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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Top Of My Lungs

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Sep
Top Of My Lungs
Sounds like … polished, pop-driven worship similar to MercyMe, FFH, and Casting CrownsAt a glance … though PCD sticks to the straightforward lyricals and worshipful themes of albums past, they've never sounded more fresh than with this albumTrack Listing One Way Your Name Top of My Lungs Saved the Day Amazed Let the Redeemed For Your Glory I Will Boast Because of That Blood That's My Lord 'Tis So Sweet

While Phillips, Craig & Dean will never be mistaken for Third Day or much less Underoath any time soon, the adult contemporary favorite has noticeably amped up their sound on Top of My Lungs. Not only are there a plethora of louder guitar riffs, but also some tastefully executed, almost Coldplay-esque piano and snazzy string arrangements that really enhance the overall sonic quality.

Adeptly produced by Watermark's Nathan Nockels, Top of My Lungs continues where 2004's Let the Worshippers Arise left off with its praise-focused sentiments. But instead of relying on the current catalog of worship favorites that have been covered again and again (more "Here I Am to Worship," anyone?), Phillips, Craig & Dean opts for mostly original material. Yet even with the occasional remake (Paul Baloche's "Your Name"), the group doesn't go for the most obvious choice, managing to make it sound like it was theirs in the first place.

I'll let you in on a little secret, though—the real highlight of the project isn't the instrumental proficiency or the lyrics. It's the singing. As they've proven on countless albums before, there's something special when these three full-time senior pastors put their voices together. On the sweeping, Resurrection-minded ballad "Saved the Day," their rich harmonies have never sounded better. Ditto for the quieter, string-driven "Amazed," where their pipes really have a chance to shine. And unlike a lot of talented singers who feel the urge to go over the top, to the point of over-singing, PC&D know the power of exercising a little restraint—a welcome irony on an album titled Top of My Lungs—and that makes the high notes sound all the sweeter.

The material on Top of My Lungs doesn't exactly reinvent the proverbial wheel, tackling many of the usual worshipful themes, but PC&D ultimately succeeds by doing what they've always done very well, adding a few modern flourishes in the process.

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