Packed with some of the best, Testify to Love: The Very Best of Avalon is quite a gathering of greats from the quartet known as Avalon. From 1996 to 2001, you'll hit all the highlights in the recording history of one of Christian music's best pop groups.
"New Day", a new recording for this album, kicks things off in the right direction with a fun, upbeat pop-rock sound. This is a real highlight for the album, and I expect to see it climbing the charts as another number one radio hit. "The Greatest Story" and "Give It Up" follow, two tracks from their self-titled debut album reminding us of the first days of Avalon.
The brand new "Everything To Me" comes next, another major highlight for this greatest hits album. This is a soft-spoken track featuring the first real appearance from Melissa Greene, the newest Avalon member. "Everything To Me" is what Avalon is all about: worshipping Jesus, because He is everything - our life, our breath, our satisfaction. A greatest hits project wouldn't be complete if it didn't include probably the greatest hit from Avalon, "Testify To Love", from 1997's A Maze of Grace. Two more tracks from the album that really defined who Avalon was and is come next, "Adonai" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".
"Take You At Your Word" makes an easy transition from "Knockin'" to introduce the next era of Avalon's musical career. Hits from 1999's In A Different Light include "Can't Live A Day", "Always Have, Always Will", and "In Not Of", all radio favorites and all typical examples of the great writing talent behind the amazing group.
Before we can move on to hits from Oxygen, we have "Pray", another new recording. Gritty electric guitars lend a hand in this edgy track, which is good, but doesn't match quite the same caliber "New Day" and "Everything To Me" carry. "The Glory" follows, accompanied with other radio hits, "Wonder Why" and "I Don't Want To Go". A final "bonus" track is Joy's "Don't Save It All For Christmas Day", which is an odd ending for this record. It would have been better to leave this song off, and replace it with another hit such as "Reason Enough" or "Undeniably You".
It's definitely a new day for Avalon. After six albums, a barrage of number one radio singles, a whole collection of awards, and now a greatest hits album, the first chapter in the career of Avalon is coming to a close. And now a new chapter is just waiting to be written.- Review date: 4/11/03, written by Shaun Stevenson
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