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Thankful: The Best of Caedmon's Call

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jul
Thankful: The Best of Caedmon's Call
Sounds like … the band's accessible blend of acoustic pop and folk, reminiscent of Sixpence None the Richer, Simon & Garfunkel, Counting Crows, and Rich Mullins.At a glance … Thankful is a simple and effective compilation of the band's best-known material, though fans hardly need a brief best-of album that isn't comprehensive and doesn't offer anything new.Track Listing Hope to Carry On
Lead of Love
This World
There You Go
Shifting Sand
Before There Was Time
God of Wonders
Who You Are
We Delight
Only Hope
Share the Well

You could interpret Thankful: The Best of Caedmon's Call as a tenth anniversary celebration of the band's 1997 national debut, though Caedmon's Call released Chronicles just three years ago to commemorate the tenth anniversary of their indie debut. The real purpose is probably more as an epilogue to a fine ten-year run with Essential Records, fulfilling contractual obligations as the band moves on to INO Records (Overdressed, their terrific return to form, releases this August).

On the positive side, Thankful is a good representation of the band's best-known songs and biggest hits. Moreover, it includes them as you remember them—recall that Chronicles was largely comprised of live and alternate versions. That means the band's superb rendition of Rich Mullins' "Hope to Carry On" can be enjoyed in its full, harmony-textured, acoustic pop/rock goodness, as well as "Lead of Love," "This World," and "Before There Was Time." And unlike Chronicles, this also has the singles "We Delight" and "Share the Well," plus "God of Wonders." The latter isn't really their song (less Third Day's), and also sounds out of place as this compilation's only live track. Otherwise, nothing's here that shouldn't be.

However, Thankful offers nothing new or worthwhile for the faithful either. It'd be nice to have a comprehensive album that fully captures the breadth and scope of the Caedmon's catalog. Perhaps no single disc can fully satisfy diehard fans, but it should at least appear to try. With just 42 minutes of music (and a good 30 minutes to spare), Thankful inexcusably leaves out the number one hit "Coming Home," the top five single "Hands of the Potter," and many other noteworthy favorites—the albums Share the Well, Back Home, and Long Line of Leavers are represented by just one song each.

So once again we have a completely unnecessary best-of album for fans, though admittedly, Thankful may be the better disc for casual fans than Chronicles was. Strangely, neither one gets it quite right.

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