Monday, May 13, 2013

Nothing is Wasted (2-Disc Deluxe Edition) - Elevation Worship




Spontaneous applause of a glorious truth is a moment to savor

Nothing is Wasted (2-Disc Deluxe Edition)
Artist: Elevation Worship (www.elevationworship.com)
Label: Essential Worship/Provident
Tracks: 12 songs each disc plus bonus track “Give Me Faith (Radio Version)”

What a pleasant surprise to discover that “Be Lifted High,” a song introduced at my church a couple of weeks ago is the second song on this CD. It’s a catchy song, whose source is Elevation Worship, a part of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC.

The songs correspond to Greater, a book written by Steven Furtick, the church’s pastor. The book derives its inspiration from the life of Elisha. The songs are more general touching on discipleship and furthering the kingdom and glory of God. One need not read the book to enjoy the CD.

This is in the style of Hillsong, Passion and Jesus Culture. Think modern rock transitioning at times to quiet interludes then building to a crescendo. Male and female singers alternate on lead vocals. The former get the lion’s share, which is unfortunate given the quality of the female-led songs.

There is an excited charismatic declaration/prayer at the end of “Nothing is Wasted.” Who can fault being enthusiastic in worship? Hopefully, listeners will hear it as just one of many possible expressions. Surely, there is also a place for quiet and even dignified utterances.

A brief scripture reading followed by a prayer comes closer to this in the remake of the classic, “I Have Decided.” Even here, towards the end, the speaker becomes more ecstatic. What I found more enjoyable were moments of spontaneous applause that erupt in reaction to a truth being sung. Most notably, this happens after the end of some lines in “Unchanging God”: “The world will pass away/But the Word of the Lord stands forever.” It’s a moment to savor.

This is one of only two female-led songs. I would have enjoyed more of the tranquility found in their songs and in “I Have Decided.” I wonder if modern worship tries too hard to be relevant instead of just being whatever God wants it to be with all its varied expressions. An infusion of more originality would bring some much-needed uniqueness. It would be exciting if we were leading the culture instead of following it. Following God’s lead regardless of the cost is what “I Have Decided” is all about.

This CD is likeable, but it succumbs at times to the clich├ęs and the monotony that are too prevalent in this genre. It fails to significantly distinguish itself aside from being a quality recording that comes with studio versions of the same songs with subtle differences. 
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