The idea for a concept project featuring songs showcasing the many names of God was conceived by Dove award winning producer (and All Star United frontman) Ian Eskelin. "When we first started doing research for the project, I did a 'Google' search and found a list of more than 50 names of God," said Eskelin about the project. "It's amazing what you can learn about the character of God from each one and it gave us extraordinary content for writing these songs." Eskelin recruited 17 artists, including himself, to take part in the project, and through some unique pairings from some of CCM's biggest names, made the Your Name project a reality.
The project kicks off with Leeland Mooring (of Leeland) and newcomer Joel Augé performing "Life." The song sounds like it could have been one of Leeland's own, with its alternative approach to worship music. The title track, written by Paul Baloche, but made popular originally by Phillips, Craig, & Dean, is covered here by Baloche, along with Phil Wickham, who put forth the best version of the song I've heard yet. Other highlights on the more AC side of the album include "Lord" from Eskelin, Vicky Beeching, and Audio Adrenaline's Mark Stuart, and "Father," by Wes Willis of Rush of Fools and Building 429's Jason Roy.
The more unique pairings, however, prove to be the best tracks on the album. Southern rock band DecembeRadio's frontman, Josh Reedy, pairs up with Jamaican R&B artist Ayiesha Woods for one of the most unlikely moments of the project. Their song, "Almighty," leans more toward Southern gospel in style, and, as surprising as it is, Woods's vocals compliment Reedy's wonderfully. Ending the project is the most upbeat song on the album, which throws quite a curveball from the more laid-back approach of the rest of it. Punk-pop band Stellar Kart's Adam Agee, and worship leader Lincoln Brewster pair up for this appropriately titled "Rock," which takes on an upbeat pop-rock styling.
Props go to Mr. Eskelin for organizing this project, which is probably 2008's best collaboration album in CCM. All of the artist pairings work admittedly well with each other. Some would be more predictable, while others seem like quite a stretch. But take my word for it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.- Review date: 4/26/09, written by Matthew Watson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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