I Believe in You
- Tuesday, May 01, 2007
- I Believe in You
- If I Don't Bring You Glory
- Almighty God
- Great God
- For Your Glory
- You Are the Holy One
- First Love
- King of Glory
- Land of the Living
- Nothing Left of Me
- Your Love Reigns
- Capture Me Again
Piano-based worship leader Joel Engle says he has wrestled with numerous trials in the two years after his national debut Made for Worship—loss of loved ones, emotional stress from the creative process, financial burdens from failed business decisions. But suffering has a way of sparking productivity, and the Oklahoma native has since written two books and forty songs amidst personal storms, leading to his follow-up I Believe in You.
Indeed, Engle's best songs seem to come from the hard times which force him to write from the heart. "First Love" is one example—Engle infuses more of his self in the lyricism, making the simplistic pop more original but no less relatable. "Your Love Reigns" and the beautiful piano ballad "Capture Me Again" work similarly well, as does the MercyMe-styled title track, a confession of faith inspired by
But more often than not, Engle's songs offer little in creative substance, musically or lyrically. "O Great God" is his love song to the Almighty, but it relies almost wholly on Psalm excerpts and worship cliché s. The driving "Invincible" tries to focus on a different aspect of God's being, but ultimately becomes a routine song about his sovereignty: "We stand in awe in this place … We give all our praise to you … You never change … From age to age you stay the same …" Etcetera, etcetera.
The album is an overall improvement on Made for Worship, but Engle's writing and music lacks the immediacy and distinctiveness of better worship artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Charlie Hall. Those who tend to enjoy all worship music for the sake of worship may appreciate this, but more discerning tastes should probably pass.
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