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Let the Praises Ring: The Best of Lincoln Brewster
Sounds like … United, Michael Gungor, Charlie Hall, Jeff Deyo, and similar luminaries among from the ranks of modern worshipAt a glance … it may seem too early for a Lincoln Brewster retrospective, but that doesn't disprove how generous and well-selected this compilation isTrack Listing Everlasting God All to You (Radio Mix) Love the Lord (Radio Mix) Let the Praises Ring Everybody Praise the Lord Lord I Lift Your Name on High All I Really Want All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises Majestic (Radio Mix) The Power of Your Love Shout to the Lord He's All I Need Everyday (Radio Mix) Take Me Higher (Ps. 73:25) What Kind of Man You Are Good Here I Am to Worship (Instrumental)
Was I the only one who actually boughtLincoln Brewster's obscure self-titled debut? The year was 1999, and Integrity Music was just starting to spread its wings in the modern worship realm with their brand-new imprint Vertical Music. Despite being one of the flagship artists at the venture, Brewster's album went largely unnoticed, but I for one didn't care: the dude had an interesting voice, he knew rock 'n' roll, and he could play guitar—and I mean, he could really kill it. Oh, and he had Elvis hair.
Seven years later, his label home is paying homage to his young legacy with Let the Praises Ring: The Best of Lincoln Brewster. With only four albums to his name, it's rather early for a retrospective, but Brewster's body of work so far merits one. As someone who's equally at home composing praise rockers of his own and recreating other people's songs, his output is substantial enough to be condensed onto a single disc in terms of essentials alone.
And on that front, Let the Praises Ring delivers. All four of Brewster's discs—Lincoln Brewster, Live to Worship, All I Really Want, and All to You—are represented fairly, and his original work is given as much playtime as his cover songs. It's interesting to notice Brewster's transition from introspective worshipper ("He's All I Need," "What Kind of Man") to effective re-creator ("All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises," "You Are Good") to corporate songwriter in his own right ("All to You," "Love the Lord").
More of such original material would've given added value to this already-hefty set. Instead, we get a new ethereal, instrumental take on Tim Hughes' "Here I Am to Worship"—similar to his reworking of "Amazing Grace" years ago—and an anthemic, '80s-inspired version of Brenton Brown's "Everlasting God." Not enough for longtime fans of Brewster, but certainly a treat for those wanting to catch up with this talent's lively and rockin' approach to modern worship.