The Heart Of Worship - Soul Survivor Live '97 
Artist: Various 
Label: Survivor Records/Kingsway Music (UK) 
By James Stewart

The Soul Survivor Christian youth organization's annual festival is the focal point of the most influential movement among Christian youth in Britain at the moment. The festival has been largely responsible for the phenomenal success (in the British Christian music scene) of Delirious? and Matt Redman, and the worship songs sung there are sure to dominate most British contemporary worship events over the next year. 

Kevin Prosch, Matt Redman, and Tim Hughes lead worship, backed by two groups of musicians whose names will be familiar to any follower of Matt Redman.  These three worship leaders are also represented in the song-writing, along with Martin Smith (of Delirious?) and a couple of others. Musically the album ranges from the industrial-tinged pop sounds of Martin Smith's "History Maker" (from Delirious's King Of Fools) to the acoustic roots sounds of Kevin Prosch's "Shout to the Lord" to the synthesizer/acoustic guitar of "Pure Like You." 
  
The musicianship is first class, but some of the songs are a little drawn out, which is probably fine live but doesn't translate well here. For me, the songs I'd heard on other recordings did seem to take on more energy, particularly "Believer" from Matt Redman's The Friendship and the Fear.  I was particularly taken by a Matt Redman track called "The Heart of Worship": 

    When the music fades, 
    All is stripped away, and I simply come. 
    Longing just to bring 
    Something that's of worth, 
    That will bless your heart.
 This album is an interesting listen and is a platform for some great worship songs and a creative blend of styles, but whether or not you like it will depend on how fond you are of live albums. 

1 clock2 clocks3 clocks