Oh, Canada. All eyes are on American's neighbor to the North these days, with the 2010 Olympics in full-swing up in Vancouver, B.C. Along with the Olympics, Canada is releasing something else to the world this week in the form of Canadian worship band Starfield's fourth studio album, titled The Saving One. A follow-up to I Will Go, released in March 2008, the band continues moving forward in creating worship songs accessible for the church body.
This album is clearly pop/rock/worship, with songs repetitive and stereotypically singable. While Mom and Dad may be listening to Chris Tomlin, the kids are rocking out to Starfield. It's not hard to imagine most of these songs being practiced by a church worship team or played by a youth rally band. Most are upbeat and use some of the Christian clichés we know so well, making the lyrics not quite as thought-provoking or memorable. Regardless, the songs are catchy.
That doesn't mean that there aren't a few glimpses of lyrical vulnerability and honesty throughout the album. "Rediscover You" is very honest about being burned out spiritually, tired of religion, and going through the motions of prayer and worship. Still, the chorus is hopeful, a cry to God for revival.
The album stand-out takes the mood down another notch to another layer of vulnerability, something I've found rare in a worship album. "Something to Say" takes down the tempo, stripping the song bare. It highlights the frustrations of not feeling God, of feeling alone, of not being able to pray. In writing this song, and not giving those spiritually dry times a trite resolution, Starfield gives listeners the permission to have those times of doubt. The line that sticks out most is a plea to "help me not forget in darkness/ the things that I believed in light."
The rest of the songs are pretty standard fare for an up-tempo worship album. "No Other Savior" goes through the attributes of Christ. "Declaration of Dependence" has a fun clap section in the middle, and for some reason the deep vocals and harmonies remind me of dcTalk's Supernatural album. "Top of My Lungs" has a chorus that flirts with a slight dance club/techno/glow stick edge. "The Saving One" is on the album twice, as a full band version and an acoustic version, and both versions have a similar nice anthemic ring.
This album doesn't really bring anything new to the music world. It's fun, it's easy to sing with, and it's catchy. I could easily see myself singing these songs at a high school youth group rally, and there's something to be said about the power of sing-alongs and communal group worship experiences. That's what you'll get with this album: conventional worship, but passionate nonetheless.- Review date: 2/21/10, written by Sara Kelm of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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