Various Artists

Exodus [Sony]

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Exodus is a compelling worship experience, envisioned and produced by Michael W. Smith. He's assembled an impressive roster of Christian artists for this album, including Third Day, Sixpence None the Richer, dc Talk, and Crystal Lewis. The album opens with an instrumental track, "Exodus," that moves through the Biblical Exodus experience, from doubt, fear, and repentance to joyful worship and freedom. The songs on the album follow that format. dc Talk's "My Will" expresses a readiness to change, moving into Jars of Clay's "Needful Hands," a statement of our need for God in times of weakness. Sixpence None the Richer's "Brighten My Heart" is a sweetly honest Celtic prayer set to their trademark lyrical style. The album dips a bit toward the middle, both in style and substance, but picks up again with Third Day's rendition of Michael W. Smith's "Angus Dei." They give his simple but powerful worship song a rock underbelly, making it both more contemporary and more moving. The album wraps up with Smith's rendition of "I See You," a song originally written and performed by Rich Mullins. Exodus is an excellent worship album, combining the best talent in Christian music with a mix of worship classics and new offerings under Michael W. Smith's direction. It isnt to be missed.

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