Each contributor brings a unique perspective to this review!
The reviewers are asked to comment on scriptural basis, congregational singing, band accessability, and their own personal insights.
We at TWC hope you enjoy this review and find it helpful when selecting songs for your local worship experiences.
Please leave your own comments and insights regarding Perfect Love in the comment section or respond in the forums!
This album offers a broad scope of great new songs. From beat-driven rock to quiet reflection, there is plenty here for the Christian music lover to love.
Recorded live, it takes us from the sorrow of the cross to the intimacy of the King’s chambers, to the majesty of the throne room of the Almighty.
I found each song to be solidly founded on scriptural precepts. Several songs have clear basis in specific passages:
* He Is is based on Colossians 1:15-20
* Blessed Is the One is taken from the Triumphal Entry
* The 23rd Psalm runs throughout Perfect Love
* All of Me alludes to the alabaster jar of fragrance (Luke 7) and the King’s chambers (Song of Solomon)
* And in You Are Holy, we find ourselves with Isaiah in God’s throne room (Is.6)
Most of these songs can be adapted for congregational singing. I found myself singing along with O Crimson Flow, Something So Real, Wonderful God, Blessed Is the One and You Are Holy .Each of these is very singable; the tempo is upbeat and the music pulls you in.
Three of the songs are quiet and reflective; Perfect Love, All of Me, and You Deserve It All. They are singable, and will work best during the times when we need to recommit ourselves.
Some songs are high-energy throughout. Glorify Our King and Give You Glory both have a strong beat and high excitement level.
Seven of the songs are more than six minutes long, so they would need to be shortened to work in most Sunday worship services. I am not fond of excessive repetition in songs, and two songs in particular are very repetitive.
Blessed Is the One is a beautiful Palm Sunday song, but the “Hosanna” part (six words) goes on for most of five minutes.
You Deserve It All uses the title phrase forty times, and a slight variation, thirty-two times, in twelve minutes. I found myself fast-forwarding to the next song about half way through.
On all the songs, the chorus is very singable and catchy.
Bands should have very little trouble with most of these, and there are some great solo parts.
This album is full of good choices for church worship use. Some will be more challenging than others.
I especially like O Crimson Flow, Wonderful God, All of Me, and You Are Holy. You Are Holy tops my list because it does such a masterful job of capturing the feel of what Isaiah was experiencing.
These songs have led me into deep and heart-changing worship. Time will tell how these songs will be used to help build His kingdom.
Tom Kline is a lover of Christian music, an unpublished song writer, and has led worship for over six years. A grandfather of eleven, he is old enough to have seen much, but young enough to still have a passion for life.
You can find him on Facebook (Tom Kline) and theworshipcommunity.com (Wannabe a Worshiper).
Let’s just say Perfect Love from Christ For The Nations starts off with a bang.
I was surprised to hear a song with such a traditional sound as the opening track, but as the song wore on, I could see why Oh Crimson Flow is the opener. The rest of the album, composed of more contemporary worship tracks–all of which flow well from one to the other–keeps up the momentum. The majority of these songs lend themselves to a great degree of usability for the smaller church.
With songs based on Scriptures such as Isaiah 6 and Colossians 1 like You Are Holy and He Is, respectively, there is no shortage of Biblically sound lyrics. Furthermore, the varieties of song lengths, tempos, and voices ensure there is something for everyone. Certain songs contain sections that become somewhat repetitive, but one has to remember that this is a live recording; what’s being heard is the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Overall, I’m extremely glad I had the chance to lend this record my ears for a few minutes. Those few minutes have turned into hours as I have now listened to the album many times through.
I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more from Christ For The Nations.
Ryan is a worship leader and children’s minister at Manchester Baptist Church in south-eastern Kentucky.
Follow his tweets at http://twitter.com/ryancornett.
Perfect Love by Christ for the Nations grabbed my attention from the first song. The mix of a more traditionally structured opening anthem followed by some really catchy contemporary tunes was not only well done, but a great example for churches who work on doing that well on a weekly basis!
There are solid Scriptural basics in many of these songs and I found myself looking up passages as I listened to the lyrics, which tells me that this music could help to open hearts, as well as being music that lifts the spirit.
I am excited by the overall accessibility of this music for the small band – I look forward to being able to purchase the music to several of these songs for the small worship band I lead. I feel that we will be able to use this music effectively in our Services, even though we do not use loops. In addition, I like that the original keys and vocal ranges seem ‘congregation-friendly’. Some of the songs I really look forward to trying are Crimson Flow, Blessed Is the One and Something So Real for the congregation and You Deserve it All as a special music number.
As a personal means of worship, these tracks were being played over and over on my iPod the last week. There are some simple truths and reminders in the lyrics of several of the choruses that are built on really catchy musical lines, along with a great flow from one song to the next and from one intensity level to the next. It is unusual for me to find a CD that I will play every track of, several times, and don’t start to skip over some of the tracks once I have heard them a few times. This is one of those rare ‘play-it-all’ CDs for me.
A lot of future worship could be coming out of these songs!
Lots of albums use “live” sounds as a gimmicky special effect – Perfect Love by Christ for the Nations actually takes to that night. It does a great job at pulling the listener into a community of worshipers as if you were there. I’m always a little pragmatic when listening to worship albums – Can our band play this without getting tons of loops?, will our congregation be able to sing this without being distracted from the message?, Does the arrangement work for a band with less than Hillsongs’ 12 guitars? :-) This is the rare album that I can give to a band with the the optimism that they can play each song well without a ton of loops.
This is a set of songs that I can easily imagine our church worshiping to – from reflecting on the debth of God’s grace through songs like Oh Crimson Flow to the catchy chorus of Something So Real. Each song reflects God’s glory and his work in a way that is really helpful toward encouraging and challenging people in the way that scripture does.
I’ve been playing the CD while typing this review, and it’s oddly frustrating how attached to and distracted by each song as it’s playing. I can’t treat it as background music. Right now I’m blasting He Is in my office – I really love this song. It’s a rare melody that can take creedal statements and make them contemporary and catchy with a level of energy that reflects the power of the statement it is making. They have managed to make lyrics that in other contexts seem stiff and have contextualized them to become meaningful to an worshipful audience.
Overall this is an album valuable for leaders looking for worship material – you will find some songs here that will be meaningful to your audience. But more then that it’s an album that will bring you to a place of worship with a mighty God who loves perfectly.
Samuel Sutter is an assistant pastor on Long Island, where he plays keys or lead guitar in the worship band and occasionally ventures into songwriting.