Blessed Be Your Name: The Songs of Matt Redman Vol. 1
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Jul
- Blessed Be Your Name
- Holy Moment
- Once Again
- The Heart of Worship
- Let My Words Be Few
- Lord, Let Your Glory Fall
- Better Is One Day
- I Will Offer Up My Life
- Let Everything That Has Breath
- The Father's Song
Depending on when you mark its start, the modern worship movement has been going strong for approximately ten years, providing the Church with a plentiful supply of new praise songs that have quickly become standards. And if you check out lists of the most widely used standards, UK worship leader Matt Redman is not surprisingly a recurring name. It's fair to say he helped spark this worship movement, along with Delirious and Hillsong Australia. As those two already have anthologies of their own, it's only fitting that this pioneer now be recognized for his contributions with
Judging by the familiar track list, there aren't any new songs here that can't be heard on any previous Redman album (or countless other worship recordings, for that matter). Yet everything is new in the sense that it is also a live recording, taken from a performance at a worship songwriter's conference last year in Georgia. While people often balk at live hits collections, in this case it's more than appropriate and effective. As a virtually complete hour-long concert, there's continuity to the sound that wouldn't have been present with a collection of studio tracks dating back to 1997. It also keeps the focus on Redman's reason for being—leading others in worship, though this disc's crowd noise is minimal.
The set list covers all of the essentials and pads them with Redman's next best material—nothing's missing, nothing's inappropriately added. And though some of Redman's studio originals remain the definitive arrangements and performances (including great duets with Martin Smith and the legendary Paul Carrack), each of these live Brit pop/rock renditions is strong, if not an improvement in some cases. Though his newer material generally hasn't been as strong, here's hoping this really is Redman's first volume in a series of anthologies chronicling first-rate worship music.