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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Lost in Worship

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Feb
Lost in Worship
Sounds like … modern worship similar to Sonicflood and Tree 63, with a soulful and rocking lead vocalist reminiscent of Michael Tait or Lenny KravitzAt a Glance … Fusebox manages to set themselves apart from the glut of new worship bands in the market, mostly for their musicianship and original music.

Worship bands are all too common these days. Ever since the American debut of Delirious and Sonicflood in 1998, modern worship has taken the Christian music industry by storm, and similar-styled bands are forming seemingly by the week. It's wonderful that anyone can do worship, unfortunately not everyone does it well enough to warrant an album. Thankfully, Fusebox manages to stand apart in the glutted modern-worship-band market … but perhaps not for the reasons they'd like.

The band, comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist Bill Buchanan, guitarist Brad Duncan, and bassist Steve Conrad, formed back in 2000. Their big break came when they served as part of the touring band for Rebecca St. James on her Transform tour. These guys remain fairly true to the standard modern-worship formula (a la Sonicflood), but they distinguish their sound with their lead vocalist. Bill is like a cross between the soulful rock vocals of Doug Pinnick (King's X) or Michael Tait (dc Talk) with the beautiful clear tenor of Keith Green. The rest of the band adjusts to this with a slightly funky and rocking edge to their music. Fusebox plays well, and they have a good grasp of hook-filled arrangements. With the steady hand of producer Otto Price at the helm, there are plenty of songs on this project that could find their way onto Christian radio and into modern-worship services worldwide.

There are plenty of modern-rock songs to be found on Lost in Worship, including "You Are my King," the driving beats of "Vision," and a straightforward but bouncy cover of David Ruis's worship standard, "Every Move I Make." The beautiful and ethereal sound of "I Will Exalt" leads the band into an extended instrumental section at the end of the seven-minute epic that's meditative and worshipful (again, very similar to Sonicflood and Delirious). The band displays a Euro-pop, world-music influence on "Savior of My Soul," a particularly well-produced song that recalls Delirious and even features Rebecca segueing into "Carry Me High" from her God album. Rebecca makes brief appearances throughout the album, and is featured in a duet on the album's standout track, "Light the Fire." The song swells from a gentle acoustic praise chorus to a modern worship radio single and eventually to a big rocking arrangement. Rebecca displays a particularly impressive vocal range on this track, matching Bill's abilities.

If only Fusebox had something new to say in regards to worship. Fusebox says their goal is to keep the focus off themselves and on God, but is there a worship band out there that's not about that? It's strange how so many Christian artists have stated we can't fully articulate praise to God with our limited language, and yet so many worship artists limit themselves further by never straying from the usual worship rhetoric. In "Everything," the band sings, "I want to worship you / You are the center of my life / You are the wings by which I fly / You are the melody I sing / You are my everything." The chorus to "In Our Midst" declares, "In our midst, be glorified / in our praise, reveal your life / in your love alone, we're satisfied … be magnified, lifted high, only you alone are so worthy." The song "Vision" seems like a rewording of "Open the Eyes of My Heart:" "Open my eyes, give me vision to see you … for I long to see you as you are."

Fusebox is unquestionably sincere in its desire to lead worship, and there's certainly nothing wrong with these lyrics, inspired directly from scripture. Yet in the relatively brief five years of the current modern-worship renaissance, we've already heard so many songs that articulate the same expressions with the same words. Songwriter Michael Card said it best when he noted that our increasingly disposable society is producing more and more songs that are here today and forgotten tomorrow. Since worship is considered so important to Christian music these days (and rightly so), you'd think more effort would be made to write timeless expressions of praise to the Lord. At least Fusebox isn't overly repetitive or simplistic in their lyrics, and their songs are almost all originals (it's just their phrasing that isn't). You'll be drawn into Fusebox's music not because they are a worship band, but because they are a talented worship band. Therein lies the struggle for bands like this, because they want the focus to be off of themselves, yet it is their unique musical imprint that sets them apart. Hopefully they will become more creative with their expressions of praise over time, but Fusebox is already one of the better worship bands making music today.