Various Artists

Top 25 UK Praise Songs

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The latest installment in a series of Top 25 double-CDs featuring worship songs and hymns, Top 25 UK Praise Songs isn't simply a collection of the same tunes done by vocal bands that happen to be in the UK. Each song is done in a style that's popular among Brits, very different from the conventional approaches taken by the (American) Top 25 Praise Songs project. "Shout to the Lord" has a sparse, surreal Dido flavor. "Be Still" approximates Enya. "Shine Jesus Shine" and "Lord I Lift Your Name on High" feature crazy and funky reggae arrangements (imagine church in Jamaica, mon!). "Knowing You (All I Once Held Dear)" is all neo-soul, pitter-patter percussion and Fender Rhodes cool. Anyone used to the regular versions might be taken aback because their ears will train immediately on the style rather than the reverent words. Beyond that, it's a reflection of worship done in the here and now, in a place where this is the diverse music which best reflects joy. And that's what the worship spirit is all about. Even if you're not a believer, this diverse sampler is a good place to hear what's hip musically in the UK in 2002.

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