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WoW Worship Green

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2001 1 Jan
WoW Worship Green

It's hard to believe this is already the third year for WoW Worship. The first 2-CD project, WoW Worship Blue, was an impressive collection of both old and new, featuring what are undoubtedly the most popular contemporary worship tunes of all ("Lord, I Lift Your Name On High," "Shout To The Lord," etc.). The only complaint I had was the decision to include original versions of some of the older songs—a lot of the praise recordings from the 80s seem corny today, reminiscent of a Disneyland musical revue. The second installment in the series, WoW Worship Orange, was nearly as impressive as the first, but relied more heavily on new and unfamiliar songs. The project's producers wisely decided to separate the adult contemporary sounding songs from the modern rock songs on these two CDs. It was a good collection, but there seemed to be too many new songs, and once again there were some cornball arrangements.

This brings us to WoW Worship Green. In my humble opinion, WoW Worship Green learns from the minor mistakes of the past two projects and creates a compilation nearly as good as the first—and in some ways better. Once again, the two CDs are separated by musical genre, making for a more consistent listening experience than the Blue collection. Thankfully, there are few if any cheesy recordings this time around, an improvement on both of the previous compilations. And I felt they picked more classics this time around compared to Orange, while still representing the newer, lesser-known songs.

Among the classics are "The Power of Your Love," "Good To Me," "Jesus Draw Me Close," "Seek Ye First," Michael W. Smith's "Great Is the Lord," and Twila Paris's "He Is Exalted." Some more recent favorites include Darlene Zschech's "All Things Are Possible," Delirious' "Shout To the North," "Draw Me Close" (made popular by the Katinas on the Exodus project), and the Passion Better Is One Day version of "Agnus Dei." Some highlights among the lesser-known tracks include Darrell Evans's "Trading My Sorrows," the outstanding prayerful ballad "Breathe" from the Hungry album, the Caedmon's Call-style acoustic worship of "Unashamed Love" (by Ten Shekel Shirt, whose album debuts in a few weeks), and one of my all-time favorite worship songs, "Lord Reign In Me." There are many more great tracks, but listing all 33 would be a little much.

There are a few subjective matters that keep WoW Worship Green from being a perfect compilation in my opinion. A few of the tracks included are original but inferior versions compared to many more recent performances of them. For example, most people probably recognize the rocker "Every Move I Make" from the Passion recordings, but this original version by David Ruis kind of plods along by comparison. Though the version of "That's Why We Praise Him" by Rich Ochoa and The Maranatha! Promise Band included here is fine, there are better versions performed by the song's author Tommy Walker. Likewise, I've heard better and more exciting covers of "You Are Worthy of My Praise" than this one by The Praise Band.

Though this is a minor gripe, I wonder why the producers decided to stick "Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)" and "Lord Reign in Me" back to back. Both are by up-and-coming worship leader Benton Brown, and would seem to have been better served spread out from one another. Though it's understood you can't fit everything on one album, I was also very surprised at the exclusion of Matt Redman, who released a new album a year ago, full of great new worship songs.

Aside from these little things, WoW Worship Green is a great value, and a useful resource to become acquainted with the more popular contemporary worship songs out there. The producers did a fantastic job blending many of the songs together. (Check out the seamless transition from "Great Is the Lord" into "Think About His Love.") This kind of attention to detail tells me the record label(s) didn't just want this to be a mere compilation, but also an opportunity for meaningful worship. WoW Worship Green is an excellent collection, offering a lot for your dollar. Buy it for the music, and listen to it for the worship experience.