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All the Earth: Live from New Zealand

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Dec
All the Earth: Live from New Zealand
Sounds like … something between Hillsong, Planetshakers and the Women of Faith worship team, which should appeal to adult listeners and contemporary worship fans.At a glance … great melodies and an irresistible corporate feel make All the Earth the most memorable album the Parachute Band has recorded.Track Listing All My Life Shout Everything That Has Breath All the Earth High Above Complete To Live Is Christ Jesus Amazing Lord of the Heavens Pure and Holy O Come Let Us Adore Him Hallelujah

When it comes to worship music hailing from the South Pacific, Hillsong Australia seems to get all the attention. Little is said of New Zealand's Parachute Band, a group that has been leading worship for nearly ten years. The foursome got its start in 1996 as the in-house band for the popular Parachute Festival, and has since released a number of albums and introduced songs from a variety of songwriters. Though still relatively unknown in the U.S., All the Earth is bound to change that.

Recorded live at Parachute '05, in many ways All the Earth is a formal introduction to the band, bringing together the most memorable praise choruses its writers have penned. In the studio, the Parachute Band has always sounded erratic, jumping from groove-laden pop/rock to techno and even teen pop. But in a live setting, they simply lead worship, placing more emphasis on spirit and audience engagement than execution or experimentalism. Sonically, the concert recalls a rougher, less rehearsed Hillsong service, with melodies and pop appeal to spare, yet without the grandiosity that's become standard in recent recordings from Darlene Zschech and Co.

Then there's the songs. Surprisingly, all the tunes in the set are effective congregational numbers. They may not be terribly profound, but they're nonetheless singable and invitational, perfectly suitable for large outdoor crowds. All the Earth may not appeal to more sophisticated tastes, but it's still good for what it is: a melodically superior contemporary worship album with big songs, a big heart, and a big gift for engaging listeners in a time of corporate adoration.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.