Open Wide This Window
- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Feb
After periodic stints fronting the band Common Children and early attempts at production (Broomtree, Denison Marrs, Jesse's Vineyard), Marc Byrd wrote "God of Wonders," one of the most
seminal worship songs of the last decade. After bringing it to
the attention of veteran producer Steve Hindalong, the two teamed
up for the worship compilation,
His wife Christine Glass's resume isn't so shabby either. The independent alternative artist was a staple on the underground circuit throughout the late '90s and has also penned cuts for Nicole Nordeman along with background vocal contributions to both
It was only a matter of time before the two artists would unite to record a project that was solely their own under the name Glassbyrd (natch) — some may recognize these two recording under the name Adore on the 2002 worship project
"This Window" sets the tone for such emotive compositions, sporting an acoustically rich palette reminiscent of Common Children's biggest hit, "Eyes of God." The underlying symphonic moan of "Tonight (I Wanna Live in Your World)" and rowdy rumblings of "Wake Up" also pay homage to the Children, though additional references to Byrd's past band are few and far between on the remainder of the disc.
The Glass-led "Everywhere I Turn" follows in the tradition of her two solo endeavors,
Other disappointing elements include the unassuming programmed loops that encompass "I Love You More," the similarly paced contemporary cookie cutter "Wounded Healers," and the sluggish album finale, "Peace to You," which ends with awkwardly positioned chants of a backing choir. Not only are those arrangements somewhat drab in comparison to the many more upbeat undertakings on the record, but their lyrical framework pales in comparison to what the duo is capable of creating.
For instance, Glass's self-admitted simplistic expression of praise, "I love you more / I love you more than this," fails to create the impact of "Weight of the World," where Byrd chronicles the glory of the cross: "I will always remember how you took that cross on Your back / To suffer for my treachery on the day the sky went black." Again, as well intentioned as "Jesus, You Are Beautiful" is toward expressing God's faithfulness, lines such as "When I'm alone, I sing a sweet song from the wilderness / Though I can't see Your face, I believe You are listening," trail far behind the poetic prostration of "God of Wonders."
Given both members' lengthy list of projects and well-recognized recordings, GlassBryd already has a large built-in audience so that, unlike most newly formed acts, they should have no trouble earning immediate acceptance. In several instances on