Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
I Am to Worship
Label: Worship Together
Times: 15 tracks, 75:39 (CD 1); 15 tracks, 78:02 (CD 2)
Very much in the same vein as the two I Could Sing of Your Love Forever collections, Worship Together has assembled its best worship songs set to date, although the results could be fine-tuned a bit.
I like the WOW Worship series, and in theory, they should be the top notch worship leaders' resources. However, the Worship Together team does a good job of fitting that bill with its double-CD sets and on-line resources, and Here I Am to Worship is the best offering to date. The most recent tunes from this set include Vicky Beeching's "Yesterday, Today and Forever" and selections connected to the Passion worship band (David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall, Tim Hughes, and Chris Tomlin).
And herein (the new selections) lies the strength and weakness of this assemblage of worship songs. There are two variables here, whether you are a worship leader or a worship participant. If you are a fan of live worship, you may not like this collection. If you are a fan of studio worship recordings, you will most definitely enjoy Here I Am to Worship. As a worship participant, I enjoy the live Passion experiences; I would have preferred the live versions of "O Praise Him" ("All This for a King"), "Beautiful One," or "Holy is the Lord." We do have "We Fall Down," from the Passion 268 Generation project, but that one's getting dated by now.
In visiting past worship experiences, what would have really polished this collection would have been if Worship Together repeated a couple of diamonds and gems from its archives. I'm specifically thinking about (vintage) Matt Redman, Noel Richards, Paul Oakley, David Ruis, or Delirious?--all of the aforementioned from the Revival Generation series--or something from New Song Café. How about "Eyes of My Heart"?
That's the end of the suggestions list. Here's the really great news. There is a tremendously beautiful array of worship leaders/artists here, and the flow of Here I Am to Worship is top-notch! The songs don't physically segue from one into another, as some of the WOW Worship projects do, but the placement of Charlie Hall's "My Drink" to "Lord Let your Glory Fall" by Phillips, Craig and Dean to Margaret Becker, Maire Brennan and Joanne Hogg's fine reading of "In Christ Alone" to Tim Hughes' "Beautiful One" works so very well for worship fans, be they leaders or participants. There are no sudden gear-changes in this set, which makes it work very smoothly.
As always, there are resources available to accompany this music at Worship Together's website. And until technology mandates that audio CDs will be replaced by DVDs, this collection is the one to grab.
Olin Jenkins 5/6/2004