Symphony in Red
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Aug
- I Love You Lord
- Doxology (Amen)
- From All That Dwells
- Holy Bible
- You Alone (My Maker and My King)
- Spirit of the Living God
- God of Grace
- May Jesus Christ Be Praised (When Morning Gilds the Skies)
- We Adore Thee (Joyful Joyful)
- Jesus I Come
Despite the rise of modern worship music in the last decade, some would say that Christian music needs another worship band like a hole in the head. This one isn't much different from the music of Sonicflood and By the Tree. But Symphony in Red does have some strengths going for it beyond the intriguing-though-misleading name.
Producer/musician Billy Smiley (White Heart) masterminded the band, assembling together four other studio musicians (including former Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson) with guest vocalists like Bryan Olesen (Casting Pearls) and Aaron Shust to develop a new CD series called
Smiley and company do better with more contemporary source material, which surprisingly includes reverent handling of U2's "Yahweh." Simple but effective arrangements of "Doxology" and "Spirit of the Living God" stand out, as does a faithful cover of Jason Morant's Coldplay-styled arrangement of "I Love You Lord." And original ballad "You Alone" is strong enough for addition to church repertoires.
Unfortunately, the production isn't always what it should be. Some bad synth-strings on "Jesus I Come" sound particularly amateur for a studio effort from "some of the industry's finest musicians," and parts of the liner notes are an unreadable mess in attempt to offer historical insight. The album has some rewarding moments for modern worship enthusiasts, but a little more imagination and quality control would have helped elevate Symphony in Red from a worthwhile mention to a strong recommendation.