- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2001 1 Jan
Sonicflood served as a purveyor of the modern worship movement in America, arriving on the scene just after Delirious. That movement has spawned the likes of Tree 63, Circadian Rhythm, Ten Shekel Shirt, By the Tree, and countless others who have since added their own flavors to the genre. Normally, having a follow-up record by a distinct, original group within a trend would give other bands in the genre a new cornerstone of inspiration, but in the case of the second studio album by Sonicflood, that's not true. Instead, this group must be looked at as a brand new band that carries the same brand name, while experiencing a band membership conflict.
Fans may recall the group's self-titled worship release, followed by their live project
It's clear from the get-go this disc lacks the same amount of emotional flair the debut and subsequent live project had, but it certainly passes the test when it comes to being a relevant and enjoyable praise project. Plus, this time around more of the songs are originals, rather than mostly covers of past gems. The lead-off track "Lord of the Dance" (not to be confused with the Steven Curtis Chapman hit of the same name) does a fantastic job lighting a fire within the listener. The song combines the powerful songwriting style of worship leader Kevin Prosch while musically encompassing several elements one wouldn't normally mesh together, including a brief African choir opening sequence similar to that of some Paul Simon works, a synthesized voice box (think Styx during "Mr. Roboto"), and catchy drum loop sequencing throughout the entire track. The title cut holds listeners with equal interest, while the words by Heil and touring mate Jason Ingram (former leader of the Jason Ingram Band) will prove to be a sing-a-long favorite, along the lines of "I Want to Know You."
When it comes to displaying a genuine sense of passion, Sonicflood successfully delivers on "Lord Over All" and "Dear Lord." Like "Carried Away" or "Holy One" from the first project, "Lord Over All" has a certain sense of urgency that draws listeners in after the first listen. "Dear Lord" has similar qualities as "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" and "The Heart of Worship," but the fact that it's an original song gives it even more merit in the band's catalogue. The chorus contains the same sense of timelessness found in the aforementioned songs: "Dear Lord, my heart is breaking/ Breaking in two/ And Lord my spirit's torn and crushed without you."
Some less favorable portions of the project include "Holy and Anointed" and "Your Love," both for their lack of musical ingenuity and lackluster vocal power. "Holy and Anointed" sounds like it was lifted straight off a Delirious record, or perhaps the U2 song "All I Want is You" during the first verse. "Your Love" seems overly cheerful compared to the rest of the record, with its surf-inspired beat that brings to mind the Beach Boys, early Switchfoot, or PFR. Heil seems to go through the motions when singing the lyrics, holding notes at relatively the same key without putting a great deal of emphasis on any of the words. It's easy to see how he could fall into that trap given the fact the lyrics have certainly been tossed around by other worship singers, just in slightly varying order. For example: "Your love, give me your love/ To fill up my heart/ Your peace, give me your peace/ To comfort my soul/ Your joy, give me your joy/ To shine through the dark/ Change me, oh Lord/ For my life is yours."
Those songs, along with the significant lineup changes, are certainly not enough reason to leave this disc out of a praise and worshipper's collection. Actually, some fans of the original Sonicflood will appreciate the fact this project doesn't feature any spoken-word interludes. On Sonicflood's self-titled project, such interruptions seemed very scripted and tended to break up the continuity of the songs. Instead,