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Your Name
Artist: Various
Label: Integrity
Time: 10 Tracks / 36 mins
 
This release aims to put a focus on some of the various names and attributes of God, using a selection of well-known worship leaders. That idea could be an excuse for a jargon-fest, but the stroke of genius was having Ian Eskelin as producer, co-writer and one of the singers. Despite being given a Dove Award (normally they acknowledge a lack of adventure) as 2008 Producer of the Year, Eskelin has a track record as an artist of producing snappy, poppy, lively and singable songs. He was the force behind a bunch of acts that notably includes the American Britpop act All Star United.
 
Most songs have been written with Brian White, Tony Wood and Glenn Packiam, but the original idea came from Eskelin, in a writing session with two of them.
 
"When we first started doing research for the project, I did a 'Google' search and found a list of more than 50 names of God," he said.  "It's amazing what you can learn about the character of God from each one and it gave us extraordinary content for writing these songs."
 
Fortunately, the label wanted something that sounded different from all the CCM mush and deliberately went for a more creative approach. Seeing names like DecembeRadio, BlueTree, Ayiesha Woods, Mark Stuart and Phil Wickham singing adds to the anticipation. The difference is noticeable from the first track. “Life” (sung by Leeland Mooring & Joel Auge) does what you would expect. It is a sparkling, vivacious piece. While several pieces do toe the genre party line, there is generally an extra level of energy and purpose here. Try the exuberance on “Almighty,” where the piano player’s hands must have dropped off after his recording session.
 
This has carried over to (or been generated by) the freshness in the lyrics. So on “Lord” – a title that could produce a thousand clichés – they take the line from Philippians about every knee bowing to Jesus and dig a little deeper: “From the dawn of Eden to this world’s final day / Every soul in between the two / The faithful and the faithless / The sinners and the saints/ Every knee will one day bow down to you”.
 
As many of these are geared towards both radio airplay and congregational singing, strong melody and memorability are prerequisites, and we do get them here. This is a positive step forward that should bring together many who thrive on CCM and many who are constantly frustrated by it.

 
Derek Walker
      
 

An electronic press kit for Your Name can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJLo-isVH5s
 

 
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