All Sons and Daughters Live. This is how worship albums should be: poetic lyrics about real life in accessible language, carried on beautiful, memorable tunes. The DVD is a bonus.

Label: Integrity
Time: 13 Tracks / 67 minutes + DVD

Like spiritual Polyfilla, All Sons and Daughters plug the holes that leak quality in the worship genre. Rather than whip up emotional froth with vacuous lyrics, they solidly display their status as proper musicians, who build memorable, beautifully-crafted and singable tunes with poetic, meaningful lyrics.Those who love CCM worship will still feel at home here, as the music is completely accessible and God-focused, but it should attract others who want songs that reflect an everyday relationship with God.

These songs say the things that normal people want to say to God in language that is not alien. Where some of the usual phrases appear, they are a small part of a humble and adoring whole. Strikingly, their lyrics have more authority when they use their own words than when the big guns like Matt Maher or Paul Baloche contribute to the writing.

Leslie Jordan and David Leonard engage in holy subversion at times. When they sing of hands raised, rather than it being a clone-like emotional activity, they make it a sign of defiant, God-centred will that carries through into the rest of life: “Hands up all believers, take up your cross, carry it.” It’s a phrase with the spirit of Keith Green’s No Compromise.

This succeeds because the duo recognises the connection between our fallen state and God’s greatness, and songs like “Brokenness Aside” astutely sense how God works.

Those who love David Crowder’s bluegrass influence will enjoy “Oh How I Need You” and Paul Moak's pedal steel in "Oh Our Lord," but overall, this band is no sound-alike to anyone and their understated meditative intimacy is as much their own as is their sonic effect.

The DVD is more of a bonus than an important part of the whole. It largely features live close ups of the singers and players, occasionally interrupted for commentary voiced over monochrome images. The close-ups of Jordan’s expressions when singing can be a little distracting and some of the voiceovers are a bit mumbly; but it does tell the story of the release.

The only downside is that those who have bought their superb début album will find most of the material duplicated here, although the project’s live nature gives it a very different feel. The audience here contributes (harmonically on the opener and generally in the setting) without being intrusive.

This offers more than you would expect in just about every department as it takes the listener on an honest journey from brokenness to adoration. I frequently caught myself enjoying little surprises where the songs go that little bit further than they need to. It is genuine worship; there is a watermark through every beautiful note.




Derek Walker

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}