An­thems of praise

The Church of England - - REVIEWS - Bluetree Wor­ship & Jus­tice (In­tegrity) Derek Walker

Bluetree have not done much since they re­leased their début al­bum (apart from be­ing smug­gled into Burma and play­ing for 15,000 refugees on the Burma-Thai­land bor­der). That first al­bum was strong, in­clud­ing the su­perb “God of this City,” writ­ten spon­ta­neously while wor­ship­ping in a bar in Thai­land’s red light dis­trict.

All this gritty stuff gave me high hopes for this new re­lease, es­pe­cially given the ti­tle. We should have some songs about im­pact­ing the poor, work­ing for so­cial jus­tice or songs with peo- ple’s sto­ries, à la Gareth Davies-Jones.

As it hap­pens, this could have been writ­ten by any­one fol­low­ing a lyrics-bynum­bers model (those of you with wor­ship lyrics bingo cards might strike lucky tonight if yours in­cludes “Be lifted up”, “Lift­ing you higher”, “Mag­nify” or, for a pla­gia­rism bonus, “What heights of love, what depths of peace.”

This said, if you are go­ing to buy generic praise al­bums, this is how to get a good one. There are sev­eral an­themic tracks, or sec­tions within them; it bursts with pas­sion­ate vo­cals that leave me in lit­tle doubt as to the band’s grat­i­tude to God and sin­cer­ity; and the whole project is pro­duced with skill to max­imise each track for a main­stream au­di­ence.

If you can’t get enough Tim Hughes, or miss the mu­sic that Deliri­ous? were mak­ing to­wards the end of their ca­reer, this could suit you to the ground.

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