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Music Reviews (by Kim Gentes)

Back in the mid-90's Kim began writing impromptu reviews of church music CDs (worship music) so that people who were looking for CDs would have an opinion from someone who is also a worship leader and is garnering music for local church use.  Up to this point, this was rarely something that was done, because church music was revered as sacred and it was thought that any offering of that sacred worship shouldn't be criticised or evaluated.  In fact, Kim wasn't as much a critic as he was an evaluator, helping people find what fit their church. He began posting his reviews on line in a email discussion forum, called the Worship List (website).  After a while, when he helped launch, he continued that same concept of trying to help other local church worship leaders and musicians find music that might be applicable to their situations.  The reviews continued to be a part of that. went on to grow a staff of writers that would add many more reviews to the collection they have, but Kim continued to participate as a key reviewer.  This journal logs all the reviews Kim has written on worship music CDs and projects.

Kim's reviews of CD projects of worship music includes independents, label and main stream recordings, but all having to do with worship music.

Entries in god of miracles (1)

Everything And Nothing Less - Chris McClarney (2015)

Chris McClarney's new project "Everything and Nothing Less" is the best live album I've heard yet to come out of Jesus Culture Music. The anthemic and melodic sounds of soaring vocals on a bed of electric guitars and thundering drums has been the hallmark of the sound coming from the youth music birthed from Bethel Church in Redding California. And Chris McClarney is not a new-comer to this influential group. His song "You Love Never Fails" (originally included in the 2008 live album from Jesus Culture of the same name) was the main anthem of their music for several years.

There is a lot of great music being recorded across the worship genre. And while much of the best production of this music leans on radio play and becomes popular there, the best focus of all worship and praise music begins with great songs. Great songs that expound the history, passion and theology of the Christian faith. Great songs that the church can sing. Great songs that can be used as liturgy (modern or historic). And most of all great songs that local congregations can use to give honor, praise, glory, surrender, prayer, thanks, deepest devotion and worship to the one true God, Yahweh.

"Everything and Nothing Less" is a concise and brilliant collection of great songs. Excellent lyric writing, beautiful melodic hooks, and compelling music that beckons the listener to abandon their hearts and souls in a Holy Moment to the God of Miracles who is an All Consuming Fire. These are, in fact, the first three tracks of the album, and they represent three of the best new songs I've heard in the last 10 years.  

The project begins with the powerfully understated "Holy Moment", a wonderful call to worship song that opens the worshiper to a poignant sense of God's presence and a welcoming declaration of anticipation and expectation.  Track two pivots on the "Holy Moment" theme to a declaration of God's holiness, glory, worth and righteousness with "All Consuming Fire". Like the first song, track two is arranged in an initially understated bare structure, but about half way through it, the song launches into McClarney sailing his brilliant voice through the chorus and on to ad lib and vocal throw-offs that shine with genuine passion.

The third track on the album comes to my favorite song on the project, "God of Miracles." A faith-filled request and declaration, this ballad is surprisingly humble and prayerful, inquiring of God to intervene while remaining truthfully honest to the reality of what is happening in our real lives, as is seen in the unveiled language of this bridge:

This world is shaking, but you cannot be shaken
My heart is breaking, but I'm not broken yet
Your love is fearless, help me to be courageous too
There is nothing impossible for the ... [chorus: God of miracles]

I could go on to explain the remaining tracks of great music, wonderful production and true energy of this live recording, but I will leave that to you to hear. This project easily garners an "Editor's Choice Award", as it is the best album I have heard this year and I consider this to possibly be the best live album I have heard in a decade- it has that many useable, great songs.

Fans of Jesus Culture music will love this album, but so will people who like Tomlin, Hillsong United, Will Reagan/United Pursuit. Part of what makes this album even more special to me personally is that I happen to have had the chance to meet and get to know Chris McClarney on a few brief occasions. I also had the opportunity to attend a church for about a year where he led worship. Chris is absolutely one of the most passionate, humble and honest people I have yet to meet. He is singing these songs like he means it- because he does. On top of that Chris has, far and away, the best voice of any modern worship "artist" or leader I have heard- an astounding range, crisp powerful tone and a warm style that invites everyone else to jump right in.

If you've been saving your money for that one album you will buy this year- this is it. Seriously. Fortunately, with today's tech, you can hear extended samples of every song (on Amazon or iTunes) before you commit to buying.  This is one project you must buy the entire album for- don't get just a few tracks. It's that good.

For churches using, all of the songs, chord charts, lyrics and audio from this album are already available and pre-loaded for you in the system song database. In fact, to the best of our knowledge is currently the only place yet to have all charts from this album! If you are not part of and want to listen to audio samples or purchase the album directly yourself, see the Amazon link below.

Amazon Link:


Review by Kim Gentes