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Music Review: Consider Christ ::

A fresh collection of congregational songs from Dubbo Presbyterian Church on a multimedia CD.

Source: Perspective Vo5 No1 © Perspective 1999

Publisher: Plainsong Music (now Emu Music )
Produced: Philip Percival
Available: Emu Music
Reviewer: Phil Campbell & Dave Thurston

A new collection of songs from Dubbo Presbyterian Church? DAVID THURSTON and PHIL CAMPBELL say “Please consider…

Very rarely will a church have just one person who can write a hymn worth singing. In the CD “Consider Christ” we have the melding of good theology and sing-able music combined with ‘cutting edge’ computer technology. And it’s all from a talented team from Dubbo Presbyterian Church

The thirteen songs encompass a wide range of styles and subject matter. This CD is more than just good tunes. It has that most important Christian commodity – good theology. The explosion of Christian’ music hasn’t always brought quality with the quantity but in ‘Consider Christ’ we have songs that express Biblical truths. Even more than that, they explain and apply Biblical truth in a way that invites you to share in that relationship.

The songs give us emotion with content. The song “Consider Christ” with words by Bryson Smith shows this well. The verses remind us of the objective truths of Jesus death, while the chorus expresses our feeling of indebtedness in the light of all Christ has done, and invites us to be changed using Paul’s words in Romans 12:1-2 – “mere words alone are not sufficient thanks, so take my life, transform, renew and change me, that I might be a living sacrifice.”

Other tracks include a revamping of ‘0, Worship the King’. Philip Percival’s arrangement is so good that it maintains the integrity of the theology whilst giving it new life.

The songs have a contemporary edge and at times critique our culture, for example “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise”. In a world that is besotted with the right lifestyle, this song reminds us that lasting health, wealth and wisdom is only found in Christ.

Some songs are designed for congregations to sing – for instance ’At the cross’, ‘Freedom’, ‘Nothing can I boast in’, ‘Consider Christ’ ‘Chosen, justified and glorified’ and ‘Worship the King,’
Other songs would be appropriate for solo or small group items. ‘Healthy, Wealthy and wise’ and “So this is Or Great Father’ would be thought provoking at an invitation service. In the same vein ‘Search me 0 God’ ‘Your Hand of Mercy’ ‘Nothing Can I Boast In’ would work well as a meditative item in church.

The claim that the CD is on the ‘cutting edge’ of technology is no exaggeration. This is only the second title in Australia to use the new CD-Extra system to store computer data alongside the standard music tracks on the disc. Insert the disk in your computer’s standard CD-ROM drive, install a small program, and you can instantly print your own copies of the lyrics and music score of each song. Lyric sheets are pre-formatted for use on an overhead projector, and the sheet music prints are crisp and clear – as you’ll see from the complimentary sample included in this issue of Perspective. Dig around a little and you’ll also find some photos and fingering for guitar chords.

Hopefully, Consider Christ is the first of many releases from Dubbo’s Plainsong Music. In fact, a second album, One For Many, is already in production, with a batch of new songs and ambitious plans for further CD-Extra features like B-flat transpositions of the score for brass instruments, and maybe even computer MIDI files for generating your own accompaniment.

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This is the home for a number of articles from the journal that, for one reason or another, are more ‘date-sensitive’.
Which is a nice way to say that these articles are still interestingf reading, but are really out of date!