For a singer, songwriter and worship leader like Matt Redman, choosing the ultimate collection is hard work. With a back catalogue that has brought in four Dove Awards and birthed ten solo full-length albums, there is plenty to choose from.
The result of that choice can be heard on Matt’s latest release. The Ultimate Collection draws together elements that are both intimate and inspiring, songs that have helped change the sound of worship for an entire generation.
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Matt Redman [Ultimate Collection]| Posted April 20, 2010 [MAIN REVIEW]
Matt Redman may be the premier songwriter in Christian music over the past decade as the writer of worship classics “The Heart of Worship,” “Better Is One Day,” “Blessed Be Your Name” and “You Never Let Go.” He is also part of the Passion conferences and most recently his hit song “Shine” was part of the Passion: God Of This City album. One of my favorite stories about Matt Redman, a native of England, is that in response to his church having too much focus on music he suggested they take a break from singing which led to his writing “The Heart of Worship”. The lyrics “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, it’s all about You” sums up Matt’s ministry and focus on vertical worship. His sincere singing and songwriting style and biblical inspired lyrics have made me a huge fan of Matt Redman.
Award-winning songwriter, recording artist Matt Redman has written 17 Top 500 CCLI songs that are being sung by millions in church services every week around the world. A dozen of these songs are featured on Redman’s 14-song Ultimate Collection. What I like most about this collection is that although I have many of these recordings from various Matt Redman albums, there are some great versions found on this collection that you can’t find on a previous Matt Redman album, such as the fantastic studio versions of “Once Again,” “The Heart of Worship,” sung with Martin Smith of Delirious? and “Facedown,” as Matt’s Blessed Be Your Name collection only included the live versions of those great songs. Some other studio version rarities include “I Will Offer Up My Life” and “The Father’s Song” from Matt’s 1999 release The Father’s Song. Just as great as it is to have some excellent studio versions, many of these songs were meant to be heard sung live with fellow believers. “Better Is One Day” is included from the Passion recording One Day Live with Charlie Hall and Christy Nockels singing verses and background vocals. “Nothing But The Blood” is included as the live version from 2004’s Facedown. Personally, I think Matt’s most recent songs are among his best as the album starts off with the great studio version of “You Never Let Go” and also includes “Shine” and “Yes and Amen” from 2006’s Beautiful News.
The collection also includes the original studio version of “Blessed Be Your Name” which Matt co-wrote with his wife Beth. If you’ve only heard the Tree63 or the Newsboys & Rebecca St. James covers of the song, you need to hear Matt’s original 2002 version. I love how the song builds to the emotional bridge right from the book of Job, “you give and take away, but blessed by Your Name.” That type of songwriting is truly God-inspired and Matt’s gift of putting the words of the Bible to song has blessed churches around the world for over a decade and he is my all-time favorite worship songwriter.
Matt Redman’s songs have been recorded by artists such as Michael W. Smith, Rebecca St. James, David Crowder, Newsboys and Phillips, Craig & Dean, among others. These songs are a great representation of Matt’s best loved songs from 1997-2007. If you have always wanted to pick up a Matt Redman album and didn’t know where to start, then look no further than Ultimate Collection.