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Artist: Jeff Deyo
Label: Gotee Records
Time: 66:29
Tracks: 15

Jeff Deyo; also known as the lead singer and songwriter of the highly recognized and awarded band SonicFlood, has now released his first album with new band members - guitarist Rob Hawkins, bassist Jeremy McCoy, keyboardist Fred Williams, and drummer Nate Winters. Saturate is a follow-up to Deyo's
previous work that is most welcomed as a part of this artist's music library. This modern-worship album is one of the best I've heard in its genre. The combination of the powerful instruments and lyrics give the listener a lasting impression from the first listen, on. Starting off with a guitar driven version of the well-known "More Love, More Power" and following up with the ear catching "Let It Flow," (a personal favourite) the album starts off on the right track!

Nearly every song on the album is upbeat, edgy, and features amazing lyrics that truly bring out the 'worship' angle of the album. The only slow songs on the album are the especially touching "All I Want" (featuring Curb Record's Nicol Smith), "Thank You For Life," "You Are Good," and the two instrumental
tracks "You Are Good (Piano and Cello Movement" and "You Are Good (Orchestral Movement)." The lyrical slow songs really give the listener a chance to focus on the strong and personal lyrics that are, at times, not as apparent in the others. Not that the others aren't just as enjoyable! The instrumentation of the others is enough to give you goose bumps as the guitars and powerful vocals accentuate the feeling of the worship flowing through. A few additional highlights on the album are the guest musicians. Forefront
Record's tobyMac appears on "More Love, More Power," Nicol Smith (as mentioned before) appears on "All I Want" and Rebecca St. James appears on the end track "Sing To You" (another personal favourite). Each is an enjoyable addition!

Overall, this is by far one of the best modern-worship albums I've heard in a long time. I highly recommend it to anyone out there!

Jessica Heikoop 4/25/2002

Jeff Deyo, former lead singer of SonicFlood now gone solo, released his debut album on March 26th. Sure it has its up and down times, but most of them are up!

It has 15 tracks, and a lot of them are quite enjoyable. However, there are two instrumental tracks, which I am not quite sure what was the point of adding them. And they aren’t that short either… with one clocking in at 3:04 minutes then the other at 4:17. 

But other then those couple of songs, this album is really pleasing. It’s one of my favorite Modern Worship albums! The majority of the album is upbeat, but even the slower ones are songs you would want to listen to.

Not only is it a great album, but to make it even better it also has a number of guest artists singing on some of the tracks! On ‘More Love More Power’ you’ll hear recording artist, and co-owner of Gotee Records, tobyMac in the background. Then on ‘Sing To You,’ ForeFront Records’ Rebecca St. James helps Jeff out. Along with those two, Nicol Smith and Fleming McWilliams (of Fleming & John) also make appearances on the album.

So if you are a fan of modern worship, I highly recommend this album! But even if you aren’t a huge fan of the genre, you should still consider checking it out, it truly is a great album.

Josh McConnell 4/25/2002

As a true work of art, Saturate falls short- it's really the same thing we've heard so many times before, albeit it's much more well-crafted. As a worship experience, though, Saturate is a winner- former Sonicflood frontman Jeff Deyo proves here why his band was so popular. It's because Deyo has such a contagious passion for worship. There was an intensity on Sonicflood's first CD that is sadly missing from most worship music, but Deyo brings that passion back on Saturate. As pop/rock, Saturate is merely ok, but as a worship album, it's truly moving.

Josh Hurst 4/28/2002

A singer's decision to step away from the front position of a successful recording outfit can be a daunting one, particularly in light of results that can fall at any point between magnificent and disastrous.  While artists as varied as Ozzy Osbourne and Diana Ross have been able to translate their group-related successes into more or less equal quantities as individual performers, others like Rod Stewart and Michael Jackson have virtually eclipsed their earlier work with their solo projects.  On the other hand, its probably safe to say that the recording industry possesses no shortage of artists, from David Lee Roth on down, who have more than once lamented their decisions to part company with their former bandmembers.

Given that the self-titled first release, together with its live follow-up, Sonicpraise, netted the Sonicflood collective a gold album certification, a Grammy nomination and largely enthusiastic cache of reviews, it is perhaps not surprising that former SF front man Jeff Deyo and his newly assembled quartet of musicians adhere fairly closely to the underlying temperament of those two efforts for his first solo project, Saturate.  Entries like "I Give You My Heart" and "Lose Myself" mirror the characteristically lively pop/rock-tinged modern worship of the lion's share of the Sonicflood catalog, while Deyo's stirring take on the classic praise anthem "More Love More Power" tweaks the well-proven mixture with nicely-placed elements of hip-hop and reggae.  Perhaps most importantly, the catchy, riff-driven "Let It Flow" stations itself as logical successor to the infectious break-out hit "I Want to Know You" from the Sonicflood debut.  

While Saturate's opening block of songs is impressive enough, much of its remaining running time bows under the weight of material that is, for the most part, rather nondescript.  While "All I Want" features a moderately memorable vocal hook and "Let Me Burn" displays a reasonably engaging anthemic quality, these entries, and the others clustered around them, effectively bring the album to a standstill by its second half due to their mostly undistinguished character.  In spite of its weak middle portion, though, the final segment of Saturate redeems the proceedings with a best-of-album three-song suite.  The magnificently poignant "You Are Good" is sectioned between beautifully sublime orchestral preludes and postludes that function as the ideal frame for the song's meditative beginning and end segments and perfectly complement its sweeping middle crescendo.

While Saturate stands as slightly less uniform than either Sonicflood or Sonicpraise, its greater length mostly makes up the deficit by assuring that it still contains roughly the same absolute quantity of satisfying material. To be sure, in his favor, Deyo has relied less on covering others' songs and more on his own songwriting skills this time around, ensuring that, for better or worse, the solo project stands more on its own merit than his previous outings.  If Saturate deviates only minutely from the majority of Deyo's back catalog or, indeed, much of what currently constitutes modern worship music, it nonetheless shows that he is still capable of generating the same energetic and appealing pop/rock compositions that attracted so many listeners to his previous work.

Bert Gangl 4/29/2002



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