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Sounds like … praise-focused British pop/rock for fans of Delirious, Chris Tomlin and the Worship Together movementAt a glance … it's better than 2002's disappointing Where Angels Fear to Tread, but for every congregational rocker, there's a blasé ballad or charismatic overindulgenceTrack ListingPraise Awaits YouNothing but the BloodSeeing YouGifted ResponseDancing GenerationPure LightWorthy, You Are WorthyLead Us up the Mountain FacedownBreathing the BreathMission's FlameRaise a VoiceIf I Have Not Love
Matt Redman's influence in the modern praise trend is unquestioned. The U.K. born worship leader has been a mentor to the likes of Chris Tomlin and Tim Hughes, while penning church classics like "The Heart of Worship," "Better Is One Day," "Let Everything That Has Breath," and the recently popular "Blessed Be Your Name." Despite that track record, Where Angels Fear To Tread, his last project, was filled with middle-of-the-road instrumentation and seemed just as rote as the countless other worship projects cluttering the marketplace.
Though not entirely free of predictable moments, Facedown at least puts Redman slightly ahead of his last course. Sing-along moments appear from the onset, most notably "Nothing but the Blood," building with fervency along the lines of "Better Is One Day." "Dancing Generation," a progressive anthem packed with a soulful bass line and a sea of supporting vocalists, swells with joy, but the choruses overflow with shouts only a charismatic churchgoer could appreciate. The placid strums of "Seeing You" and the heightening chords throughout "Mission's Flame" are the closest Redman gets to his Friendship and the Fear period, despite being less captivating from the onset.
"Raise a Voice" is a routine jump-up-and-down-and-clap-your-hands-real-fast number, with overbearing spiritual cheerleading. Other disappointments include the very typical love song to the Lord, "If I Have Not Love," and the call-and-response cookie cutter technique of "Praise Awaits You." Such mediocre tracks still don't make Facedown fall into the rut of Where Angels Fear to Tread, but the overall sound and songwriting are both nevertheless several steps behind the likes of Redman's first three classic worship albums.