Prime Cuts: How Shall I Sing?, The Lord is My Salvation, Blessings (featuring Laura Story)
Overall Grade: 5/5
The names of Keith and Kristyn Getty are synonymous with "modern hymns." Together they have had carved a much needed niche in Contemporary Christian Worship music. With an eye to put an end to the worship war, the couple have gifted the church with music akin to the traditional hymns of the church without sacrificing an iota of the modern sensibilities of today's worship music. As a result, churches who want an amicable solution to the viscous tug between hymns and modern worship songs would do well to explore the Gettys' canon.
"Sing! Live at the Getty Music Worship Conference" isn't precisely a new album. Rather, the set finds the couple tackling some of their tried-and-true older songs (with the bulk coming from the last studio album "Facing a Task Unfinished"), some hymns, some hymn-like covers, and one newly written song. The album was recorded live at the inaugural Sing! conference in Nashville last year. The Sing! conference exists to help pastors, musicians, and leaders build a Biblical understanding and creative vision for the congregational singing in their churches. Bringing together speakers and artists from many traditions and walks of life, their desire is to encourage churches towards a deeper, more dynamic view of theology, artistry and mission in congregational singing.
The track that has fans salivate with eager anticipation is the title cut "How Shall I Sing!" Written at the backstage of the conference by the Gettys, long-time co-writer Stuart Townend and producer Ed Cash, "How Shall I Sing?" sets to music the 17th Century poem by John Mason. With a Celtic-esque danceable lilt that calls to mind the Gettys' "Lift High the Name of Jesus," "Sing" exudes a celebratory feel that makes you want to join in the singalong. Of the 4 covers, "Blessings" is a must-hear. Inviting the song's writer and original performer Laura Story to take the lead vocals, Story's take of her heart rendering hit song is a tad slower than her original version. Nevertheless, she gives such a stellar performance that you can help but feel your heart breaking to a million pieces with each syllable of the song's lyrics.
Aaron Keyes and Pete James' "God the Uncreated One (King Forevermore)" is a song that is just waiting for the Gettys to cover. If you are not familiar with the original, you might have even thought this song was a Getty's creation. A well-developed hymn that traces God's kingship over the milestones of the Biblical storyline, this is a must-sing if you want your churches to indulge in solid theology and heartfelt doxology. Don't overlook the hymns either. "Hallelujah! What a Savior" was the hymn that got Joni Eareckson Tada through her neck-breaking accident 50 years ago. Now to hear Tada singing and talking about the hymn with the Gettys is just priceless.
As for the Gettys' own compositions, their good old favorites such as "The Power of the Cross" and "In Christ Alone" are included here. But it's the lesser known songs that are worth the price of this album download. "The Lord is My Salvation," a gorgeous ballad taken off their "Facing a Task Unfinished" deserves to be sung across the globe. In this song, they have correctly understood that the Gospel is more than just life-insurance, but it impacts our everyday circumstances and lives. With a generous offering of 16 tracks, it's beyond the scope of this review to cover all the songs, but it's a challenge a dud in this collection. Do yourself a favour, and check this album out.