onething live, you satisfy my soul. The lyrical range may be narrow, but this highlights collection goes beyond being a keepsake for convention-goers and works as a well-created source for worshipping hearts.

Label: Forerunner Music
Time: 10 Tracks /  64 minutes

“What we listened to on our Christian holidays” releases can often dogged by a narrow feel-good approach with songs that say very little. They are also often Hillsong clones in search of a quick buck. This highlights disc of the Onething event (run by the International House of Prayer in Kansas City) manages to avoid most of those problems.

The start of this collection surprised me, as the more inventive approach to songs, both well-known and  home-grown, showed some quality of production and thought. Lifted by anthemic keyboards, “Like a Lion” almost has a European dance vibe that sets it apart from the standard guitar-based approach – and it succeeds.

“We Love your Name” is a highlight of the collection, as Jaye Thomas lists many unique attributes of Jesus in a beautifully soulful voice, reminiscent of Matthew Ward. That and “My Comfort” both benefit from a swelling gospel backing.

As well as the European and soul-gospel approaches, Onething Live brings in some Celtic mood near the end. And here are the clues to the album's success: it is brave enough to have diverse soundscapes, but the collection blends these as strong nuances, rather than trying to capture completely different sounds on one CD and expecting it to appeal to people.

In the light of this, it is easy to forgive the couple of passable, almost inevitable, soft rock praise-by-numbers tracks with uninspiring tunes (“Keep Me Close,” Matt Gilman's “Awaken Love” and  the title track are the offenders).

It is welcome to see well-written songs that come from the worship leaders themselves, rather than relying on currently trendy big-name material. "We Love your Name" stirred love and admiration in me for who God is, all carried by a natural tune that would enhance any praise collection.

The musicianship here is clearly of a high standard, particlularly the rhythm section – there are some lovely bass runs – and several of the vocalists. Occasionally, the mix is a little cloudy, but the whole goes beyond being a keepsake for convention-goers and works as a well-created source for worshipping hearts.

Derek Walker

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