Brenton Brown may not currently be the most recognizable name in Christian music, but plenty of this South Africa native's offerings have found their way into the praise and worship circle since his debut in 2006. With worthy intentions, Brown now releases his latest batch of worship offerings. It would be easy to hear any of the songs on Our God Is Near performed at Sunday morning services, but there is little to distinguish Brown from the profound mass of artists tailoring to worship fans.
The album opens with "Our God Is Mercy," a slightly generic anthem that features exceedingly repetitive lyrics and less than stunning vocals. The next track is a remake of the classic hymn, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee," featuring newer verses. From this point on, Our God Is Near continues to be defined by a tried and true formula of basic instruments supporting resounding vocals. Those seeking a more revolutionary sound will not find it here; the lyrics are often cliché and the choruses are almost always repetitive. Even the most energetic track on the album, "Higher," consists of generic lyrics and does not break free from the worship sound found in every song on Our God Is Near. Songs like "His Name" demonstrate how biblically sound the lyrics are, and the message never strays from the basic truths of Christ. The only track outside of the general formula of the album is the closer, "All For You," a soft ballad to conclude a less than remarkable release.
Although there is little that makes Brenton Brown stand out next to others in the field, his worship approach is tried and true, and will doubtlessly garner many followers. Even if unoriginal, the sound of Our God Is Near is well produced to fit today's standard for praise and worship albums. For those interested solely in the worship formula found at church services, this release may spark some interest, but otherwise, there are surely more notable offerings to be found.- Review date: 3/24/11, written by Samantha Schaumberg of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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