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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

No Greater Audience

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jul
No Greater Audience
Sounds like … Travis Cottrell, Don Moen, Ross Parsley, Lenny LeBlanc, and other contemporary worship leaders hailing from the Integrity Music ranks.At a glance … on-par with Michael Neale's previous releases, No Greater Audience is chiefly aimed at worship leaders looking for new songs of praise for their congregations. Track ListingIntro
You Amaze Me
As for Me
From the Rooftops
I Am Yours
More and More
No Greater Audience
I Will Dwell
Redeeming Love
Beautiful King
Hallelujah to the King
On Mountains High
The Rock

Integrity Music seems to be phasing out its Hosanna! imprint, as the latest album covers have dropped the trademark "Hosanna! look" of white background, soft color schemes, the label's eponym, and more emphasis on the title than the worship leader's name. Instead, recent releases by the likes of Paul Baloche, Don Moen, and Brian Doerksen have become more artist-centric in design. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, especially since Integrity remains committed to serving churches with new songs of praise.

Add to the list worship leader Michael Neale, who some may remember as one-half of mid-'90s group Neale & Webb (he was the one who looked like Harry Potter). Truth is, he'd rather be remembered in his current gig as worship pastor of The People's Church in Franklin, Tennessee. Several songs on his third Integrity release No Greater Audience are sung there on a weekly basis, but the album was actually recorded live at Christ Fellowship in Florida, where Neale previously served for seven years as worship leader.

Regardless of location, No Greater Audience isn't a big departure for Neale. The concert recording is more of what we've come to expect from him: pop-influenced contemporary worship with some choral accents. It's not quite the choral extravaganza that 2005's Bigger Than Life was, but the choir is still there, slightly behind in the mix. There aren't a lot of musical risks taken here, but it's sufficiently accessible for any local church to replicate.

Rather than relying on proven worship anthems, Neale wrote the majority of No Greater Audience, which might explain why there's a certain degree of homogeny from song to song. Some stand out, like the soaring "More and More," a full-band arrangement of "Take My Life" (with a chorus by Neale), and the Brit-pop-influenced "Redeeming Love." Beyond those obvious highlights, it's hit-and-miss as worship leaders pick and choose through No Greater Audience what would best suit their local congregations.

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