Although worship has become extremely successful in the Christian market, it's biggest problem is its limited selection of styles. For the audiences who want to worship but won't likely ever buy a record from Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, MercyMe, or Michael W. Smith, there isn't really much to choose from. Thanks to a project like X Worship 2006, there's a little more hope that this could change.
In the more alternative and aggressive music scenes in Christian music, it's not rare for a band to write their own kind of worship song for inclusion on their record. X Worship 2006 skims a song from several such projects to gather fifteen offerings from fifteen artists. Its approach isn't entirely foolproof, however. For starters, the album gets off to a rough start by including staple pop/rock worship act Delirious? with their song "My Glorious" from their 2000 record Glo. Not exactly a new song, especially when more rock-oriented songs have been recorded by the band in recent years, I can't see why this is here, let alone the lead-off track. X Worship 2006 makes a unique and appreciated turn with including "Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape," from Underoath's They're Only Chasing Safety album. A surprisingly mellow song for the band, it's a wonderful alternative for CCM's typical brand of worship. Switchfoot's "Spirit" is a now-classic worship ballad, which was obviously dug out of the archives due to their recent mainstream success. This little-known song made its one and only previous appearance on the worship project Listen:Louder in 1999. Because of the band's changes and growth in the past six years (including adding two members to the band), this song sounds as old as it is. TFK's ballad "Breathe You In" from their new record The Art Of Breaking is a nice choice, followed by Relient K's "I Am Understood?" from their Two Lefts... album. However, why something from their most recent album Mmhmm like "When I Go Down" wasn't chosen instead, I just don't know.
Sanctus Real's radio hit "Everything About You" precedes Telecast's newest offering, "Release The Deep" and Kutless's "Finding Who We Are" from their worship project Strong Tower. "I Wait For The Lord" from Camp's own worship album precedes a brand new one from David Crowder's just-released album A Collision. X Worship 2006 sorely overlooks higher-profile rock acts like Skillet, Project 86 (Their new hit "All Of Me," anyone?), and Blindside, to name a few, and gives newer artists like Dizmas and Edison Glass some exposure. Although Dizmas's "Redemption, Passion, Glory" is a passionate and worthy addition, Edison's "When All We Have Is Taken" is redundant at best. Other noteworthy tracks include Showbread's rock ballad "Matthias Replaces Judas" (featuring Reese Roper) and The Showdown's quasi-metal ballad "Laid To Rest."
I was surprised to see how mellow this collection actually was. There's nothing wrong with loud, rock-driven worship, in fact, sometimes it's preferred, and X Worship 2006 steered clear of most of it. Also, the only brand new song not already available on another release is from Edison Glass. What has made projects like Rocketown Records's Exodus and Sparrow's Listen:Louder so special, is that a portion or all of it was written and recorded especially for that project. I would have liked to have seen more of that here, even if it were just a few songs. As it stands, however, X Worship 2006 is a sample of what alternative worship is available to listeners. It's a step in the right direction, but I'd like to see something a little bit more aggressive next time.- Review date: 10/2/05, written by John DiBiase
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