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It's Time

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Oct
It's Time
Sounds like … other veterans of contemporary worship music, including Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown, Kathryn Scott, and early VineyardAt a glance … with so many definitive versions of these songs already available, many of the re-recorded takes on It's Time are pleasant to hear, but far from essentialTrack Listing It's Time for the Reign of God Come Now Is the Time to Worship Holy God Refiner's Fire Today (As for Me and My House) The River Broken and Beautiful Hope of the Nations More Without You Your Faithfulness Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing) Come and Fill Me Up Everlasting Eternity

For much of his career, veteran worship leader Brian Doerksen has reveled in his status as a behind-the-scenes unknown. Rather than become a best-selling worship artist with radio play, he seemed content serving as producer-in-residence for Vineyard UK, mentoring the likes of Brenton Brown and Kathryn Scott and helming the artistic vision for a number of iconic recordings, including 1999's Hungry, one of the albums that defined modern worship.

Doerksen's post-Vineyard period has seen a flurry of activity as well. Ever since developing his solo career with Integrity Music in 2002, worship veteran Brian Doerksen has kept busy all right, releasing three live recordings, one studio effort, and now the quasi-retrospective It's Time. It's not a best-of collection in the truest sense of the term because it consists of re-recorded versions of some of Doerksen's biggest songs, done, according to Integrity, with "organic, passionate, guitar-driven arrangements."

Well, yes and no, for various reasons. The first is a matter of thoroughness. Some of Doerksen's most celebrated material is indeed here, but a good portion is inexplicably absent, including standards like "Your Name Is Holy," "Faithful One," and "You Are Everything," to name a few.

Then there are the arrangements themselves. A lot of the songs were redone from the ground up, like "Holy God" and "Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)," both of which benefit from the acoustic simplicity, but by no means do they stand up to the originals. At times, Doerksen appears to get a bit indulgent, as in an incredibly drawn-out reimagining of "Refiner's Fire," which here sounds more like a sleeper than a classic.

Another point of contention is the rationale behind offering more versions of classics Doerksen has already re-recorded. Sure, until now, there weren't studio versions of "Come Now Is the Time," "Hope of the Nations," and "Refiner's Fire" performed by the acclaimed songwriter, but then we've already heard remakes of these songs twice since 2002.

There is some added value in the form of "It's Time for the Reign of God" and "Broken and Beautiful," the lone new songs on the project. The former sheds light on Doerksen's love of classic rock, while the latter serves as a lovely acoustic ballad about communion. Both are fine additions to Doerksen's repertoire—and hopefully we won't be hearing any needlessly repurposed versions of them any time soon.

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