Where Faith Comes From
- Saturday, March 01, 2008
- All I Want
- Call to Me
- Ready Now
- Finding You
- This Is Life
- Hiding Place
- Beauty of the Lord
- Pleasing to You
- The Difference
Not that legions of fans have been waiting since the last album, but Jared Anderson is back. As a worship leader for New Life Church and Desperation Band, Anderson has composed his share of church hits ("Rescue," "Amazed," "Hear Us From Heaven"), though in the church environment, he's but one of many cooks, his individual strengths—keyboard-based worship leading, reflective singer/songwriter sensibilities—collectively blending in with the overall experience.
Anderson's 2006 national debut Where to Begin brought his strengths front and center, and it went beyond typical worship fare to unveil a more nuanced worshiper—one with enough pop craftsmanship to compete with the likes of Chris Tomlin. Where Faith Comes From picks up where the first go-round left off, as Anderson continues to favor big pop choruses and piano balladry with enough of a contemporary edge to help him pass Christian radio's standards of playability.
Though he does settle for that middle ground on more than one occasion, it rarely feels contrived or cliché d—only Anderson would think of himself as a dragon slayer in the vein of "immortal Frodo Baggins" as he seeks to articulate his desire to connect with the heart of God ("Call to Me"), or ask the Almighty to help him clean out his closet so he can become a more acceptable offering ("Pleasing to You"). This brand of warts-and-all worship artistry isn't sustained throughout, but there's enough of it to set Anderson apart.
To sell these songs from a singer/songwriter's perspective, the worship leader keeps things atmospheric and meditative, only intermittently going for a more raucous, congregationally engaging vibe, as in the garage-pop romp "Promises" and the addictive, guitar-punctured "All I Want." This infrequency of livelier moments render Where Faith Comes From a far cry from Anderson's other big-stage collaborations, but it's still an enjoyable, effective worship project, and one with enough heart to warrant attention.
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