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Spontaneous Worship
Artist: Leonard Ahlstrom
Label: Point to Point Records
10 / 49:16 

In recent years, several members of Newsong have decided to go solo with mixed success.  Charles Billingsley had some success on inspirational radio, but nothing major. He is now serving as music director of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA.  Russ Lee's songs "I Smile" and "Live What I Believe" have received quite a bit of radio airplay, but his two CDs also slide under the radar of most CCM listeners. Now Leonard Ahlstrom has released a solo album on independent label Point to Point Records.  This praise and worship record, which was recorded  during worship services in the US and Brazil, has some highlights, including the third track "Abba Father" and fourth track "Your Name."  While a majority of the album sounds like most of the inspirational music that is already available, "Your Name" actually features a surprising almost-rock sound.  Even the fifth track "All My Ways," while not as rocking as the fourth track, has more of a rock sound than the rest of the CD.  Two of the CD's strengths are a lack of covers of praise and worship standards and an intimate feel. One of the CD's weaknesses is the eighth track, "Mais (More)," which is entirely in {Portuguese} with no translation in the CD's liner {notes;} non-Portuguese speakers will not be able to understand it.  This is also a problem with the beginning of "Nothing But You," the sixth track, which opens with what sounds to be a Portuguese prayer.

Despite those misgivings, some will be interested to hear this unique praise and worship CD with its more intimate feel.

Burton Wray July 17, 2004



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