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Hymns4Worship: Just As I Am
Artist: Various
Label: Integrity/Time Life
Length: 22 tracks

Twenty-two hymns are polished off for Hymns4Worship's latest compilation, Just As I Am.  Various contributors, including Crystal Lewis, Israel, worship leader Paul Baloche, and Sara Groves appear on this disc.

There is very little innovation here.  Much like Andy Griffith's "I Love to Tell the Story," Just As I Am simply presents the hymns as they were written, without attempting to rewrite the words or rearrange the music.  In some ways, this is refreshing, as the songs themselves do not distract from their meaning.  In others, though, it gives the disc
a plodding pace.

Sara Groves shines on "Softly and Tenderly", but then makes an odd choice in covering the Keith Green classic "There is a Redeemer."  She neither hits the high notes that Green did, nor does she scale the song down an octave to where it would perfectly fit her range.  The result is less than desirable.

Simply put, fans of hymns and traditional worship should all be able to find something here they will enjoy.  Anyone over the age of thirty grew up with songs such as "Great is Thy Faithfulness," "Crown Him With Many Crowns," and "His Eye is on the Sparrow."  I would still recommend hymn compilations by Amy Grant, Sandy Patty, or Andy Griffith before considering Just As I Am.

Brian A. Smith  5/18/2005



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