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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Here I Am to Worship

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 May
Here I Am to Worship
Sounds like … a continuous club mix of worship tunes turned pop, dance and techno (similar to the mainstream world's Essential Mix collections).At a glance … many of today's top voices, along with some newcomers, cover lots of pulsating ground that offer lots of fun filled praise, but also some redundancy.Track ListingAwesome GodHere I Am to WorshipYou're Worthy of My PraiseForeverYou Are Holy (Prince of Peace)This Little Light of MineYou Are GoodAll Things Are PossibleLord, Reign in MeYou Are My KingTrading My SorrowsCome, Now Is the Time to Worship

Spring Hill, best known for Southern gospel and contemporary pop, is branching out into modern worship, bringing creative titles like its guitar driven flagship Songs from the Bennett House. Now comes Sonic Praise, pairing familiar songs with energetic vocalists and even bouncier beats, comparable to what one might hear at a mainstream dance club—no breaks between tracks and 140 beats per minute.

Kicking off the experience is Pam Thum's interpretation of "Awesome God" against boisterous beats. Lisa Bevill lends her pipes to "Come, Now Is the Time to Worship" with a percolating arrangement that could fit well at a rave. Even more notable is Point of Grace's Leigh Cappillino, who truly breaks out of that group's comfort zone with a rousing treatment of "You Are Good," worthy of non-stop glowstick waving.

But not every track measures up as well, such as the frequently covered "Here I Am to Worship." Though Rachel Beasley's vocals are vibrant, the techno tones are redundant and the spaceship-sounding screeches are irritating. "You're Worthy of My Praise" features fine vocals from Michelle Swift, but the music is dated (think C+C Music Factory from the early '90s). Same for "You Are My King," though Christi Roby-Matens' soulful vocals ease the blunder. Still, Sonic Praise is a healthy alternative to mainstream compilations like Essential Mix and can at least inspire listeners to work out in both the physical and spiritual sense.

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