Founded by author, filmmaker, and designer Eric McManus, Mosaic MSC is the newest manifestation of a mega church reaching for a place among groups such as Hillsong and Jesus Culture. Their latest project, Glory and Wonder, released just over a year after their live debut, pines for the affection of the audience that made live worship as popular as it is. As a result, Glory and Wonder may be one of the most redundant releases of the year.
Opener "Across the Universe," and the closing title track, provided a promising early glimpse into the record's sound. The former was a familiar but well-done number with an electronic emphasis, while the latter pounced on the intimate sound that favours acoustic exclusivity. The potential embedded in these tracks, however, fails to transcend the entirety of the collection.
To summarise it bluntly, Glory and Wonder is an exercise in repetitive refrains, dull melodies, and surface level lyrics. Despite its flawless polish and execution, the majority of songs lack anything that tempts more than a single listen. The monotonous chorus of "Heartbeat" is such an example. The melody is uninteresting and everything from the synth lines to the vocals is painfully flat. "Speak To Us, "Now and Forever" and "The One" suffer in similar ways.
Despite everything that keeps this album from the spotlight, there are solid moments of musical composition. "How Beautiful," and especially "May God Be Everywhere I Go," are good songs. They're beautifully structured and lyrically worshipful and contemplative. It is in these stripped down moments that we see the group's heart and potential.
The bottom line is Mosaic MSC is a church rightly infatuated by the act of worship. When they're focusing on this, they can create genuinely good songs. On the other hand, when the focus is clearly on reaching the audience of other major church groups, the songs feel plastic and uninspired. In the end, Glory and Wonder is not recommended listening for music fans. For those who simply want a fresh batch of songs to worship to, the few highlights here will satisfy.
- Review date: 11/16/16, written by Lucas Munachen of Jesusfreakhideout.com