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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

All to You … Live

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Aug
All to You … Live
Sounds like … Brewster's signature guitar playing and mind-blowing solos throughout a mixture of worship selections taken from a live serviceAt a glance … though extremely skillful, Brewster's best when sticking to new music and obscurities rather than rehashing older originals and obvious cover songs.Track ListingMajesticEverydayLove the LordAll to YouYou Are the OneAmazedFor These ReasonsSurrenderGreat Is Thy FaithfulnessAnother Hallelujah Son of GodLet the Praises RingYou Are Good

As a session guitarist, Lincoln Brewster has recorded and toured with some of the top tickets in mainstream and Christian circles. As a solo artist, he's made an equally impressive mark across three solo CDs with deft soloing, catchy melodies, and congregational-friendly lyrics. And as a worship leader, he's served young adults and teens at his California church for many years. Now the renowned guitarslinger combines these three aspects for his first concert recording, All To You … Live.

Brewster's at his best when demonstrating his instrumental chops and introducing fresh cuts like the sing-a-long "Majestic," the ethereal "For These Reasons," and the soft-spoken blues-tipped "Surrender" (a retooled Vineyard cut from 2000). The original title track is by far the project's most inventive with its funky finger picking and blue-eyed soul flavor. The seven-minute finale, "You Are Good" (an Israel Houghton tune), is also a delight, giving all praise to our Creator while offering a smoldering solo that would make Stevie Ray Vaughan fans drool with delight.

Less shining are an overly sleepy cover of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" and a too peppy "Let the Praises Ring," both of which seem routine compared to the other tracks. Though they're presented with precision and passion, an artist of this caliber is capable of more inventive song choices and arrangements. As such, the album occasionally feels like a hastily thrown together compilation from Hillsong or Vineyard.

And then there's his worshipful treatment of Jeff Buckley's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." This classic was never a praise song, despite the title, and while Brewster's "Another Hallelujah" is performed with beauty and grace, it's troubling when Christian artists alter the lyrics (and original intent) of mainstream songs to fit the Christian music mold. Despite these few detours, All to You is still an above average worship album because of the exceptional playing and arranging.

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