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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Alive Forever

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jan
Alive Forever
Sounds like … a perfect blend of traditional, contemporary, and gospel worship styles reminiscent of Tommy Walker, Hillsong Australia, and Brian Doerksen.At a glance … Cottrell's Alive Forever beautifully nails the concept of creative blended worship with energy and sincerity.Track ListingIntroGod Is GreatYour NameAll the Earth Will Sing Your PraisesSweeterPraise to the Lord the AlmightyFriend of GodIn Christ Alone (w/ The Solid Rock)Blessed Be Your NameSearch Me Know MeBe Unto Your NameHoly Holy Holy (Hosanna)Alive Forever AmenMy Passion

After a strong 2004, Hosanna!/Integrity continues to impress with solid worship albums cloaked in artistic excellence. Travis Cottrell, best known as the worship leader for the Beth Moore Living Proof Conferences, released his national debut through Integrity with 2003's Unashamed Love. And now comes an amazing follow-up, Alive Forever.

Alive Forever is a top-notch example of "blended worship" done right. Cottrell utilizes a rock worship band, an orchestra, and a gospel choir over the course of the 71-minute album, successfully straddling traditional and contemporary worship styles. More importantly, he keeps it all under control and refrains from excess. The gospel stuff isn't too wild, nor is the rocking material too heavy or the traditional spots too dry. Somehow, it all feels perfectly balanced with nothing shortchanged or overshadowed.

Most of these songs have appeared on other worship albums, but they're all performed with renewed energy and enthusiasm here. Highlights include spirited covers of "God Is Great," "Friend of God," and "All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises." There's a strong rendition of the hymn "Praise to the Lord Almighty" that any church worship team could adapt, and "In Christ Alone" sounds as powerful as ever coupled with "The Solid Rock." It also isn't easy to improve on the over-covered "Blessed Be Your Name" (with Coldplay-styled aplomb) or the already terrific "Search Me Know Me" by Kathryn Scott. And originals like the sweeping "Holy Holy Holy (Hosanna)" and the celebratory title track are enough to impress even the most jaded worshiper.

This album demonstrates the benefits of a talented worship leader working with a skilled and experienced worship team that's willing to be creative, sincere, and fun. The quality of the songs matter, but the way we worship our God matters even more.