Live: Cover The Earth
Great things are happening at Lakewood Church in Houston. The congregation is moving into the 16,000 capacity Compaq Center. And with Cover The Earth, they have released their second project.Producers: Aaron Lindsey, Israel Houghton
album release date: October 14, 2003
As in their Speak To Nations debut (see album review), Aaron Lindsey and Israel Houghton team up to produce, and Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff and Houghton combine co-worship leaders. It works out to sheer excellence.
The album follows the same approach taken with the previous album: upbeat energy-filled praise songs and heartfelt worship songs.
And yet Cover The Earth has an identity of its own, with such gems as the guitar driven and encouraging “Friend of God”, ably led by Houghton. The song encourages us to praise God for what He’s done and reminds us of how He loves His personal relationship with His people.
The 300 plus voice Lakewood choir, directed by Dakri Brown, stands out on the Psalms 34 based “Bless the Lord”. This midtempo masterwork features the organ and guitar work of Lindsey and Derrick Horne respectively to give it a Gospel edge reminiscent of Andrae Crouch.
Lakewood gives their take on Martha Munizzi’s “Sing”. They add a little more horns than the original version, and along with Cruse-Ratcliff, Houghton and the choir to give it a fresh sound.
Worship songs are powerful on Cover the Earth. This is evident on the beautiful “Hallelujah”, the glorious, “I’ll Never Stop Loving You” and the triumphant, “He Lives”. On the latter, Cruse-Ratcliff and Houghton each take a verse explaining that Jesus was more than just an earthly vessel. Starting off softly with Lindsey on piano and the Nashville String Machine in support, it builds into the powerful chorus “He Lives” allowing drummer Cledell King, the choir and the worship leaders to express His majesty.
Cruse-Ratcliff and Houghton showcase their vocal abilities on the Gaither classic “There’s Just Something About That Name” and on Andrae Crouch’s “Oh, How I Love Jesus”.
The star piece on the album is “Glorify Thy Name”, written by Kevin Singleton. Cruse-Ratcliff sings the first verse in Spanish (a reflection of Lakewood’s multi-cultural identity), and then the song builds into the simple yet intense chorus, “Glorify Your Name.” Very powerful in lyrics, there will be no surprise if this song starts to saturate worship services across the globe.
Other songs are the driving title cut and the feel good praise song, “Free For All”, as well as the impossibly infectious “Sweeter”.
Cover the Earth is set to become a favorite among worship teams and worshippers alike.
review by Dwayne Lacy —
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