For the last few years or so, the Christian music scene has devoted a certain portion of itself strictly to praise and worship music. And not just the standard form, but rather a more contemporary and rock version of the sort - popularized by such artists like Passion and Hillsong United. It seems every month in the Christian community, a new artist comes out with a slate full of worship songs, often failing to rise above the norm to deliver truly unforgettable talent matched with unforgettable songs. The buzzword is originality. With the arrival of new band Worth Dying For with their self-titled debut, another youth-group-band-turned-signed-artist attempts to come across the wires as hip, new, and memorable. While WDF has got the first two down, the trick will be the third; how will they stand the test of time?
Right off the bat, WDF sounds a lot like current contemporary artists Inhabited, especially when co-lead singer Christy Johnson is at the helm. Other lead Sean Loche sounds straight out of a Passion album, having a very stereotypical sound in regards to the praise and worship sector of Christian music. While their sound may be nothing new, WDF attempts to make strides in their produced sound and vibrant songs. The album itself is divided, albeit unintentionally, into two portions. The first five or so songs are much more upbeat than the latter ten. It kicks off with a standard "today's youth" anthem, "Revolution," that is both fine-tuned and catchy. Sean takes the vocals on this one and provides a somewhat convincing first-entry for this novice band. Christy then picks up the next song, "Let It Out," which is also another lyrically simple, but catchy offering. Some songs on the album feature very background screaming-like vocals that are often distracting, and seem out of place on this genre of music. Nonetheless, the same formula is put into practice on the next two songs, "Unite" and "Crazy," which you can almost assume what theme each one covers based on its title alone. This is not to say they aren't strong points on the album. On the contrary, the first few songs provide a foundation for WDF that provides for some uplifting tunes that unfortunately sounds like something you've heard before. But still, it's a good "familiar" sound.
Starting with the short and atmospheric "Holy," the album then descends into a more worshipful approach, getting slower in tempo. "Consume Me Now" is a personal favorite as it tends to blend everything good about WDF (original songs and polished sounds) and showcase it on a grandiose scale. "All We" and "At Your Cross" are much more slower and lacking significant impact. "My Only One" speeds things up a notch and provides another catchy soul-filled rock song. The album closes out with a few more of the same thing and then ends with a quasi-song, "Infiltrate," which starts off with a clip from a preacher advocating the album's theme and then segueing into a final cry from WDF that actually proves positive and truly lives up to the cliché "going out with a bang."
Overall, WDF provides something of a find in a market flooded with mediocre praise and worship music. While no real new ground is broken here, they do provide fifteen original songs with music and style that sounds remarkably similar to something else you've probably already heard, especially if you are used to listening to this sector of CCM. While it may not be the biggest and best thing, it will provide some catchy tunes and uplifting lyrics in the meantime that you may come to like.- Review date: 4/13/08, written by Zachary Anderson
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