Brian Eichelberger is a singer/songwriter who came out of Mars Hill Church with artists like Dustin Kensrue and Kings Kaleidoscope. When he joins forces with his veritable choir of friends and family, they become an entity appropriately known as The Sing Team. With no more than a short EP and a Christmas EP a few years ago, the team hasn't begun building the same sort of legacy as the other Mars Hill bands. But after five years, and with the help of Gospel Song Records, The Sing Team is at it again with a brand new album called Sing On!
One thing I've always liked and admired about the ex-Mars Hill bands was that they put a lot of emphasis on classic hymns while arranging them in a new and fresh way - a way one may not have heard before or could have dreamed up. They also each have their own signature style, standing out even from one another. The Sing Team is no different. Ultimately, they're a pop rock band, but their infusion of southern gospel and hint of Electric Light Orchestra give them a unique flavor that's really catchy and singable. The Sing Team ends up not just being an appropriate name because of its many singers, but also because the songs are arranged in such a way that they could easily be slipped into corporate worship sessions. Bands like Kings K and Citizens & Saints make great art that glorifies the Lord, but most churches wouldn't easily be able to adapt their songs/arrangements quite like those of The Sing Team.
Sing On! features nine tracks, one of which is an instrumental. My one gripe about this is that the songs are mostly songs that the aforementioned bands have released recently. One of the songs, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus," was even originally released on the team's 2012 EP. Though, to be fair, it's a great song that fits the album and even adds a little bit of beef to the tracklist; I'd even say it's one of my favorite songs on the whole album. There are also plenty of other great moments here, though. "Love Lifted Me" might be my favorite song here; I've definitely put that song on repeat a few times. The Sing Team's rendition of "Amazing Grace" is also fantastic. With the subtitle "I've Got A Reason To Sing," the team adds a short but lovely chorus in between verses: "I've got a reason to sing and celebrate, I was bought by His blood and amazing grace." The usage of strings and pianos and acoustic guitar in a lot of the songs almost gives off the feeling of friends gathering around in a living room to praise God.
When I first heard Oh! Great Is Our God!, I didn't think much of The Sing Team. After another chance, and subsequently several repeat listens, I got really excited about a full-length album. Though the wait has been long, it has been worth it. Sing On! has grown into one of my favorite worship albums of the year, if not my favorite. I don't expect everyone to love it as much as I do, but the simplicity and heart behind the recordings and arrangements are truly wonderful. You'd do well to check this out!- Review date: 9/14/17, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
- Review date: 9/15/17, written by Ryan Barbee
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