Sunday, March 14, 2010

Stephen Miller - People Of Redemption

(I have included a new writer for our website on my blog until he gets one of his own.)

Stephen Miller
People of Redemption
©2009 Independent

As a newcomer to Miller and his band, I was impressed enough by their ear for the elusive worship sound, upbeat and modern, yet not overpowering of Miller’s thoughtful lyrics. Why had they escaped my attention for so long? Looking forward to their next and future efforts.

Opening with “We Will Sing”, this CD fills with inspiration, strong vocals by Miller and ambitious guitar by JJ Cole and Chad Martin. The first number ushers you into a somewhat new type of worship experience. Miller collaborates with Martin and Cole for “Love Is Here” and “Eternal Of Heaven”. Together these numbers stand out with harmony, led by Miller’s talented vocal, and a tight arrangement of instruments, including the versatile percussion of Mario Diaz Jr.

“Awaken My Heart” and “You Are Sovereign Here” indicate in name alone the overall purpose of this album, and by “Reflect Your Glory”, with it’s inspiration-filled melody and lyrics, I felt myself inadvertently caught up in worshipping the King of Kings. “Rise Up, We Say Yes” and “Behold the Spotless Lamb” take a slower pace, but maintain the power and influence of the songs that precede it. The latter goes out with a rising chorus that offers to hold our interest to the last note.

“He Is Risen” is a mature sound for this young band, busy yet reflecting individual contributions from each member. The title track, saved until second to last, begins by emphasizing Miller’s voice and lyrics, then turns into an instrumental number featuring some surprisingly good guitar (including Will Colbert’s bass). This work concludes with “Arrest Our Minds”, a short and gentle plea to the Creator of the Universe, who is big and powerful enough to reside in the heart of every true believer.

Bob Vanderwarker
March 2010

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