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Sounds like … the type of modern worship we've come to expect from Deyo and his former band Sonicflood, not to mention Tree63, Ten Shekel Shirt, and Lincoln BrewsterAt a glance … in essence a partial live reading of Deyo's previous two albums, Surrender disappoints due to a number of factorsTrack ListingIgnitionLost MyselfWe Are HungryLet It FlowBe Lifted UpMore Love, More PowerJesus I SurrenderKeep My HeartYou Are GoodInterlude: JesusNothing Less Than All of MeBless the Lord
Jeff Deyo knows a thing or two about modern worship, having founded pioneering worship band Sonicflood in the late '90s and later recording praise-filled material on his own after the group's implosion. What's noteworthy about Deyo's solo ventures is that they retained the character and charm of the original Sonicflood album. He was able to combine original expressions of worship with interesting—if not intentionally loud—versions of more reverent worship staples, interspersed with spoken-word interludes, sermonettes, and a prayer or two.
The worship leader ventures overseas for his first solo live album Surrender, much like when he traveled with Sonicflood to the Netherlands' Flevo Festival for Sonicpraise. This time the setting is New Zealand's Parachute Festival, but the results just aren't as engaging. The main problem with recreating the solo albums Saturate and Light in this live setting is that Deyo's trademark worship style doesn't translate as well. The overlong cover of "More Love, More Power" tires rather than empowers, and "Be Lifted Up" is simply underwhelming. Overall, the drums seem buried in the mix. The sermons are exceptionally chatty and will prove skippable for most after one listen. And Deyo's attempts at corporate worship suffer when his songs present themselves more as earnest rock performances than congregational invitations.
Still, a number of things do work out. The immediacy of originals "Let It Flow" and "Bless the Lord" do generate a certain level of excitement, though the latter still drones on for too long. Deyo's band also occasionally infuses "Lose Myself" and "We Are Hungry" with enough new wave and Pop-era U2 flourishes to demand listener attention. But those aren't enough to salvage Surrender, an effort that probably did sound exciting in person, but ultimately ends up feeling detached and tedious on disc.