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Live in Europe

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 May
Live in Europe
Sounds like … Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown, Chris Tomlin, Charlie Hall, and others from the early stages of the modern worship movementAt a glance … Doerksen finally gets a chance to rock out without shunning his deep respect and reverence for worship, liturgy, and classicismTrack Listing Hope of the Nations Come Now Is the Time to Worship You Are Everything When You Shepherd Me Sinfonia from Cantata No. 12 (Instrumental) Psalm 13 (How Long O Lord) Faithful One Fortress 144 Refiner's Fire Lifted (Instrumental) Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing) Today (As for Me and My House) Your Name Is Holy Stay (Orphan's Song)

Like Paul Baloche, people are more likely to recognize the songs of Brian Doerksen, rather than Doerksen himself. The pioneering worship songwriter is played a part in groundbreaking Vineyard projects like Come Now Is the Time and Hungry, penning contemporary church standards like "Come Now Is the Time to Worship," "Refiner's Fire," "Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)," and "Your Name Is Holy." Live in Europe conveniently brings them all under one roof.

In a way, this disc could have well been subtitled The Very Best of Brian Doerksen, as it compiles most all of the worshipper's biggest songs, including highlights from his recent underappreciated efforts You Shine and Today. Though excellent, those projects were somewhat more reverent and liturgical in tone, with an air of classicism and tradition that trumped the modern British ambiance of his Vineyard tenure. Recorded on tour in early 2005, Live maintains the vintage canonical elements, but combines it with a louder, more contemporary sound than his previous albums. The result is a rawer and rowdier concert experience that at times is not dissimilar from Hillsong Australia.

Case in point: "Come Now Is the Time to Worship" is harder-hitting than previous versions, with a blaring drum cadence, U2-esque guitars, and a killer guest vocal from Wendy O'Connell (who originally sang it on the aforementioned Vineyard project). Lest you mistake this for a rock show, the bulk of Doerksen's repertoire tempers the high energy with tender moments of worshipful artistry, as in the inspiring new song "When You Shepherd Me," the haunting "Psalm 13," and two exquisite instrumental numbers (the classical "Sinfonia" and the smooth jazz of "Lifted"). It's corporate worship at its finest, carefully funneled and fashioned to resemble a church concert … with a twist.

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