Artist:  By the Tree
Label:  Fervent

By the Tree, originally formed as a worship band in 1997, has elected to get back to its praise roots with a modern worship album as a follow-up to the pop/rock bonanza of "Root."   

Unfortunately, it’s about three years too late, entering a crowded marketplace with a project that does not do nearly enough to distinguish itself.

“God of Wonders” is one of the truly great worship songs ever recorded, but do we really need another version? Other covers — “It Is Well,” “Lord, Let Your Glory Fall,” “Throne of Grace,” “Your Beloved” and “Beautiful One” — are passable but not particularly memorable.

Of the 11 songs on the album, only four were written by current members of the band — leaving worship leaders without much new material to latch onto. And one of those, “Reveal,” is a remake of the hit off the group’s Fervent 
debut. “Only to You” is a radio-friendly offering in the Sonicflood mold, but the best of the bunch may be “Jesus Washed,” an evocative, contemplative song that provides a new, reflective spin on praise.  It’s a goosebump-inducing ending, but it can’t save a project that will be savored primarily by its hardcore BTT fanbase.


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