I usually pass up the chance to check out worship albums because they rarely fall into my favored style of music. And while I do enjoy some of the rock worship albums, I always look for something a little unique before I decide to buy it. Rock of Ages: Rock Worship Hits held the promise to take worship to a harder level, which caught my attention. I had to wonder how they did in delivering something both unique and worshipful.
BEC's latest offering starts with Kutless remixing an already amazing song of their own, "Strong Tower," and the updated version comes out very well. The same can be said of "You're Worthy of My Praise" by Jeremy Camp, another solid track. "The Motions" by Josh Smith, and "Indescribable" by Caitlin Evanson each add a new sound to familiar lyrics but preserve the aspects that made the songs popular in the first place. All of the mentioned tracks are filled with praise to our Savior, and the sound and lyrics combine to both lift your eyes to the Throne and make the hair on your skin stand up. In addition to the more mainstream offerings, the album also contains that harder side of worship the album title indicates. "Dress Us Up," "Revelation Song," and "I Will Rise" don't disappoint in that department. However, I do think that with the title being Rock Of Ages, there should be more of a harder edge to the sound and a few more tracks showcasing that solid rock feel. The remaining tracks have good lyrics, and while they are indeed worshipful, they don't compare to the rest of the album or their original counterparts.
There are two tracks that totally stand head and shoulders above the rest on this release and deserve mention. Josh Smith's version of Matthew West's "The Motions" takes a song with powerful lyrics and adds a depth to the sound that takes this one to the next level. Seventh Day Slumber's version of "How Great Is Our God" (from their album Take Everything) is perfect when it comes to covering a worship song. The mixture of strings and rock laid under his raspy vocals makes for a most beautiful result.
All in all, Rock Of Ages is pretty good and worthy of picking up. If you're looking for the slightly harder side of worship or enjoy new renditions to already successful worship tracks, then this release will fit the bill. But if you're looking for a real edgy rock worship record to add to your collection, you'll probably want to pass on this one.- Review date: 11/5/10, written by Kevin Hoskins of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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