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More Than I See
Artist: Seth Condrey
Label: Koch Records
Time: 11 tracks/45 mins
Seth Condrey grew up in South Carolina, and lived in Argentina for a year where he attending Bible school. Seth released an independent CD in 2002, followed by his album De Corazón a Corazón, in 2007, which won the 2008 Dove Award for, “Spanish Album of the Year.” He leads worship at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, where he lives with his wife and son (with number 2 on the way). Seth says that he doesn’t consider himself the, “greatest guitarist in the world or the best singer, I just feel like God's blessed me with enough talent to go out and make a statement about some good stuff."
Some of that “good stuff” he sings about on this his latest offering include, “God’s intangible blessings of love and grace and mercy change us from the inside out. That’s what I want to be about, and that’s what this record is about. . . . [it] is my heart poured out over everything that’s happened in the last four years.” Things that includes extensive missionary travels in South America, marrying his wife Jessica and having their first son, Titus.
Seth encourages us through his songs to reach out and love others. The un-lovely, lost, hurting and smelly others we find difficult to be around. I must admit that when researching about Seth I thought I was looking at another manufactured “Worship” singer/songwriter after finding out he had been discovered by the great Barry Landis, former president of Word Records and head of Atlantic Records' Christian division.
‘Landis became Condrey's manager and was soon hired to head a new Christian music division, Kosmos, for Koch Entertainment, . . . It all came together when Landis sent Condrey to the local law offices of Greenberg Traurig, . . . Landis gives much of the credit to one of the firm's advisers, Don Perry.
‘Don brought everybody in and Seth played,’ Landis says. ‘There were ladies crying. And that's when I felt like, OK, we've really got something with this kid. I think this is a guy we need to sign. He's making lawyers cry.’" ( http://www.accessatlanta.com/music/content/music/stories/2008/04/21/condrey_0421.html )
My opinion changed after giving this disc a few listens. Musically there is enough variety to keep your interest, with very radio friendly and highly listenable tunes through out the CD. I found myself with his songs stuck in my head. This usually ends up being like water torture as I seem to mostly end up with songs like “Achy Breaky Heart” or “Mmmm Bop” spinning endlessly on repeat my mind until I manage to get to some Demon Hunter or Circle of Dust to blast it out of existence. However, Seth’s’ lyrics are very encouraging and I didn’t mind listening to them more than once. On his track “I Believe”, Seth asks the question, “What if I dream?/What if I chose to believe?/ more than I see/faith can move a mountain”. He sings to us our own doubting, and then encourages us that we can believe. And I think that is what I find most engaging about Seth and this album. He really does try to encourage us, as listeners, to become involved in our relationship with God, not just take the bits we like.
After his relationship with God comes Condrey’s family. “Joy to Life” is an acoustic song about his young son Titus. He says that, “Something changed when our son was born. I looked at him and was completely overwhelmed with the thought of how God loves us unconditionally. I truly love my family.” The other thing that Seth would have learnt to change is a nappy.