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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Everyone Overcome

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Nov
Everyone Overcome
Sounds like … energetic praise & worship in the vein of Chris Tomlin and Delirious—the American counterpart of Hillsong United.At a glance … Coming across more personal (and less predictable) than previous efforts, Everyone Overcome is well-crafted and anthemic modern worship.Track Listing Prologue
Light of Salvation
I Know
Taking Over Now
Counting on God
Maker of Heaven
Pleasing to You
Good to Me
Open Your Eyes
Coming Your Way
I Will Go
My Savior Lives

Considering all that the congregation at New Life Church in Colorado Springs has been through emotionally following the Ted Haggard scandal, it wouldn't have been surprising if the latest album from Desperation Band were a touch more somber than previous efforts. Yet while there are plenty of contemplative moments throughout (see "Pleasing to You" and "I Will Go"), the hope-laden strains of Everyone Overcome are hardly somber.

In fact, the band has never sounded more lively and energetic. Whether it's the electronic-tinged, Euro-rock romp of "Light of Salvation" or the confident, Delirious-styled "I Know" (a stalwart reminder of "who carries the Cross for my soul"), Desperation Band delivers congregational-friendly songs with plenty of rock 'n' roll sass, thanks to sturdy drumming, an array of loud guitars, and catchy hooks a plenty.

Yet the album's key moment comes with the softer, more unadorned tone of "Overcome"—probably the band's response to all the controversy. Clocking in at more than 12 minutes, it's probably not the best pick for a typical Sunday morning service. But it does demonstrate that Everyone Overcome is a live worship experience, rather than just another collection of pretty songs tailor-made for the contemporary worship as usual.

Sure, some songs inevitably fare better than others—"Maker of Heaven" and "Coming Your Way" sound very been-there-heard-that as far as worship music goes. But Desperation Band's Jared Anderson, Jon Egan, and Glenn Packiam are clearly growing as songwriters. Instead of resorting to the usual cliché s, they choose more vivid imagery to convey their praise to God. Songs like the anthemic "Taking Over Now" and the redemptive message of "Counting on God" are far more memorable as a result.

By keeping things grittier rather than overly polished, Everyone Overcome has a scrappier indie feel than previous efforts, providing that extra measure of authenticity (especially with the target college crowd). With this album, Desperation Band sounds like the American equivalent to Hillsong United, and that speaks well of their new direction in songwriting and sound. But what stands out most about Everyone Overcome is the underlying message of hope in the midst of brokenness, and how those things works together to help lead us back to the One who can make us whole.

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