Lincoln Brewster

Today Is the Day

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After nearly a decade of making a name for himself singing other people's songs, virtuosic guitarist and worship leader Lincoln Brewster stepped out of his comfort zone with Today Is the Day, his fifth Integrity Music album. Brewster always knew how to write his own material, but somehow that output always took a backseat to his rollicking reading of praise standards, including high-energy takes on "Lord I Lift Your Name on High," "Shout to the Lord," and "Everlasting God." But Brewster is a glorified covers artist no more: Today Is the Day is his tour de force, his vindication after years of conforming to youth-worship stereotypes. Only one song attests to that past, a freewheeling rendition of Hillsong United's "Salvation Is Here." Everything else marks a fresh start for Brewster -- an opportunity to display the breadth of his instincts. Though unwaveringly worship-centric from start to finish, Brewster stretches beyond the confines of CCM-geared praise music into the realms of rock & roll ("Let Your Glory Shine"), blues ("Arms of My Savior"), gospel-rock ("Give Him Praise"), and even John Mayer-esque alternative pop ("This Love"). Some of the approaches are more populist, like the arena rock of "God You Reign" or the radio-readiness of the title track, but these centrist moves are meant to serve as pacesetters, bringing balance to a disc that, on the whole, reveals that praise & worship need not play it safe to remain worshipful. By drawing outside the lines while preserving the vertical spirit of worship, Brewster has proven with Today Is the Day that music that points heavenward can venture outside the church walls and still be respected for what it is: good music.

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