End of the Beginning: A Celebration of the Easter Season
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Mar
- The Bread Has Been Broken—Jeff Deyo & Anadara
- Beautiful Wounds—Jan L'Ecuyer
- He Was Here—Scott Krippayne
- End of the Beginning—David Phelps
- For the Love—The Martins
- The Glorious Impossible—Carl Cartee
- The Blood—The Booth Brothers
- The Body and The Blood—Janet Paschal
- The Least I Can Do—Scott Krippayne
- Every Drop of Red—Bonnie Keen
- In Christ Alone—The Martins
- The Word Is Mercy—Various Artists
- Cross of Christ—Scott Krippayne
- For What Earthly Reason—Janet Paschal
- The Cross Said It All—Kim Hooper
- King of My World—Rick Cua & Charity Von
Most Christians consider Easter the most important holiday of the year, yet I'm continually surprised how so few albums specifically celebrate it. For every dozen new Christmas albums offered annually, we're lucky to find one squarely focused on Holy Week. And more often than not, that one album is a compilation of previously released material. Such is the case here, but End of the Beginning: A Celebration of the Easter Season is still better than nothing, even if it is a little hit and miss.
Many of the highlights come from the Spring Hill Worship albums of the last two years. "The Bread Has Been Broken," performed by Jeff Deyo and Anadara, is a solid communion anthem with a memorable melody, suitable for the average contemporary congregation. And though Easter comprises a small part in Carl Cartee's modern hymn "The Glorious Impossible," it's certainly strong enough for church repertoires.
But too many songs are quite dated, and unfortunately sound like it. The evangelistic title track, touching on the importance of Easter, comes from David Phelps' 2001 self-titled release. Janet Paschal's beautiful "The Body and The Blood" and Scott Krippayne's "Cross of Christ" go back to the late '90s, but still hold up far better than painfully old-sounding material like "The Word Is Mercy," "The Cross Said It All," and The Martins' cover of Michael English's "In Christ Alone." After a while, it becomes distracting to remember that this is an album celebrating Holy Week, not classic inspirational pop.
It also doesn't help that many of these songs aren't specific to the Easter season, instead making general reference to the cross and communion in a way that can be used throughout the year. It shows that the songs were compiled for Easter, not necessarily created for it. Still, there's enough here to recommend End of the Beginning as a resource, providing at least a few lesser-known examples of special music to celebrate our Lord's death and resurrection.