Worship...Indie Style| Posted September 02, 2014
I remember the first time I heard "You Are My All in All", Dennis Jernigan's worldwide worship hit. I was 8 years old and I was sitting in a tiny chapel at church camp. Of the thousands of worship songs I've learned through the years growing up in the church nothing stands out in my mind quite like that song. Something about that melody, and those lyrics hit me in a profound way. My all in all, my everything. To this day I ask the Lord to make the words in that song true of me, that He we would really be my all in all.
Dennis Jernigan knows how to write a worship song. Like one of the artists that inspired him the most, Keith Green, he writes songs that open up your heart and inspire you to bare your soul before the Lord. They aren't just songs about God they are songs directed right to God. His beautiful, soaring melodies seem to communicate in a language that goes beyond the lyrics.
This compilation album takes the best Dennis Jernigan songs and re-imagines them for modern listeners without losing the inherrent power that he embued them with as their creator. In fact, it is in hearing these songs performed by others that you realize how great the songwriting really is. No matter what style the individual artists bring to their tracks, Dennis's heart and soul comes through and it is a joy to hear.
This is a worship album for people who are sick of the typical CCM worship music. The songs are fresh from beginning to end and they will excite anyone who likes indie music. The diversity of musical styles on this album is incredible. From hip hop to pop, to folk, and rock, everything is covered. There is a song on here for fans of every type of music and it is amazing how well it all sounds together.
Things get started with Smalltown Poets' inspired take on the classic "You Are My All in All". They wisely keep things simple with this one and let the beauty of the original arrangement shine through. Then, Jennie Lee Riddle's soothing voice draws you in on her folksy "I Bless You". Doma Carta busts on the scene with their hard rock version of "On My Knees". A bold and welcome deviation. After that Chicago rapper Skrip brings the beat and lays down a killer verse on "Greater Are You". While celebrated Christian artists Aaron Shust, Charlie Hall, and FFH offer up covers that are good, it is actually some of the newcomers that deliver the most inspired tracks. Chris Cron's casual rocker "Nobody Fills My Heart Like Jesus", Sunyard's alt pop "Who Can Satisfy My Soul Like You", and Kayla Nichols lo-fi "I Belong to Jesus" are standouts. Dennis offers up a track of his own near the end of the album and steals the show with a haunting piano ballad, written for the new documentary film about his life, "Sing Over Me".
Overall, this is a solid compilation album with great songs for all audiences. It is a unique take on a tired genre and a welcome addition to the CCM landscape. It honors the legacy of Dennis Jernigan and shows you what a talented man he is and what a blessing his music is. I highly recommend it!