Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rend Collective: Homemade Worship by Handmade People

Rend Collective Experiment’s new album is an interesting and exciting look into the heart of the core group of the Collective. We find them pursuing a course that walks the line between the hymns of old and contemporary worship music. While listening to the album this becomes evident almost immediately. Some songs are more conducive for quiet moments reflecting on the enormity and beauty of the God we serve and draw us into His peace and love. Others are perfectly suited for the worship services at church and combine powerful, thought provoking lyrics with catchy melody, rhythm, and vocal harmonies that speak to Rend Collective’s professionalism and talent as a group of musicians as well as lyricists.

One highlight from the album includes the powerful message of the cross and is found in the song “Second Chance.” The lyrics are what caught my attention. 
Oh Your cross it changes everything
There my world begins again with You
Oh Your cross it's where my hope restarts
A second chance is Heaven's heart”

It serves as a timely reminder of the purpose of Christ’s coming to Earth during the hustle and bustle surrounding the holiday season. Tim Hughes mentions in the promotional video for the new album, “His hands made worlds and stars and also chose the pain of human scars.” The cross changes everything and while we celebrate the birth of our Savior lets keep our focus where it belongs, on the freedom and mercy that drove the Son of God to visit Earth, begin His life in the lowest place possible, and eventually suffer the “pain of human scars” so you and I don’t have to.

(Here’s a link to the promotional video for the new album: click.)

Musically, the talent displayed by the five core members of the collective is impressive to say the least. Styles range from a folksy, almost bluegrass feel in some parts to guitar driven worship music is sure to provide enough variety to keep even the most seasoned critic from finding too much similarity from song to song.

Despite the incredible musicianship, tight vocal harmonies, and moving lyrics found throughout this album, the most touching and exciting part of the Rend Collective is their heart. Their goal is to make the kingdom of God greater on this Earth and to do so without elevating one single person over another. Their call to God is not one that is based on a life of ease and simply paying lip service to a greater power. To borrow another quote from the video, “God is not safe or small…He’s got a wild imagination.” That sums up this album. It’s not “safe.” It doesn’t necessarily stick to what sells and it pays homage to the imagination and boundless creativity of our God and the expression of that creativity that the Rend Collective is able to capture in their recordings. It’s a call to worship and deeper relationship with God…Will you listen and respond?

-Reviewed by Michael Henson

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