Rebecca St. James is no rookie when it comes to worship. Those familiar with her career know she's had a heart for worship since the beginning over a decade ago. While worship projects are anything but scarce today, it's hard for artists to record projects that really stand out from the rest. And since Rebecca has never released a live recording, it's fitting for her first live record to be a worship project comprised of classic modern worship songs and a few RSJ originals.
The charm of Live Worship: Blessed Be Your Name is that it's an open and inviting worship project. There are no frills here, instead it's merely heartfelt worship. St. James mixes tracks from her 2002 release Worship God with a few new ones thrown in. The project opens with the upbeat original "Lamb Of God" before treating those who might be unfamiliar with RSJ's music to Matt Redman's modern worship hit "Blessed Be Your Name." The tracklist continues strongly with St. James's wonderful "Quiet You With My Love" and Redman's "Let My Words Be Few." Each track captures what fans experience at a Rebecca St. James show genuinely.
Rebecca's new original song, "I Adore You" fits in well with the tracks here, expressing pure adoration for our Father. The live tracks finish out with "Above All" and a highlighted a capella cover of Tim Hughes' "Here I Am To Worship." The final track of the live worship project is actually a studio recording of "The Power Of Love," a cover of the 1992 Geoff Bullock penned original. Rebecca brings this song to life in her signature pop/rock form with a sound reminiscent of her Pray album. A hidden track of "Shout To The Lord," her contribution to the 2000 ForeFront compilation Eterne, rounds out this short offering.
The only downside to Live Worship is the album's length. Although totalling just over 42 minutes (including dead air between the last track and the hidden song), this live worship project really only features seven live worship songs. While Rebecca has more than enough material to stuff an album full of praise songs, the live portion of Live Worship just seems to end shortly after the listener was really getting into the experience.
All in all, Rebecca St. James has yet again pieced together a wonderful collection of heartfelt songs of adoration for our Savior with Live Worship: Blessed Be Your Name. Although a few extra songs would have added to the overall worship experience, this album is a wonderful addition to anyone's worship collection and a fine representation of one of Rebecca's live shows that will tide over fans until her next fantastic musical venture.- Review date: 2/23/04, written by John DiBiase
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