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Full Attention

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Mar
Full Attention
Sounds like … worship with a decidedly modern pop feel a la Delirious, Matt Redman and Charlie Hall, at times evoking Snow Patrol and U2.At a glance … with imaginative, praise-focused lyrics and an equally compelling soundtrack, Riddle's debut warrants your full attention. Track Listing God of All Glory
Stand in Awe
Full Attention
Hallowed Father
More Than a Friend
Sweetly Broken
Call to Praise
No Longer Bound
God Moves in Mysterious Ways
What Joy is Found
My Love For You

Christian music fans were first introduced to newcomer Jeremy Riddle last year with the Top 10 adult contemporary radio hit "Sweetly Broken." Now signed to Varietal Records (Vineyard's new artist-driven imprint) for the release of Full Attention, the worship leader and junior high pastor offers 11 more songs to the masses—and they're terrific.

In the tradition of seminal worship artists like Delirious and Matt Redman, Riddle doesn't rely on familiar praise platitudes. Rather, his lyrics reflect a desire for authenticity, particularly on "God Moves in Mysterious Ways." Inspired by hymn-writer William Cowper, who wrote praise songs in the midst of depression and doubt, the songs are all the more relatable because of the sense that Riddle doesn't have it all together, something he affirms by saying he "struggles with self-doubt and the temptation to rely on himself instead of Christ." That struggle is also poignantly reflected in "More than a Friend" with a line like, "In the stillness/I hear your voice call/And I am overwhelmed."

If solid lyrics weren't enough, the soundtrack provides plenty more to appreciate. While the production and instrumentation go full scale in the buoyant "No Longer Bound," Riddle is also content with scaling things back in the moody opening track "God of All Glory." Other highlights are "Close," which starts off with some gritty guitar licks before segueing into a chorus worthy of Snow Patrol, and the ambient, piano-driven "Stand in Awe," which gives his beautifully raspy voice an impressive moment to shine.

Stripped down to simply an acoustic guitar, "My Love For You" is a fitting closer as he sings, "Lord, I'll be obedient." Though he's not necessarily reinventing the wheel here stylistically, Riddle handles modern worship as well as any—which should be more than enough to warrant your full attention.

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