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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

More Than Life

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Mar
More Than Life
Sounds like … the live energy of Sonicflood (v1.0) plus the melodic dynamism akin to the adult Hillsong worship teamAt a glance … uneven distribution of tracks, simplistic choruses, and an excessive number of drawn-out epic ballads makes this the least engaging United release to date. Track ListingOne WayLightEvermoreOpen Up the HeavensTake All of MeJesus Christ/MajestyAlwaysSing Your LoveWhere the Love Lasts ForeverConsuming FireMore Than LifeJesus' BloodShine for YouSoldierAll Day

United is Australia's top-selling youth worship band, and there's good reason. They're responsible for worship anthems "Now That You're Near," "King of Majesty," and "Everyday," all songs that have been rightfully picked up by their 'grown-up' counterpart, the Darlene Zschech-led Hillsong worship team. As a matter of fact, some of the young musicians that comprise United's accomplished live band are also members of the adult team, which means the intensity level is kept consistent throughout both series. The big difference between the two, however, is that United favors the raw, plugged-in tactics inherent to modern worship over the more elegant, clean-cut arrangements typical of their contemporary equivalent.

United's fifth live release, More Than Life, doesn't disappoint in this respect, offering a good helping of amped-up praise rockers ("One Way," "Light") and reverent, sweeping anthems ("Take All of Me," "Sing of Your Love") of grand proportions. The bad news is that all the uptempo numbers are either in the front or the back sections of the record, with all the epic ballads blending together in the middle portion in what appears to be an overlong, nonstop, almost interminable worship marathon. The tracks themselves are heartfelt and worshipful, but their picture-perfect segues, the quiet-to-bombastic dynamics, and the drawn-out instrumental bridges (like the transition from the title track into their version of Delirious's "Jesus' Blood") may lose you halfway through the record.

The lack of would-be classics is another shortcoming, as none of the tracks jump out the way the aforementioned "King of Majesty" or "Now That You're Near" did in their prime. All of these factors combined make More Than Life the first blemish in the almost spotless United track record.