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WoW Worship [Red]

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Mar
WoW Worship [Red]
Sounds like … another two-disc collection of your favorite Christian artists singing familiar modern worship tunesAt a glance … it's not a bad collection of songs, but despite 12 newly recorded tracks, WoW Worship Red offers nothing that hasn't been heard beforeTrack ListingDisc OneFamous One – Chris TomlinYou Are So Good to Me – Third DayAmazing Love – Bebo NormanGive Us Clean Hands – Mark SchultzThe Potter's Hand – Darlene ZschechAbove All – Michael W. SmithSanctuary – Jaci VelasquezOnce Again – Matt RedmanThe Power of Your Love – Rebecca St. JamesJesus, Lover of My Soul – ZOEgirlHow Deep the Father's Love for Us – Joy WilliamsBe the Centre – Brian DoerksenWe Fall Down – Steven Curtis ChapmanWhat a Friend/Rugged Cross/How Great Thou Art – Amy GrantWe Will Glorify – Twila ParisBeautiful Savior (All My Days) – Casting CrownsAll I Want Is You – Planet ShakersDisc TwoEnough – Jeremy CampDid You Feel the Mountains Tremble? – DeliriousLord, I Lift Your Name on High – SonicfloodHallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing) – Brenton BrownAs the Deer – SalvadorVictory Chant – Nicole C. MullenHere I Am to Worhsip – Plus OneI Love You Lord – Paul Colman TrioLet My Words Be Few – Phillips, Craig & DeanWord of God Speak – Big Daddy WeaveOpen the Eyes of My Heart – Randy TravisSpirit of the Living God – FFHThere Is a Redeemer – Keith GreenI Exalt Thee – Caedmon's CallI'll Fly Away – Jars of ClayMay the Words of My Mouth – Tim HughesMore Than a Friend – Jeremy Riddle

I used to look forward to the annual release of WoW Worship, but no longer. The focus has changed in the five years between 1999's WoW Worship Blue and 2004's WoW Worship Red. The series used to be a yearbook, chronicling more than 30 of the year's most popular, up-and-coming praise songs sung in churches today, and the first three editions never duplicated material from one year to the next.

With the release of 2003's WoW Worship Yellow, the series was reinvented to feature the industry's most popular recording artists singing their favorite worship songs—either from their own recent recordings or else exclusively for WoW. This was likely done to sell more albums, although WoW Worship sold well before resorting to celebrity marketing. Red continues where Yellow left off, including a nearly identical roster of artists on two discs. Ten of its 34 songs have been featured on previous WoW Worship compilations, though performed by different artists. At least another 10 have been featured prominently on similar best-selling, two-disc sets over the last five years. Is there nothing new worth sharing?

There are no surprises here. Red relies solely on familiar favorites. Many do represent songs from worship projects released in the last year. There are also 12 new recordings (with bold track numbers in the sidebar listing). It's not to say the new renditions aren't good or enjoyable, but most of them feel "phoned in." The only thing setting these overly simplistic performances apart from the average worship team is marquee value and production quality, not creativity or inspiration.

The bottom line here for both fans and critics of this once great series is that it's more of the same. It's to the point where it seems less about worship itself, and more about the artists involved and the popularity of worship. Rest assured that anyone who enjoyed Yellow will equally appreciate Red, and that record labels will continue to create projects like this as long as people favor name-dropping and manufactured worship.