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  The Wonderful Cross
Artist: Various  
Label: Worship Together
Time: 48:51
Tracks: 11

"12 Modern Worship Songs Celebrating The Cross," reads the promo sheet for The Wonderful Cross--and that's just what this album is (even though there are actually only 11 songs included on the disc). 

A combination of some of the most popular songs for churches and individuals, sung by various worship artists such as Phillips, Craig and Dean, Marc James, Delirious?, Sarah Sadler, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, and many more, all with the same theme; the cross. Each artist brings his or her own style of music to the songs, creating a wide variety of sounds. From Michelle Tumes' modern, dance sounding rendition (with drum loops, computer enhanced vocals, etc.) of "There Is a Redeemer," Marc James' acoustic version of "Surrender," Sarah Sadler's pleasant, harmonious version of "How Deep the Father's Love For Us," 
to the up-beat "I Will Always Love Your Name" (Paul Oakley), and the live performance of "Grace Flows Down" (Passion). Worship artist Matt Redman also makes appearances on three songs, "The Cross Has Said It All" (which he sings solo), "The Wonderful Cross" (with Chris Tomlin), and "Once Again" (with Tim Hughes). While the renowned worship band, Delirious? includes their version (from their album _The Cutting Edge_) "Message of the Cross." 

My personal favorite from the album is, without a doubt, the title track, "The Wonderful Cross." Taken from the well-known hymn "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," a bridge is added which says, "Oh the wonderful cross, bids me come and I can find that I may truly live/Oh the wonderful cross, all who gather here by grace draw near, and bless your name." The mix between the original song and addition creates an overall brilliant song that is easy to sing along to, and professes a great message. 

The song listing is not yet at its final sequence, though a sneak peak can show the following will be included:

1.  The Cross Has Said It All (Matt Redman)
2.  There Is A Redeemer (Michelle Tumes)
3.  You Are My King (Phillips, Craig and Dean)
4.  The Wonderful Cross (Chris Tomlin with Matt Redman)
5.  Surrender (Marc James)
6.  I Will Always Love Your Name (Paul Oakley)
7.  Message Of The Cross (Delirious?)
8.  How Deep The Father's Love For Us (Sarah Sadler)
9.  Never Lose The Wonder (Tim Hughes)
10. Once Again (Matt Redman and Tim Hughes)
11. Grace Flows Down: Live (Passion)

Overall, The Wonderful Cross is an encouraging, up-lifting and beautiful album celebrating the most wonderful gift. Look out for it on its release date, February 26, 2002. This is one album that should be included in anyone's CD collection!

Jessica Heikoop 2/17/2002



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