Live In London
- Reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2009 31 Mar
Coming out of Scotland in 1989, IONA earned underground fame by blending Celtic pop, folk, and rock traditions (think Clannad or Enya) with an unabashed Gospel message. While commercially flying under the radar, the band has earned massive amounts of critical praise. And obviously, IONA has stood the test of time. To mark its twentieth anniversary, the group released the double-disc, career-spanning collection Live In London, which dually showcases the group's instrumental growth and ethnic appeal.
Members highlight their deft precision right off the bat in a ten-minute jam of "Woven Cord." At face value, that may seem like self-indulgence, but the song is far too intricate and engaging to ever come across as pretentious. "Wind Off the Lake" and "Irish Day" dive further into the group's indigenous instrumental arsenal (drawing instant comparisons to fellow faith-based band Ceili Rain), while "Wave After Wave" and "Treasure" are centered around Joanne Hogg's soothing yet radiant vocals. By the end of the fourteen track set list, Live In London is a fantastic career summary for longtime fans and a fitting introduction for brand new listeners.
For more information on IONA, visit www.myspace.com/ionauk.
Style: pop/modern rock; Lifehouse, David Cook, Lincoln Brewster, Jeremy Camp
In a nutshell: With just as potent rock pipes as remarkable ballad range, Gary Greenlee and his Missouri-bred band offer an inspiring EP of vertically charged reflections, fist-pumpers, and aggressive romps.
For more information on Gary Greenlee Project, visit www.myspace.com/garygreenleeproject.
Style: pop/contemporary; Michael English, Clay Crosse, Steven Curtis Chapman
In a nutshell: Whether he's re-arranging a classic hymn ("I Bowed On My Knees and Cried Holy") or putting his own stamp on John Waller-penned tunes, Michigan native Jason Eaton boldly stands out from today's contemporary crop. Between his glistening vocal delivery, slick production, and redemptive message, this iTunes exclusive EP is strong enough for listeners to crave a full-length CD.
For more information on Jason Eaton, visit www.jasoneaton.org.
Style: modern worship; compare to Reuben Morgan, Hillsong United, Starfield
In a nutshell: As a worship leader for the past ten years (including his current position at Houston's Second Baptist Church), Joey Witham longs to create an artful approach to praise. He generally succeeds with a mix of congregational rockers ("Spirit Bound") and pensive reflection ("Send Your Glory").
For more information on Joey Witham, visit www.joeywitham.com.
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