The Phantom Tollbooth

Spring Harvest Live Worship '98
Artist: Various Artists
Label: ICC Records
Time: 13/60.51
 
It has become a tradition in the UK for the major Christian conferences such as Spring Harvest, New Wine, Soul Survivor et al. to release live worship albums on at least an annual basis. For the most part, these releases are lack-lustre recordings which contain a few good songs but suffer from an already over populated market. In a market where seemingly every event must have a 'live' album and possibly a couple of tie-in albums it is easy to become disenchanted.
 
To these ears this album is a step up from last year's Spring Harvest live worship albums, perhaps because it is now only a single album after several double releases, allowing the producers to be more selective in their choice of tracks. Featuring Dave Bilbrough, Chris Bowater, Geraldine Latty, Don Moen, Dave Pope, and Wellspring it provides a good cross section of the adult-oriented worship leader scene backed by some talented session musicians.

Having seen Dave Bilbrough lead worship at Spring Harvest this year, I was glad to find that his enthusiasm and the rootsy arrangements have transferred pretty well here. His husky vocals make him the strongest contributor here, and his songs seem to have the most energy.

Despite that, this collection is still pretty predictable and while it will probably appeal to the worship music afficionado, or someone who wants to see what songs are available aside from Matt Redman, Noel Richards, and delirious?, but most listeners will step by this one.
 
By James Stewart