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  Surround Me
Artist: Stephen Toon 
Label: Middle James Records
Length: 11/57:07

Surround Me can almost be described as a praise and worship album with more fleshed out songs. Toon takes basic hooks, works with simple choruses, then builds the verses onto them to form more complex ways of saying thanks to God.  The process works, especially on songs like “Zephaniah,” where Toon shows a great deal of vocal ability.

“He Was Broken” features a Rusted Root-type of flute solo, while “Lord of All” could be described as a throwback to the 70’s, with Toon doing his best Pure Prairie League imitation vocally.  More often, though, Surround Me is in the vein of modern worship artists like David Crowder and Chris Tomlin.  The only drawback is that, at times, (“Lord of All, “Love Jesus”), the songs are too drawn out and lose cohesion. 

Brian A. Smith
24 April 2004


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