Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Listening EP - Dan Macaulay

Lead as no one else

The Listening EP
Artist: Dan Macaulay (www.danmacaulay.com)
Label: Independent
Length: 4 tracks/19:37

Winner of a couple Canadian music awards, and having shared the concert stage with well-known Christian artists, Dan Macaulay has released The Listening EP, his debut recording in the US. Macaulay is Canadian-born, but now serves as a worship pastor in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Said to be somewhere between Michael W. Smith and Jason Upton, his style and sound remind me of Chris Tomlin. It’s slightly edgy pop/rock with subtle artistry. The full and polished sound reflects the work of veteran producer, Nathan Nockels, who has also produced Tomlin.

Lyrically, the focus is vertical—these songs express and facilitate praise. Macaulay sings passionately, but the song, “Listening,” is weighed-down by cliches. This track is included twice—a shortened, radio edit is a bonus.

I can’t help thinking of F. W. Boreham’s thought that an artist, or in this case, a worship leader, has an individualistic view. He sees as no one else does. He must therefore pray, write, perform or lead in a way that no one else does. This element is sometimes lacking among Christian artists, including those in the praise and worship genre. Macaulay’s music is ahead of the lyric content, which would be better if his words were less generic.

He defines himself more on the two remaining tracks. “Win With Love” is a great opener. It’s a plea to show the reality of God’s kingdom through love. The driving beat compliments the earnest desire. Humility is beautifully expressed in “Amazing.”

This EP highlights Macaulay’s potential. May he lead as no one else.
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