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Brenton Brown "Our God is Near" - CD Review & Giveaway

By Ed Rotheram on March 22, 2011

For your chance to win a Pre-Release version of Brenton's new CD, leave a comment on this post by Friday, March 25th, 5pm CST. We'll pick two random winners! (Note: US residents only. Must be at least 18 years old.)

Brenton Brown continues his tradition of top-class songwriting and high-class production with his latest offering - Our God is Near. Here are my thoughts on this exciting new release…

I was introduced to "Our God is Mercy" at a recent conference. It was a lively opener with a catchy melody and had a structure that was very easy to follow. The song was quick and upbeat, yet gave enough space for interpretation, and had a nice refrain ("Lift up your eyes, lift up your eyes"...etc.) giving space for the congregation to regain some breath. Within seconds I was hooked, and over the course of the weekend, as the song grew in familiarity, so the passion of the words ignited something deep within me.

The studio version present on this album is again an upbeat offering - with a lively, punchy drumbeat with the rhythm guitar providing a strong, progressive feel to the song. The lyrics invite the worshipper into the song - there is a strong message of hope, acceptance and belonging prevalent within the opener to the album.

We go from here to the second track - "Joyful", with an instantly recognisable melody line - adapted from Beethoven's 9th Symphony's "Ode to Joy". The message of this song is beautiful - it's hymnal verses are complemented superbly by a lively praise chorus ("You are the one who saves "etc.). This track (and indeed the entire album) stays faithful to the typical Sunday-morning worship band lineup - a couple of guitars, bass, drums and not much else. The producers (Jason Ingram & Rusty Varenkamp) deserve credit for this, as all too often studio worship albums can be completely over-orchestrated and almost impossible for worship bands to reproduce.

I had heard "Glorious" on Paul Baloche's album of the same name, a co-write with Brenton, and as with other songs such as "Because of Your Love", this appears on both Paul and Brenton's albums. Brenton's versions of these songs tend to be rockier than Paul's, and this is no exception, with the introductory riff taken by a crunchy lead guitar. Bass and drums are the key to this version, pounding us through the song with passion and fervour.

Other highlights on this album include "All I Want" - a song that expresses perfectly the Lord's love, grace and mercy towards us, and in the chorus we offer our response to the Lord of our desire to know Him and feel Him more.

The beautiful closing song "All for You" contains a great message which I will leave you with - this represents my heart for worship and how I feel we should view our relationship with the Lord:

"Jesus this is all for You,

Father this is all for You,

How Your children long to bless Your heart

Lord we've tasted and we've seen

We've held the beauty of the King

And we long to magnify our God"

Standout Songs:

All For You

Our God is Mercy


Our God Is Near - Brenton Brown

Review by Ed Rotheram

(Review CD provided by Kingsway)

You can hang out with Brenton Brown and worship along to his new songs at the upcoming All About Worship Retreat in Kansas City, May 19-21...along with Pocket Full of Rocks, Sarah Reeves, Dave Fitzgerald, and 60 other fellow worship leaders/worshippers.


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