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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Longing

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 May
The Longing
Sounds like … congregational worship with a decidedly Euro flair that occasionally recalls Delirious, Matt Redman, and StarfieldAt a glance … Jason Ingram's heart-on-his-sleeve songwriting and talented backing band helps fuel an energetic, engaging worship experience that stretches the praise genre's predictable boundariesTrack Listing Heal This Land Salvation Song Unleashed My Offering Here's My Heart We'll Tell the World To God Be the Glory Give Us This Day All of Me My Jesus, I Love Thee Only Your Love Eyes on You

Worship leader Jason Ingram has often served as the industry's go-to songwriter as he's worked with Joy Williams, Rebecca St. James, Building 429, Salvador, Avalon, and most recently, in a collaborating role for Bebo Norman's upcoming CD. But in the meantime, the veteran praise leader—he released a solo album in 2002—has also been able to focus on his own music with The Longing, a modern worship outfit comprised of lead singer Ingram, guitarist Dave May, drummer Matt King, and bassist Jono Brymer.

And while there's certainly plenty of worship music vying for your attention, The Longing stands out with stellar production and an inventive soundtrack enhanced with tasteful electronic flourishes. But even more exciting than how it sounds is the fact that Ingram's confessional lyrics stray from the familiar praise clichés.

On the buoyant opening track "Heal This Land," Ingram contrasts the current state of the world with mankind's earliest days in the Garden of Eden before issuing a plea: "On our knees/We confess our folly/Patient King/To you our hearts bow down/Give us peace." Even though the song is a bit too lofty musically for your typical Sunday morning service, there's plenty that could work well for congregations including "Salvation Song" and "My Offering." Also providing a sense of history on the project, renowned hymn "To God Be the Glory" may get a musical makeover, but ancient words like "The vilest offender who truly believes/That moment from Jesus a pardon receives" never go out of style and are as powerful as ever on this beautiful rendition.

Like most worship leaders, Ingram says his desire isn't for the spotlight but for people to engage in worship of their Creator. And whether it's on a personal or corporate level, listeners can do that in a new way with these 12 beautiful songs.

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