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  The Power of Praise: Songs of Praise, Worship, and Adoration 
Artist: Petra
Label: Word/Curb Records
length: 14 tracks/50:11 minutes

The year was 1989. George Bush the First was President, Communism was about to die, Cheers ruled the airwaves, and Batman was the choice of moviegoers everywhere. In the world of Christian music, Steven Curtis Chapman was coming into his own, Leslie Phillips had become Sam Phillips, and some rap group named DC Talk was scaring conservative youth pastors everywhere. This year also witnessed the release of one of the most memorable albums in Christian Music history: Petra Praise: The Rock Cries Out.

Arguably at the peak of their popularity, Petra broke new ground by becoming one of the first bands to release an album solely dedicated to praise songs. Providing their musical take on the time period’s most popular worship songs, the group’s album quickly became a favorite of teenagers everywhere. Petra then followed up that disc eight years later with Petra Praise 2: We Need Jesus. The interlude between their first and second releases saw a definite shift from the group’s heavy-metal sound to a more pop-oriented fare. Petra nevertheless retained a loyal following. 

Let us now fast forward to 2003. Petra is still around, if in name only. And for our listening pleasure, they proudly bring you The Power of Praise: Songs of Praise, Worship, and Adoration. The Power of Praise is a collection of songs gleaned from the aforementioned titles as well as three other releases from the 90s. 

What this album turns out to be is a complete waste of time.

Despite having fourteen selections, The Power of Praise contains not one single new contribution. Of the tunes included, the band has chosen such tired numbers as "I Love You Lord," Lord,"I Lift Your Name on High," and "I Waited for the Lord." I realize these are much loved songs and rightfully so, but they could not have come up with better choices than these? Furthermore, many of the older songs on the disc lack staying power. Case in point, the "Sharon, dig out your old Van Halen t-shirt" number "Salvation Belongs to Our God" which comes complete with far-out guitar riffs and a keyboard melody line that was left for dead somewhere around 1991. And for crying out loud, where is "The Coloring Song?" I used to sing that tune in my youth group in 199…er… 1984! Doesn’t that count? 

Do I have anything nice to say about this album? Well, I liked the fact they included "Creed,’ which is my opinion is the greatest Petra tune ever. Also a plus is "In the Likeness of You," a tender ballad dripping with sweetness. However, that is about as good as it gets.

This album is an insult given Petra’s pedigree and I am disappointed they even consented to put this disc out. Hopefully, fans will avoid The Power of Praise like an used Yugo. Actually the Yugo might be a better investment. 

Noel Lloyd


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