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Any Given Day: Earth to Heaven

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2001 1 Jan
Any Given Day: Earth to Heaven

Any Given Day is a worship series from BEC Recordings, birthed out of the desire to capture the heart of the worship portion of the O.C. Supertones's concerts. The first recording was released in 1999 and featured Andy Bray, a worship leader who's also a close friend of Jason Carson (the drummer for the Supertones until just recently). Although the original Any Given Day album was comprised completely of previously released worship material, Andy's warm roots rock/pop sound was irresistible to me—he and his worship band sounded more like Hootie & the Blowfish than Third Day ever did. At long last, BEC has released the series' second album, entitled Any Given Day: Earth To Heaven. This time, the worship is lead by Cadet, a new melodic rock band on BEC whose debut album is not too coincidentally being released in a few weeks. It seems odd not to mention that this is essentially a Cadet album somewhere on the external packaging. Won't Cadet fans want to know about this project? Is there anything to distinguish this album on the shelf other than the snazzy cover art or the Any Given Day brand name? I expect that BEC will slap a "featuring Cadet" sticker on this album within the next few months.

I hope the artistic debut fares better, because there's little for me to strongly recommend their worship debut. Though their debut has more of the melodic rock feel that bands like Weezer were known for, this album has a more stripped down sound to it that reminded me of The Waiting. It's too bad because the fun rock sound applied to praise & worship would have been interesting—instead, this album feels like a simple rock reinterpretation of the standard WoW Worship material (i.e. like so many other worship albums on the market). "Lord Reign in Me" oversimplifies an already fairly simple song and doesn't improve on other versions available. There's a fairly basic yet effective medley of "Father I Adore You" and "More Precious Than Silver." There's a cover of Delirious' "Happy Song," which sounds more like a polka than a country-esque rock tune. I did like how they tied the Any Given Day theme into the lyrics of "I Lift My Eyes Up": "Any given day / my heart is full of praise / and it's all because of you." The album concludes with an acoustic but faithful cover of Darrell Evans's "Trading My Sorrows."

There are nine cover songs on Earth to Heaven and three Cadet originals. The latter are a mixed bag. "Great and Mighty" is filled with standard Christian praise rhetoric, but it builds nicely from gentle acoustic strumming to a powerful band anthem. "Land of the Living" is pleasant and has a little more to say than the average praise song thanks to two verses, but it still feels a little too simplistic. It's nowhere near as simplistic as "I Will Worship," which is the kind of worship song that annoys me because I can quote the entire thing in just a couple lines of text—"You are the lover of my soul / You are the One in whom I trust / You are the giver of all life / And you gave your life for me / I will worship you. … " Suffice to say, I enjoyed the original material on their debut much better.

On the plus side, the production is at times very modern and youth-oriented—distorted vocal effects, modern pop production, guitar feedback, etc. At other times, it's too simplistic and rough around the edges compared to other modern projects. Earth to Heaven is a lot like the Passion albums and similar recordings, and that's both its advantage and downfall. It feels so routine; I can't find a strong reason for the average listener to pick up Any Given Day: Earth to Heaven before they would any other worship project. It's only a fair worship project and is only worth your time and money if you eventually become a Cadet fan, or if you simply must buy every praise and worship recording that comes through the pipeline. But with such an abundance of worship recordings available to the public these days, there are better worship alternatives worth buying before this one.

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