Artist: Evan Earwicker and
Whatever happened to worship
borne out of exuberant passion for God? Delirious' delightfully singable
Cutting Edge began the only-a-matter-of-time berthing of worship
as a marketable genre. Songs are judged on commercialism and marketability
rather than their ability to lead their audience to the throne of God.
Since that time, worship recordings have been sorely lacking in one thing,
the very thing worship should never be without: intimacy.
Major worship labels have
sprouted, almost weekly releasing reliably mediocre recordings. Even the
UK, previously the hub of worship music, although at first impassioned,
has grown increasingly mundane. Sure, there have been occasional breaths
of fresh air, such as the recent Jason Upton, but for the most part, worship
music has grown unquestionably stale.
Prior to hearing this CD,
I'll admit I was completely disenfranchised with the whole worship genre.
It was overproduced, overmarketed, and, to a large extent, overrated. With
that said, let me just state this right up front: Never -- and I repeat,
never -- have I been so impressed nor so affected by a single CD.
Chances are you have never
heard of Evan Earwicker or Whitney Stern. And since when did anything life-changing
emerge from Bend, Oregon? Although, really, who had ever heard of Brownsville?
Or Azusa Street? The Holy Spirit's trend seems to be touching down where
few expect, and using those that nobody expects.
Evan is 17 years old, Whitney
only 14. However, the maturity of this music alone belies their ages, as
the arrangement of the songs will floor you with their ability to move
the listener from emotion to emotion, glory to glory. Each song gives the
impression of not being merely written, but rather lovingly crafted with
a master's hand. With a deep-throated voice reminiscent of Chris Lizotte
or Kelly Joe Phelps, Evan pours out his heart's desire ("Overwhelm me with
the fire in your eyes, overwhelm me, I am desperate tonight") with an open
honesty rare for one so young.
The only qualm I have with
this CD is that Whitney's vocals, while more than capable for backup harmonies
("Dance With Me"), seem to fall somewhat short when she attempts to carry
lead on "Even So Lord, Come." It's not that she sounds bad or even misses
any notes, it's just that at times she seems confused as to where to go
with a melody. But hey, she's only 14. I can't wait to hear her in a few
The songs on this recording
refuse to leave your head. I've been listening to it for a week straight
and don't see myself stopping anytime soon. The lyrics are real, the music
is infectious, and the unbridled passion contagious. I cannot overstress
the importance of this CD. It will renew your faith in the worship genre.
Where Matt Redman vows, "We're coming back to the heart of worship," Evan
Earwicker and Whitney Stern actually take you there.
For more information, including
audio and free chords, visit www.dancewithme.org
Jeremiah Wentz 7/28/2003