Ben Cantelon

Running After You

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U.K.-based worship leader Ben Cantelon's Running After You is closer to deserving the title of "landmark" than simply "debut record." Cantelon's soul is rich and authentic, and his songwriting manifests his born talent for expression. His Soul Survivor movement has taken him to the far reaches of the globe, and he proves that he easily has emotion and musicality at his command on his brilliant Kingsway debut. Throughout the record, he constantly calls for a deeper dialogue with God, sometimes landing on the U2/Matt Redman arena rock sound, while at other times dissecting the very basis of the worship experience. He wraps his convictions up in a textured reality and lush instrumentation. The punctuating guitars that ring through the first half of the album give way and set up powerful worship moments like the prodigal story of "Coming Back," the desperate cry of the title track, and the gentle plea of "Breathe," where Cantelon reaches into Jeremy Riddle-esque upper harmonics and then comes back down with climactic fervor. It's in these poignant, quieter moments that Cantelon seizes on the listeners' attempts to know God in a deeper relationship. The believability in his voice carries the utter yearnings of the epic "Carry On": "I'm longing to know you/You know that I love you/Sometimes it's hard to feel you next to me/But I carry on." When he kicks up the volume and the tempo, he loses a bit of his flavor and starts to resemble a "corporate worship" sound; however, Ben Cantelon makes a grand statement on this debut, giving listeners plenty of reasons to reexamine their relationship with God.

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