Gary Oliver
More Than Enough

Sometimes life takes unexpected turns. Oftentimes an encouraging word will come from a friend or loved one. Sometimes that word comes through a song.

Gary Oliver, renowned worship leader, releases his latest project More Than Enough (and his first on Integrity Music), some of which are songs that helped him through some recent valley experiences.

As a whole, the project is seamed together by most live cuts, and flows with Oliver’s worship leader guidance.More Than Enough CD The title cut "More than Enough" a mid-tempo funky tune, expresses insight that God alone is sufficient when we are in trouble, need or want. It was the first of three songs written on this project that the Lord gave Oliver that eventually served to minister back to him.

"I Will Trust In You", a majestic ballad with nice saxophone inflections by Eric Armstrong, is another of these songs. Oliver's voice is clear and sure as he shares words he wrote shortly before the death of his seventeen-year-old son Brandon in a car accident Oliver has shared that he and his wife had felt "very burdened" for their family and sensed something was about to change in their lives. From this, "I Will Trust In You" was birthed and Oliver and family were able to draw strength in preparation for what tragedy would come.

Following that accident, Oliver wrote "As We Sing Holy". Musically the song lets him rest where we're most comfortable with him —praise ballads. It is this song that gives us insight to the heart of a true worshipper, who in time of trouble responds the only way he knows how. Scared, confused even angry —yes —but the cry of "And yet I'll worship You Lord" is the only balm that will soothe. Oliver again and again reveals that heart.

“Cast Your Cares” is a gem, with an easing melody and infectiousness that resides not only in the musical structure, but primarily in the message and encouragement to cast all our cares on the Lord, for “He cares for You”. Mid song, the choir vamps powerfully with thumping urgency from the band, bringing touches of a definite classic Hawkins influence. Gorgeous.

The project was recorded at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, where until recently Oliver has served as worship leader. It opens with intro from the esteemed Bishop Eddie Long. New Birth's Worship Team and Choir, under the direction Gary Oliverof Parrish Williams, joins Oliver in a worship-fest and aptly handle the job.

"Anything For You" co-written with Matt Heusmann is a studio piece that is a slight turn from the rest of the project in sound, but still worship music in focus. "Celebrate Jesus" takes you back somewhere between 1978 (when it was originally recorded) and now, and comes with a techno framing. If techno is your thing this one comes straight on. If not, stay tuned because Oliver rolls right from this modernistic flow right into an old-fashioned praise break that you are sure to enjoy.

"Takin' Authority", brings us back to the late 90's complete with the little riff that Brandy Norwood made famous you know "yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah".

Oliver writes all songs on the project and partners up in a few instances with some interesting folks. Bishop T.D. Jakes joins him in penning "I Just Want To Stay" that paints the incomplete picture that exists when we don't have Christ or have strayed from Him. Fred Hammond and Noel Hall co-write on "I Saw The Lord".

Gary Oliver has discovered what works for him and that's worship. And the thing about praise and worship is that it doesn't have to be perfect, just pure. Though Oliver's voice is as mellifluous as ever, there is probably one somewhere who is better. This matters not though, because purity of heart always shows through and speaks Truth to the hearts of men who seek Him. The transparency in what Oliver offers is the beauty of it.

And that is more than enough.

Producers: Gary Oliver, Joe Hogue
album release date: October 31, 2000
EMI Gospel

— reviewed by Melanie Clark

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