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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Label: Vineyard Music
Times: 56:12 minutes/12 tracks
Vineyard Music's Wonderful Mercy is an uneven yet very interesting live worship recording. Most of the style of this project is along the traditional Vineyard line, although there are some unusual pop lines ("This Day" really kicks without getting loud!). The variations are (as one can guess from the title "Nkosi Sikelel' Afrika" ["God Bless Africa"], the song well worth the price of admission to this entire project) African rhythms, salsa ("Show Your Power"), and from "Further Up" ("Aslan's Call"), reggae. "Further Up" is both radio friendly and true to the Vineyard stamp with an ease of worship participation; it works very well! I can't put my finger on it, but the pretty "Mmoloki Warona" ("Our Redeemer") is reminiscent of a top 40 pop song. There are some sleepy-sounding pieces, though. "Safe in Your Hands," "Moving with the Lamb" (with gospel overtones), "This is Your Song," "Bring Me Back," and "Teach Me to Love" are somewhat predictable and just don't break new ground for this talented band of worship leaders. While this project flirts with Vineyard formula familiarity, there are moments that are incredibly unique that make this recording intriguing. It's worth a listen, as well as possible worship participation. As an extra bonus, the disc is enhanced with overheads and chords, as well as biographical information on the worship leaders and the background on the creation of the songs on this project.
Olin Jenkins July 16, 2002