Monday, June 24, 2013

Music Review: Wow Worship Yellow

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great versions of worship songs
Cons: A few dated elements, very familiar songs
The Bottom Line
Timeless worship songs
Brought to you by top artists
How can you go wrong?

Top Christian Artists Lead You in Worship

For the most part, I have avoided the Wow series of CD’s.  Usually, I have all the tracks I’m interested in already.  But back when it came out, I picked up Wow Worship Yellow.  While I don’t listen to it often, I enjoy it when I do.

Unlike the yearly Wow releases that focus on the latest hits by new and established artists, this disc finds the artists singing songs that focus on worshipping God.  Some of the tracks are covers of popular worship songs, while others are songs they originally recorded.

And some are a combination of both.  What do I mean by that?  Three of the included songs are Twila Paris’ original recording of her classic “He is Exalted,” Keith Green’s recording of “Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful,” and Rich Mullins singing his classic “Step by Step.”  These songs are modern worship classics (or at least were when this was released), but these recordings from the late 70’s through the early 90’s were the first time anyone had heard them.  Yes, they are more dated than many of the tracks in this set.  But it’s nice to hear them again.

Since this two disc set was released in 2003, there are a few choices that date this disc in that time.  For example, SonicFlood is on here doing their signature song, “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever.”  All I can think of when I hear it is how long it’s been since that one hit wonder group was around.

Looking at the songs and artists, most of the choices are obvious.  Michael W. Smith starts off with a cover of “Awesome God” (although I wish they had the full version and not just the chorus).  “God of Wonders,” a hot song at the time, makes the cut.  Chris Tomlin is on here with “Forever” and he teams up with matt Redman for “The Wonderful Cross.”  Other titles include “More Love, More Power” by Jeff Deyo, “Here I Am to Worship” by Tim Hughes, “Better is One Day” by FFH, and “You are My King” by Newsong.

Most of these songs fit comfortably into the pop, light rock side of things, which isn’t too big a surprise based on the artists involved.  So you get plenty of guitar and piano.  The tempos are fairly evenly mixed.  Because of all the changes, I don’t find my mind wandering all over the place as I listen to these discs.

Most of these songs are taken from other projects the artists have done, but seven of the tracks were recorded especially for this compliation.  They include Caedmon’s Call’s take on the classic “Majesty,” 4Him singing “Thy Word,” and Mark Schultz on “Shout to the Lord.”  All of these tracks are studio recordings and fit in with the artist’s usual style.  If you are buying it because you are a fan of that artist, you won’t be disappointed in how they sound here.

All of these songs are great, and I do enjoy them.  For me personally, I probably wouldn’t buy this set today just because the songs are so familiar and I have other versions of them elsewhere.  However, for those who love worship music, that hesitation wouldn’t even be an issue.  I know I have more Christmas CD’s than I need, so I can’t say something to anyone who wants to get another recording of these worship songs.

And so Wow Worship Yellow holds up 10 years later.  Yes, a few things date this collection, but the lyrics will still point you directly to God.

Disc One Length: 1:17:06
1. Awesome God – Michael W. Smith
2. Breath – Rebecca St. James
3. God of Wonders – City on a Hill (Mac Powell & Danielle Young)
4. Imagine – Amy Grant
5. Majesty – Caedmon’s Call
6. You are My All in All – Nichole Nordeman
7. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever - SonicFlood
8. Hungry (Falling on My Knees) – Joy Williams
9. Forever – Chris Tomlin
10. You are My King – Newsong
11. I Give You My Heart – Darlene Zschech
12. Every Move I Make – Out of Eden
13. Let Everything that has Breath – Matt Redman
14. Redeemer – Nicole C. Mullen
15. Thy Word – 4Him
16. Step by Step – Rich Mullins
17. Audience of One – Big Daddy Weave

Disc Two Length: 1:15:47
1. Your Love Oh Lord – Third Day
2. Shout to the Lord – Mark Schultz
3. More Love, more Power – Jeff Deyo
4. Here I am to Worship – Tim Hughes
5. In Christ Alone – Adrienne Leisching & Geoff Moore
6. Draw Me Close – The Katinas
7. The Happy Song – Delirious?
8. Better is One Day – FFH
9. Come, Now is the Time to Worship – Phillips, Craig, and Dean
10. The Heart of Worship – Passion
11. The Wonderful Cross – Chris Tomlin & Matt Redman
12. He is Exalted – Twila Paris
13. Be Thou My Vision – Jars of Clay
14. Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful – Keith Green
15. I Stand Amazed – GlassByrd
16. Our Love is Loud – David Crowder Band

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