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(My King) Live Praise & Worship

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Aug
(My King) Live Praise & Worship
Sounds like … a cross between the United praise band and the livelier moments from an Acquire the Fire conference, with energy and melodies to spare. At a glance … though it'll be nearly impossible to shake off the Hillsong comparisons, (My King) is still an energetic and well-executed live worship albumTrack ListingGive You PraiseOpen Up the GatesEverything to MeBe with YouYou Are HolyI BelieveWorship the KingRescue MeHeroHow I Love YouAll I Want is YouMy King

As if trying to mend a past mistake, Australia's Planetshakers appear intent on making (My King) Live Praise & Worship their real introduction to U.S. audiences (or second introduction, considering 2002's Phenomena). After all, it's only been a couple of months since their lackluster studio album Open Up the Gates, a project that all but flooded worship set lists nationwide. In all fairness to the movement, Gates was more a rushed post-concert keepsake for the Planetshakers conferences than a testament to their true sound, which explained the boxed-in feel of it.

(My King) does away with these limitations and establishes the band as one comparable to Hillsong's United praise band. Chief songwriter and worship leader Henry Seeley is a pop composer at heart, keeping things simple and accessible without sacrificing the album's major strength: its melodies. Like an older Joel Houston or Marty Sampson, Seeley polishes these songs to perfection, and the results are as singable as they are memorable—in fact, one can hear traces of "My Best Friend" in "Give You Praise," while "Open Up the Gates" recalls Sampson's "King of Majesty." Even the amped-up guitars in "Be With You" seem lifted from "We Want to See Jesus Lifted High," except with a horn section that's informed by ska influences.

This familiarity is not a shortcoming as much as it is a reflection of what the album's demographic likes. Sure, at its core (My King) might be accused of too closely mirroring what Hillsong has done all along. But then again, that in itself may explain why Planetshakers remain the #2-selling worship series in the land down under.