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Greatest Hits: Time & Again

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2001 1 Jan
Greatest Hits: Time & Again
Sounds like … often worshipful, always inspirational Christian pop and adult contemporary music, with a few new tracks that sound more like Michelle TumesAt a Glance … the new tracks aren't any cause for excitement, but at least we finally have a definitive greatest-hits album from one of Christian music's greatest songwriters.

Considering that Twila Paris has been making music for twenty years, it's pretty remarkable that she hasn't released a comprehensive greatest-hits album until now. Twila's released a few albums focused solely on her early works, but now we have an album featuring the essential songs that have earned her acclaim throughout her career. She's written more songs found in church hymnals—including well-known worship songs "How Beautiful," "We Will Glorify," "He Is Exalted," "We Bow Down," and "Lamb of God"—than any other contemporary Christian artist today. Additionally, the album features classic Christian pop gems such as "God Is in Control," "The Warrior Is a Child," and "The Time Is Now." Fans had a say in the song selection by voting for their favorite tracks on Twila's Web site—not that there was much doubt which songs would make the final cut.

The album's conciseness is both a strength and a weakness. While the project contains the classic Twila cuts, this easily could have been a two-disc set considering the vast body of work this veteran artist had to choose from. In addition to the fifteen greatest hits, Time & Again also features three brand new Twila-penned songs—"Sparks and Shadows," "God of Miracles," and "Faithful Father." Producer Mark Hammond lends them a beautiful modern pop flavor, though they all sound a little more like Twila's label-mate Michelle Tumes. I think fans will like the tracks fine, but they don't necessarily sit well with the classics present on this album—both because of the quality of the songwriting and the dated production of the classics. Nevertheless, at least there are new tracks to appease the longtime fans, though most will appreciate Greatest Hits: Time & Again for its true purpose—to neatly summarize and commemorate Twila Paris's 20-year career as an influential music minister.