Prime Cuts: For Your Glory and My Good, More than Anything, The Victory
You don't have to be George Barna to know that the major complaints surrounding modern worship songs often congregate around these perennial issues. First, many often feel jarred by the repetitive triteness of the lyrics of many worship songs. The endless cry of "I need you Lord" can reach its ultimate point of exhaustion by its 13th repeats. Second, far too many worship songs are the products of sheer sloth. The blatant plagiarism of the same squalls of guitar and drum riffs over countless songs can easily drown us in the sea of irritation. But thank God All Sons and Daughters have avoided such pitfalls. Allowing creativity to have the upper hand, Leslie Jordan and David Leonard have intertwined their own brand of folk, acoustic and pop into their worship that they come across with an imitable sound. This is what we get with their latest Integrity Music release "All Sons & Daughters."
This eponymous record follows three critically acclaimed EPs, "Brokenness Aside," "Reason to Sing" and "The Longing," and two full length LPs, "Season One" and "Live." Produced by Paul Mabury (Darlene Zschech, Hillsong United, Meredith Andrews), this album sees a red carpet of co-writers including Stu G (of Delirious), Derek Webb, Leeland, Sandra McCracken, Jack Mooring and Francesca Battestelli. Such a host of top drawer co-writers certainly deepens the lyrical gravitas of the songs. Functioning as the album's lead single, "You Will Remain" carefully works through the "I Am" sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of John before applying it to us in thoughtful worship. Fans who love Stuart Townend or the Gettys will adore the hymn-like Jack Mooring and Leeland Mooring co-write "Christ Be All Around Me."
If you are looking for songs that flourished upon stellar theology, look no farther than "For Your Glory and My Good." Without sounding like you have been through a lecture in theodicy, this Derek Webb co-write is one of the best songs on the issue of suffering put to a spellbinding melody. Inspired by the thanksgiving prayer in the "Common Book of Prayers," the Jason Ingram co-wrote "We Give You Thanks" incubates a liturgical charm. Leslie Jordan is at her tender best on the soul barring ballad "More Than Anything." And the piano outro that occupies the last minute of the song is just breathtakingly gorgeous.
Francesca Battistelli shows up as the co-writer of "Tonight" (a track Battistelli has also recorded as a bonus track to her deluxe version of her latest album "If We're Honest"). Starting off slow before evolving into an Irish-esque romp, "Tonight" sounds like it belonged more to a Rend Experiment record. As far as uptempoes go, "The Victory" is a highlight: the 80s sounding punchy blasts surround a careful exposition of the Cross and the resurrection of Christ. It is songs like these that make this eponymous album by All Sons & Daughters such a welcoming resource for worship.