Hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, Sparrow/Survivor Recording artist Brenton Brown is back with his first breathtaking solo album entitled Everlasting God. The album focuses on God's strength through our ordeals, with Brown claiming, "If there's a theme, it's just a focus on the faithfulness of God despite the circumstances in which we find ourselves." After writing numerous worship classics of this age and being a featured worship leader on several Vineyard Music UK albums, it's about time Brown came out with his solo project.
With songs influenced closely by Brown's life and all that he's faced between living in South Africa at the fall of apartheid, illness in the UK, and moving to the US and all the events in between, it makes for a very intimate and drawing album. The lyrics will captivate you and the instruments will have you raising your hands. Hearing the worship classics by Brown featured on this album will make you want to hear the original version of the song. Brown draws comparisons with Tree63, Steven Curtis Chapman, Paul Baloche and many more worship artists, but pulls different genres together.
Everlasting God takes its first step with "Hosanna (Praise is Rising)," a song co-written by Brown and Paul Baloche (also featured on Baloche's latest album entitled A Greater Song). With strong choral background vocals and inspiriting, heartfelt lyrics, this song is an excellent choice to provide the energy for the rest of the album. Next is the catchy and upbeat "I Will Remember." The song, like many worship songs, consists of the basic verse/chorus/bridge structure and seems to be a little repetitive at times, but at the same time remains a strong and well-written piece. The album's title song, "Everlasting God," is a softer yet still upbeat song with a hint of folk/pop, but a few too many ‘we wait upon the Lord's' throughout the entire song. But, despite the repetiveness, the song picks up in the chorus and gives forth a vocally strong and meaningful message. "We Will Worship Him" features a special appearance by Ladysmith Black Mambazo of South Africa. Also notable on the album is "Lord, Reign in Me," a well-known song among church-goers. Surprisingly, this is a slower more intimate song on Brown's album, while at church I've heard more upbeat and fast paced versions. It's a refreshing song perfectly placed in the album.
Following "Lord, Reign In Me," is another well known and re-recorded song entitled "Hallelujah (Your Love Is Amazing)," an extremely uplifting and fast paced song that will get you jumping up out of your seat. The most visual song on the record is "Like the Angels," drawn from the story of Peter walking on water, with lyrics that draw you to God, "'Cause You make me soar like the angels, You let me walk on the water, You let me run with wild horses, Jesus my strength when all is gone." Towards the end of the album is Brown's "Well With My Soul" which features the classic chorus from Horatio Spafford's "It Is Well With My Soul." Ending the record with a bang is "We Will Go," a slight techno/pop upbeat song full of hope and grace that makes you feel like you're at an Acquire the Fire convention. At the very end of the album, after about 6 minutes of stillness, Brown brings the album to a close with a hidden prayer and a subtle call to lead worship. Everlasting God is a very well produced album that is a must-have in all collections.
The thirteen track album provides the listener with a moving compilation of fast paced and slower worship songs that, despite the one downfall of repetitive lyrics, will get people to rise to their feet. If you enjoy worship artists like Paul Baloche, Scott Riggan, Lincoln Brewster, Tree63, or you just have a love for worship music, then check out Brenton Brown!- Review date: 7/22/06, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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