New Music Monday: Vineyard – Stand in Awe

August 6, 2007

Stand in Awe

I admit it: I missed much of the ‘contemporary worship’ movement at first. A few bad experiences had led me to grow quickly untrusting of the whole enterprise, and I spent from ’96 to ’02 singing primarily hymns, and on occasion – when feeling really edgy – re-worked hymns. It was the lyrics of Matt Redman’s incredible Where Angels fear to Tread that changed all of that. Not only was it a guitar driven rock record that came out of the gate with both guns firing, the lyrics were thoroughly Biblical, and almost hymn-like in their depth and beauty. I was playing leading “Blessed be Your Name” almost a whole year before it hit radio, as well as the incredible “Lord, let Your Glory Fall” and “Wonderful Maker”. To this day Redman is an inspiration to me and I purchase his records without a second though as soon as one is released.

From there, I decided that I should explore modern worship in more depth, and having heard much about Vineyard worship music from a trusted friend, I dove in headfirst, buying both of their later-era compilations: The River Is Here – Season of Renewal & Come Now Is The Time To Worship – Season of New Nations – both double disc collections, the first spanning the 90s and the later covering the first few years of the 00s. Though I found much I liked there, I also felt that many of the songs were – though catchy – bordering on trite, and somewhat silly – especially on the earlier record. From those disks, though I respected that the Vineyard movement had many fine writers, I also thought their songwriters were pretty much a mixed bag. At least that was my conviction until their cd Dwell was released in late ’03. Dwell marked a new beginning for the Vineyard Music Group.

It just didn’t SOUND like a worship album, especially not any worship albums that came out in ’03 – the first song was dark, atmospheric, a slow build that – when it finally got going full-steam – simply exploded with passion. The whole c.d. reminded me of Radiohead, U2, & Coldplay, except with loops. No less that 5 songs from “Dwell” became favorites at the youth group where I led worship, and one of them – “Love Me Like You Do (So Amazing)” – grew popular community-wide, being used regularly at the Gathering Place and, as a result, other local youth groups. It didn’t end with Dwell, however – Sweetly Broken followed shortly afterward, with it’s astounding title track taking over churches and radio nationwide – followed by what it probably the best live worship record I’ve ever heard, More than Ever: Live from the Rockies, which compiles the best of their latest material. from which I’ve harvested no less than 14 songs for regular use in various corporate worship environments. That’s not even mentioning Jeremy Riddle’s incredible Full Attention, a solo-worship effort that stands alongside the best releases by Redman, Tomlin, and Crowder.

Well, I’m excited to announce that the Vineyard has just added a new release to it’s excellent PLAYLIST, I Stand in Awe. I’m already considering no less that 5 songs from I Stand in Awe for introduction at our INSIDE OUT Youth services (some of these songs I’ve heard on past Club Vineyard releases) – “Saving Grace” is a driving mid-tempo anthem that’s easy to sing along with but not overly-simplistic; “Christ is Exalted” is a lovely, beautifully melodic female led ballad-anthem that just makes me want to lean my head back and sing loudly towards the sky; “I am Changed” is all groove; and “God of All Glory”, though not quite as powerful as “Sweetly Broken”, contains all of the things that made “Sweetly Broken” so good. Anyway, this is all just to say – I’m excited. I encourage all who are interested in edgy, passionate, powerful contemporary praise & worship music to check this one out.

Thank you, Vineyard Music Group – please keep’em coming!


p.s. – as a quick update, Kim Gentes has also posted another excellent review of this c.d. over at her blog.  Be sure to check it out, if you have any doubts.



4 Responses to “New Music Monday: Vineyard – Stand in Awe”

  1. Ok. So when are we playing these at church and when will Fred be forced to listen to them? I hope it’s soon!

  2. klampert said

    great post man…I am really impressed with the new stuff coming out of vineyard.
    robbie reider to me is one of those guys on the forefront of where worship is out…id love a solo CD from him

  3. […] with indwelling sin, and this is the sort of song with lyrics that deeply resonate with me, as much of the newer Vineyard music has done. Next week we’ll be introducing this within the main body of corporate worship, and I hope […]

  4. […] – Stand in Awe: See my review if you want to know my thoughts. I stand behind every word of it […]

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