Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I Have A Hope - Tommy Walker

Soulful praise and worship from a gifted veteran

I Have a Hope
Artist: Tommy Walker
Label: Maranatha Music (www.maranathamusic.com)
Length: 10 tracks/47:49 minutes

A combination of factors make this a standout among the many praise and worship CDs. For one, you have a seasoned worship leader, along the lines of a Brian Doerksen, who after releasing eight live recordings has stepped into the studio for the first time with producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Cademon’s Call, Bebo Norman).

The combination of Walker’s often soulful vocals, and music that includes rhythm and blues, gospel and a little guitar-led seventies rock, make this sound different than the average contemporary worship recording.

Walker and Cash lean toward raw and uncluttered production, which makes for a warm and relaxed organic feel. The one exception is the programmed percussion on “Holy Spirit Come,” which disappears in the mix as the song goes on. Basic instruments form the foundation for well-crafted songs.

The lyrics cover a broad range of subjects. There’s the charismatic picture of revival in “Do It, Lord.” Jerusalem becomes a metaphor for the presence of God in “From Jerusalem.” It’s a cry for God to send His people into the world.

The title song is a powerful declaration of the promises of God that will serve as a lifeline to all that are needy. “I Believe, I Believe” is a simple expression of faith in Jesus that came out of a time of doubt. Simple arrangements of lyrics that are packed with Biblical truth and Holy Spirit-inspired vision keep these songs from getting bogged down.

Some tracks may not be as readily adaptable to the corporate setting, but they serve to stimulate praise. There’s an anointing that will lift hearts and impart hope. This is one of the best praise and worship recordings of the year.
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