The Phantom Tollbooth
 
 Shout to the Lord 2000
 Artist: Darlene Zschech leading worship
 Label: Integrity's Hosanna Music
 Length: 16 tracks/ 74.11 minutes
 
Thrown into the international worship-music limelight by the spectacular success of "Shout to the Lord," Darlene Zschech and the Hillsongs's recordings are now well established around the world. This recording was produced at the '98 Hillsongs Conference, a worship conference led by  Zschech with guests Ron Kenoly and Alvin Slaughter, and has managed to catch a lot of the energy of a live worship event.
 
The musicians all perform well, and there was a wide-range of  instruments present -- brass instruments are especially obvious besides the guitars, bass and drums. The arrangements are very much based around the vocals and are fairly well balanced. Personally, I found a few of the vocal performances rather over-effected, particularly Alvin Slaughter's introduction to "Shout to the Lord."  I also find it somewhat distracting to listen to a recording of someone leading a crowd in worship, but there is no denying the vocal strength of Zschech and those accompanying her.
 
The song selection is refreshingly different from a majority of recent live worship albums, at least those released in the UK, but apart from the range of songs offered there is nothing to make it stand out from the crowd; it simply sits near the top of a large pile. If you're looking for a well-produced live worship album this may well be it, but don't approach this looking for the revelation of worship for the new millenium that the cover promises.
 
 Track listing: By  James Stewart (3/10/99)