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The Faith Life

  • reviewed by LaTonya Taylor Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Sep
The Faith Life
Sounds like … the gospel-pop and praise-and-worship offerings Slaughter is known for.At a glance … This set of very personal songs is moving and enjoyable; however, some of the live sense of the album is missing.Track Listing My Joy Speaking My Joy (Reprise) Launch Out When I Praise Anything Worshippers Sacrifice of Praise Sacrifice of Praise (Reprise) This I Know/I Have Decided to Follow Jesus Lord I Run to You The Latter Rain Wave of My Anointing (Fresh Wind) Made Me Glad Faith Is the Key

Alvin Slaughter is doubly blessed: In addition to having a remarkable voice, he's an amazing songwriter. Album after album, he's demonstrated a gift for writing and choosing relatable ballads and singable choruses that are designed to draw the congregation into a worshipful frame of mind. Better yet, his music makes it possible for listeners to participate in collective worship.

Examples from his eighth album, The Faith Life, include "Launch Out," a pop ballad; "When I Praise," which somehow manages to simultaneously address God while educating singers on the importance of worship; "Anything," with its gospel-funk chorus; and the shiver-inducing "Sacrifice of Praise."

Slaughter, who says The Faith Life grew out of his desire to understand his calling, presents "This I Know" as an autobiographical statement and a declaration of mission for this phase of his life, transitioning gently from Slaughter's purpose statement to the chorus of "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus."

The live album was recorded at Covenant Love Family Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and starts with a strong sense of audience participation. The live feel so pervades the first track, "My Joy," that Slaughter starts the second track by playfully teasing the congregation for "making noise all over my recording" and only on a Tuesday night. But aside from occasional applause, this feel is missing as the album continues. Because Slaughter is known for leading praise and worship, it would have been cool to allow the at-home listener to get a feel for what the atmosphere was like in the live setting. That feel might give a better sense for the length of "The Latter Rain" and the ethereal "Worshippers," both of which seem to wander a bit.

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