Gospel meets pop on this joyous set of worship music from Floyd Ellsworth.
Signed to Doxology Records, the worship leader recruits the awesome talents of Israel Houghton and Aaron Lindsey to produce the fourteen-track project, and taps a veteran crew of musicians to lend their touch. Houghton also writes several of the songs on the album.
As worship leader at the Heartland Fellowship Church in Dallas (pastor Steve Hill), Ellsworth taps into his gift for deliver of soulful pop, embracing the inclusivity of modern arrangements and covering it with his rich vocal pipes. A veteran crew of session vocalists lends credible support.
The project kicks off with a potent cover of James Bignon's "Magnify The Lord", and heralds the start of a project that isn't so much individual songs, but a unit of worship material that fuses itself together. Indeed, many of the songs melt into each other, being linked both musically and lyrically.
"Lord We've Come To Worship" is a brilliant composition from Houghton, with a steady but laid back, old school Gospel drive reliant on drums and bass, with horn blasts and guitar aplenty. Several vocals share lead, offering praise to the Most High. The song merges into "Everything", with Mark Stocker's string arrangements bursting forth, courtesy The Nashville String Machine.
Contrasting is "Magnificent & Holy", a tapestry of smooth harmonies caressed by strings and piano that suddenly explodes into a majestic outpouring, and moves into the album's title track and center-piece, "Cried Holy". Inspired by John's revelation of the Lamb of God in heaven, Ellsworth's composition was birthed from a 21-day fast and the culmination of years of desire to express the glory and the personal touch of our Saviour.
Ellsworth also has a penchant for Latin music, having toured with evangelist Carlos Annancondia. That evidences itself not only with the various instrumental touches that appear through some of the song (horns, rhythms), but also on the back-to-back cuts "King of Glory" and "The Lord Is Here", the latter written by Marcos Barrientos. The song is a vibrant in its upbeat vibe and is sung in both English and Spanish.
Other hot spots on the project are the reflective "The Weight Of Your Glory" and the thumpy rhythmics of "Lord of All".
If your heart revels in worship, then your whole being will rejoice in Floyd Ellsworth's Cried Holy.
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Producers: Israel Houghton, Aaron Lindsey, Mark Stocker
album release date: November, 2003
review by Stan North —
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