of producer. This shift doesn't hurt the team at all, since it keeps its sound, which the worship leaders describe as a "roots" rock feel (I deem it reminiscent of the '60s/'70s Byrds sound) intact from its first two projects.
 
Are you a first-time listener to The Burn Service? This one may not be the place to start. While Never Looking Back is a fine recording, it's more of a continuation from The Burn Service, a transition piece, to bigger things to come from this worship team.
 
Standout songs from this project are the upbeat "I Believe in You," the title track, and "Holy is the Lord," which definitely encompass the best moments of the Your Love Reaches Me recording. The Burn Service seems to be making a progression from lots of upbeat worship songs to a complete near-60 minute worship service. It's a natural chain of events, which I fully appreciate. It's a tall order to jump up and down for a full 60 minutes. Lane, Delmore and Limpic give us a more natural worship event in this project than the first two Burn Service recordings.
 
It's too much fun to hear mandolins and guitars meshing with screams of approval from worshippers to "So Amazing" (reminds me of "Set Me on Fire"  from the first two projects). This one is definitely worth the price of admission. "Holy Is the Lord" picks up the pace.
 
Sandwiched between the aforementioned tracks are reflective songs "You Are Wonderful," "Precious Sacrifice," and the Vineyard classic "I Believe in Jesus." What a beautiful change of pace for a usually upbeat Burn Service. This entire particular Burn Service ends with the gorgeous, reflective "Hosanna." The flow of these tracks works incredibly well for a fine worship service.
 
What keeps Never Looking Back from being a perfect Burn Service offering is the poor pacing. The flow of this project works fine, but there are few-and-far-between worship songs that make this particular project sound as smooth as the true pace-setter in this series, Your Love Reaches Me.
 
I could be wrong in saying that the first-time listener should listen to Your Love Reaches Me or The Burn Service before Never Looking Back.  The pace of the first two projects is definitely different, and perhaps more exhausting. It's my personal preference, and it's best for you to listen to all three projects to see which is best for your level of praise and worship.
 
Olin Jenkins   April 29, 2001

 

   
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