If you've ever heard or sung the songs "Come Now Is the Time to Worship," "Hope of the Nations," or even "Refiner's Fire," you've witnessed the work of Brian Doerksen. A worship leader from British Columbia, Canada, Doerksen has recorded a follow up to his debut solo album Holy God, entitled It's Time. The result is sub-par at best.
Doerksen is among the most prolific of worship songwriters in the genre today. With contemporaries such as Paul Baloche, Brenton Brown, and Matt Redman, he is well respected for his work and has a great array of songs to show for it. His songwriting talents have well been put to good use, to say the very least. However, when it came to writing new material for this album, he didn't do much of it; only two songs out of the fifteen presented here are new to this record, those being "It's Time For The Reign Of God" and "Broken and Beautiful." All the rest of these tracks have been used before in some way, shape or form. Some songs like "Refiner's Fire" and "Come and Fill Me Up" have been around since 1990! Even the title track from Holy God was reused for this effort. Was it too much to ask for any more new material besides one song? Granted, worship songs are indeed timeless, but if you are bothering to release another solo album, it makes more sense to include more all-new material than more re-recordings of old songs.
Now on to the music itself. This record, being a solo album, features Brian Doerksen singing all of his own songs. However, we also get a lot of background vocalists contributing to the mix, some even having verses and choruses all to themselves. While I suppose this isn't necessarily a negative aspect, I wonder if it would have made more sense to label this record as one put out by "The Brian Doerksen Band" or something of the sort. The fifteen track set is rather mundane and not much fresh is musically brought to the table. I realize that Doerksen wrote these songs and owns them, but when they have been covered by others many times before this record, uniqueness is crucial for making these songs original and exciting. This downside is also augmented by the fact that most of these songs go on for far too long. With some tracks breaking five minutes and one going almost eight, you might think you were listening to a live album where it is commonplace to have long, extended songs. But this is not a live album. There comes a time in every song where it needs to be wrapped up, and some tracks here miss that part.
With no new material save for two songs, dull and routine arrangements, and overly long track times, it all adds up to a rather mediocre outcome. Some may really enjoy this record for what it is, but for anyone looking for a worship album with new arrangements and material to get excited about, Brian Doerksen's It's Time isn't it.- Review date: 11/28/08, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Integrity Music
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