I have often spoken of my love of the compilation album.
Normally, I enjoy such projects for the variety of artists and the number of tracks, providing an excellent selection of current music for my listening pleasure.
“My Utmost for His Highest”, from Curb Records (Word Entertainment), provides both of these things. It also presents a number of songs that are new to me, as well as refreshing versions of familiar tunes.
Produced by Jonathan Mason, Spencer Nohe and Josh Bailey, the 13 tracks of “My Utmost for His Highest” are (surprise) based on passages from the bestselling devotional book of the same name by Oswald Chambers.
The album is full of heartfelt worship and quality musicianship with some unique collaborations that are quite satisfying. One of these is the opening track, a version of “Amazing Grace” performed by For King and Country, along with sister Rebecca St. James.
Holding to the traditional hymn tune, the talented duo and their sister add a powerful, yet simple, refrain that adds to the impact of this well-known hymn, while For King and Country’s trademark percussion adds a contemporary flavour.
We Are Messengers‘ “My Victory” presents a profound truth:
“Oh Your love bled for me
Oh Your blood in crimson streams
Oh Your death is hell's defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory.”
“Power to Redeem” by Lauren Daigle has a similar message with its beautiful refrain:
“With breath that brings the dead to life
With words that pierce the dark with light
Only by the blood are we set free
With mercy strong to carry shame
And nail it to a tree
Oh You alone hold the power to redeem.”
One of my favourite titles on this project is the collaboration between Big Daddy Weave and Francesca Battistelli, “Lavish.” It opens with the initial verses of Psalm 23 and flows easily into the refrain:
“Your love conquers all my fear
‘Cause Jesus You’re always near
You lavish your love on me.”
Other collaborations on this project include Hollyn with Chris McClarney (“There’s a Hope”) and “I Surrender” by Brandon Heath and United Pursuit. Another is “Light that Never Fades” from Unspoken, featuring Blanca. Zealand Worship presents “Yours”, a song of the Father’s love and commitment: “I am Yours, Yours
I was Yours before I was born
I am Yours, Yours
I'll be Yours forevermore.
O the jealousy, of Your love for me
O how can it be true
That You gave me life, through Your sacrifice
Who could love me like You?”
“My Utmost For His Highest” is a beautiful album of worship. Most of the songs were new to me, which was tremendously appealing. While the tracks are primarily slower, the melodies are interesting and the lyrics are incredibly powerful, making it a worship album that will be welcome on many listeners’ shelves and one that will undoubtedly make its way into many congregations’ Sunday morning worship.
Tracey Evison, a musician and educator on P.E.I., writes this column for The Guardian every second Saturday. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com.