Byron Cage
An Invitation to Worship

After setting the industry and the Christian community ablaze with his self-titled, Stellar and Soul Train award winning solo project (see album review), Byron Cage is back. An Invitation To Worship serves as the fourth release from the one they call 'The Prince of Praise' and his second solo effort on Gospo Centric Records.

CDWhile most artists are challenged to surpass a career-altering release, Cage manages to do so with this 17-track effort that clearly cements his place as one of Americaís foremost worship leaders.

As with his self-titled work, Cage returns to the New Birth Cathedral in Atlanta, Georgia as the host site for this live recording. He also continues with the powerful praise and worship vein that brought him to the dance (read exclusive interview). This time, he enlists the production genius of PAJAM. While this team has ensured that artists from N'Sync to Kierra Sheard have seen severe success using their musical brand of insurance, they lend their production expertise to this project without overshadowing Cageís trademark sound and presentation. They do add their trademark touch to "We Love You", an uptempo jam that features a duet with PAJAM's J.Moss. The result is an album that is authentically Byron Cage (read exclusive INSIDER interview).

In addition to a stellar production team, Cage partners with an impressive listing of background singers, which include DeWayne Woods, Ivy King, Denise Morton, Kimberly Powell, Earnest Pugh and Yolanda Simpson. For the energetic choral vocals, Chicagoís Mark Hubbard and The United Voices serve as the recording choir, setting the stage for a fantastic worship experience that does not disappoint.

Byron CageCage presents a collection of songs that can be effortlessly sung in any church setting, making it both infectious and palatable to anyone looking for the next level of worship. Cage can jam with the best of them, such as on "I Will Bless The Lord" and the Chris Byrd-penned "Worship the King". This particular cut becomes a tremendous celebration that features Cage and company leading the audience in the now-famed Kara dance. Sounds like must see video!

The respected V. Michael McKay pens the powerful "Broken But Iím Healed", speaking of Godís power to heal through worship. Cage also does his fair share of writing on this effort, showcasing five of his original pieces including "Holy Holy Holy", "He Reigns", and the churchy and contagious "Praise Him".

Without question, worship puts Cage in his most comfortable element, as is evidenced by a worship medley that features "Praise the Name of Jesus" and a snippet of the Thomas Whitfield classic "In Case Youíve Forgotten My Name".

"Breathe" is an absolute gem and is presented flawlessly as it rounds the worship medley. First made popular by Michael W. Smith and more recently, by Lisa McClendon, Cageís rendition ranks as one of the best and most powerful, as he clearly communicates our true desperation and need for God in our lives. The song lends itself as a powerful invite to worship the King.

Cage has found tremendous comfort in his role as a renowned worship leader and that translates clearly on this latest effort. It ranks high as the artistís best body of work to date and is sure to accomplish its goal to serve as a true Invitation To Worship. Definitely a collectorís item.

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Producers: PAJAM
album release date: Nov 29, 2005
Gospo Centric Records

— reviewed by Gerard Bonner

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