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  If You Say Go
Artists: Various
Label: Vineyard
Times: 13 tracks/71:01
URL: <>

Like Surrender or Hungry, Passion or Youth Alive and want more? If You Say Go is a live recording from Bluer, the young adult service at the North Metro Vineyard in Minneapolis. It rocks where it should and is intensely worshipful in its appropriate places, with a smooth flow of styles throughout the project. On the heels of independent recordings, Unleashing the Passion and Creation, producer Mark Miller assembles a smoothly-flowing project with the theme of Isaiah 6 ("go") and Jesus' command "go and make Disciples of all nations."

This project takes a slight bit of patience, though. Upon first listening, one may be tempted to term the opener, "Invitacion Fountain," as somewhat sullen, but don't give up! It picks up quickly, with an incredibly bright, upbeat, power-pop "Creation," reminding me of Hillsongs' Youth Alive; of the fast-paced tunes from If You Say Go, it's the standout and should be radio-friendly. Take the style you know from Youth Alive and the Passion worship band and plug it in to David Ruis' The Mystery, and that's pretty much the tone of the fast-paced songs from If You Say Go, never frenetic but just exciting enough to "worship loud."

Honorable mentions among the high-energy set: an excellent version of "Father of Lights" and "His Loving Kindness" are excellent for participation for very large worship groups. There's something unusual for a Vineyard recording -- the lead track, "Sovereign Lord," and "My Everything" are the strongest tracks that begin with a solemn quality and build to immense intensity (imagine Marie Barnett's "Breathe" or Michael W. Smith's version of "Let It Rain"). Interspersed between these three songs and the rockers are straight-ahead ballads, or love songs to God ("A Living Hope" is one of the best examples). It's still worship, but the melodic ballads certainly make the flow of the entire project much more pleasurable than all jump-up-and-down and then take-it-easy-and-worship-intensely.

Finally, the title track of If You Say Go is marvelous as the theme for the entire project, and it serves as the glue right in the middle of the flow of the performance. Like Jesus asking Peter to step out on the water, the theme here is "go." And as that theme is interspersed throughout this Bluer service, it is enjoyable as well as being an excellent worship experience.

Olin Jenkins   November 30, 2002



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