Pardon the ripoff of the UNCF Slogan, but it applies. You are never too much of an expert to learn something new. Never more could that be applied than to the Modern Worship genre. The lesson to be learned comes form the Gospel Genre "A Choir, Never Leave Home Without It." Whenever a Gospel album is released, though the Album title may not reveal it (John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, etc) the Choir (Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, etc.) is ALWAYS THERE, along with the orchestra. They know what people want and they give it to them.
Modern Worship has forgotten that, evident by the trend in "Solo" albums that are coming out from famous worship leaders. The latest release comes from Hillsong Church Australia's Darlene Zschech called You Are Love. I reiterate here a problem I have with live concert albums which I posted in my previous review of such an album by The Rocket Summer. "There is something missing". Now it's not as bad as last years Simply Darlene. That one was missing a lot. I hated it just enough to not bother reviewing it, but if I had, I would have snarkilly called it something like "Simply Awful". As much as I complain that the modern worship genre has been "Hijacked by Hillsong" (I like the alliteration and apologize to all those offended via the proximity of the statement to 9/11). As much as anyone would like to protest, Darlene is Synonymous with Hillsong. That's just the way it is. I'm going to give it 3.75 Emeralds as a final review. Close, but as they say close only counts in Horseshoes and Hand grenades.
Night Beat Bonus: Also suffering from the same problem but a bit better is Cindy Cruse Ratcliff from Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in Houston. Simply entitledTwenty-Three. It is just enough better on its own to go into the Platinum Vinyl mix for the genre, but I don't think that it will survive the judging. I'm giving it 4.25 Emeralds.
That will do it for this week. Tomorrow starts a whole new slew of releases, and keep it locked here to stay informed on them all. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.