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Everlasting God

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 May
Everlasting God
Sounds like … the modern worship style of Brian Doerksen, Kathryn Scott, Chris Tomlin, and Matt Redman, with some similarities to Brent Bourgeois and Paul Colman TrioAt a glance … the worship leader best known for "Lord Reign in Me" and "Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)" offers the rare worship album that provides original songs with creative hooks that are suitable for both church and radioTrack Listing Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) I Will Remember You Everlasting God Jesus You Are Worthy You Are My God We Will Worship Him Lord Reign in Me Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing) So Alive Not Going Back Like the Angels We Will Go

Originally from South Africa (and currently serving in Malibu, California), well-traveled Brenton Brown spent many years in the UK developing his worship leading skills under the guidance of Brian Doerksen. That's clear from his shared talent for simple-yet-memorable songwriting that engages congregations, and considering the popularity of CCLI standards like "Lord Reign in Me" and "Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)," it's high time we discover what else Brown is capable of. His debut Everlasting God includes both songs to reacquaint listeners, and though the former is mostly unchanged, "Hallelujah" here resembles the darker programmed rock sound that has previously worked for Jars of Clay and Paul Colman Trio.

That's just one example of this album's key strength. Featuring some of Nathan Nockels' best work as a producer, Everlasting God is the rare worship album that's equally suited to church and radio, while also reflecting Brown's diverse musical upbringing. Both "So Alive" and the Isaiah 40-inspired title track are fine examples of modern pop/rock. In contrast, "Like the Angels" retains a soaring, hymn-like quality similar to Aaron Shust's "My Savior, My God," and the terrific "We Will Worship Him" features Ladysmith Black Mambazo in a song as rhythmic and anthemic as Matt Redman's "Better Is One Day."

Yet like Doerksen, Redman, and Chris Tomlin, Brown finds a balance between slick production and instantly catchy pop songs that almost get buried amid the hooks. "Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)"—co-written with Paul Baloche, heard on his A Greater Song—glorifies God with contagious excitement, "You Are My God" connects a prayerful and ethereal sound with straightforward words of adoration, and the ballad "Jesus You Are Worthy" offers lyrics that back up its simplistic title with thoughtful meaning. Add to all that Brown's pleasantly nasal and warm vocal reminiscent of Brent Bourgeois and Paul Colman, and you have an album that successfully balances artistry with accessibility for the sake of worship.

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