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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Hold On

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Feb
Hold On
Sounds like … British pop/rock-influenced worship, somewhat reminiscent of Coldplay, Delirious, Matt Redman, and StarsailorAt a glance … Hold On offers likeable but predictable songs of worship that just aren't as strong as those found on the classic Hungry and Winds of Worship Vol. 12 albumsTrack ListingShine OnSweetest SoundI Will Hold OnBe the OneFoolGraceKing Forever40Turn It All DownRight HereYou Are the LightJourney Home

If you're into modern worship, you already know that some of the best songs and albums of the last decade have come from across the pond. Besides Matt Redman and Delirious, there have also been impressive releases from Vineyard UK—most notably Hungry and Come Now Is the Time to Worship (aka Winds of Worship Vol. 12). The latest release, Hold On, comes from the Nottingham Trent Vineyard church where Nigel Briggs and Kat Regester lead worship.

Many compare the album's sound to Coldplay, U2, and Radiohead—bands all too often imitated but rarely duplicated. Though likeable, Hold On is by-the-numbers Brit pop/rock. "Shine On," "Be the One," and "Sweetest Sound" are Delirious lite. "I Will Hold On" starts with sparkling Coldplay ambience, and "Turn It All Down" employs a familiar mellow art pop sensibility with its electric piano base. Upbeat songs like "Grace" and the Benjamin Gate-styled "Right Here" present a break from the contemplative mood, but ultimately this isn't anything that hasn't been heard before on better albums.

Of course, if you really enjoy Brit pop/rock like I do, this isn't a bad album. Credit this worship team for giving a little more originality in their songwriting than the typical worship project. However, it's not a good sign when U2's "40" is the most memorable song. Perhaps the biggest weakness is the lack of energy—this just isn't as inspired or dynamic as the recordings that involved Brian Doerksen, Kathryn Scott, and Brenton Brown. Hold On has its moments, but one longs for the days of Vineyard UK offerings like "Lord Reign in Me," "Be the Centre," "Your Name Is Holy," "Hungry," and "Come Now Is the Time to Worship."