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Title: Secrets of the Vine
Artist: Various Artists
Label: ForeFront Records
Time: 6 tracks / 30:02

Secrets of the Vine is, as the album cover purports, a worship experience.  Intended as a companion to Bruce Wilkinson’s book of the same name, Secrets of the Vine, is not merely a praise album, but its songs are also hip and creative enough to stand alone as contemporary Christian music.  It is primarily the lyrics and choral buildups that draw us directly into worship by addressing the Lord directly (I personally find those songs the most worshipful as opposed to ones that just talk “about” Him, but I suppose that’s personal preference).

Secrets of the Vine is also well-produced.  Since I see poor production quality as the major downfall of at least three quarters of all worship albums, this is a big bonus in its favor.  It lays down that thick environment that really accentuates the worship experience for a studio-recorded album.

This album offers six songs by various artists coming in at only 30 minutes.  I particularly enjoyed Chris Tomlin’s “Satisfied,” which is led by keyboards and features emotive, throbbing bass and atmospheric guitar effects.  Margaret Becker’s title selection is creative and upbeat while still remaining worshipful.  “Wonderful to Me” by the Katinas is a great happy and well-constructed song, but I felt this particular performance of the song, written by Craig Finley, Doug Beiden, and David Zaffiro, was instrumentally minimalist.  An energetic church praise team could take this song and work wonders with it.

Again, Secrets of the Vine is indeed a worship experience.  Thirty minutes wasn’t long enough.

Dan Singleton 3/24/2002



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