You Are so Good to Me
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2001 1 Jan
Waterdeep is only recently receiving the national attention they deserve, thanks to their recent recording contract with Squint. Though they have somewhat abandoned their heavily improvised classic rock sound for a more mellow classic pop/rock sound (reminiscent of The Grateful Dead and Phish), their music is still worthy of your attention thanks to their beautifully crafted songs, passionate performances, and poetic (sometimes gut-wrenching) lyrics. Worship has also been an important part of the band's concert experience over time. Three years ago, they collaborated with independent band 100 Portraits to create
The rest of the new album consists of original material that is as beautiful and well-crafted as Waterdeep's best songs. The lead single from the album, "You Are Lovely," features Fernando Ortega on it (though fans should note he's only in from the bridge until the end). One of the few upbeat songs on the album, "Rest In You," has an infectious modern-worship feel that could easily fit alongside the songs in the Passion Worship series. The third upbeat song of the album is actually the closer, "My God Has Come to Save Me," a moderate-tempo Beatle-esque rock song that ends the album on a happy and buoyant note. Still, with as many mellow tracks on this album as there are, it might have been better to insert this song elsewhere and end with something like the gentle and contemplative "When the Cold Wind Blows," which sounds like a classic folk hymn (and is backed by The Normals). Perhaps the weakest track on the album is "Big Enough to Hold Me," a song that kind of plods along for a lengthy seven and a half minutes. The payoff, however, is that it segues into another song of similar length, "You Are With Me," which has a mesmerizing, almost tribal drum pattern to it (similar to some of Peter Gabriel's work) that draws the listener into a sense of worship (for an overall total of 15 minutes!).
I should point out here that Waterdeep is now in a sort of transitional state. The word from Don Chaffer is that Waterdeep is in deep financial straits right now (details can be found at http://waterdeep.com/news/). He and Lori have actually dissolved the band and its managerial staff right now - which is why just the two of them are touring with Fernando Ortega right now. Their goal is to eventually reform the band as a ministry, seeking financial support in the same way a missionaries do. If you're serious about excellence in worship and Christian music in general, I strongly encourage you to seek out this album and help support one the great sources of artistry in Christian music. You Are so Good to Me proves you don't have to get complicated to be artistic, nor do you have to dumb it down to make it simple enough for people to participate in worship. Waterdeep blurs the line between worship and art, blending the two together … which is as it should be.