Stephen Hurd
Oh That Men Would Worship

You can rest assured there will be praise in the house on Oh That Men Would Worship, the new disc from Praise and Worship artist Stephen Hurd. The worship experience was recorded live before a capacity audience at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in a suburb of Washington, DC where Hurd serves as Senior Pastor of Music.

CD The first song to grab you is "Be Strong" featuring Hurd and Minister Deonte Gray of the 7 Sons of Soul on lead. Gray masterfully ministers the song (getting his preach on in the vamp) through exhortations from scripture and personal experience with Hurd acting as the "amen corner". The track features an all male background ensemble that is on point. It is easy for the listener to get wrapped up in the vamp (as I found myself) only to find out you are at the end of the song and there is no reprise (hint: hit repeat often).

Hurd follows with "Through the Eyes of Faith", a simple song laced with a powerful message. Here Hurd satisfies the seasoned saints as the chorus of the hymn "My Faith Looks Up to Thee" is used in the bridge. Songwriters note: anytime you want to draw worshippers in, insert a "My Soul Says Yes" praise. THERE IS ONE HERE. The atmosphere is charged further as Hurd admonishes the audience to activate their faith. Also of note is Hurdís personal tribute to Marvin Winans (you'll have to be a die-hard Marvin Winans' fan to know what Iím talking about).

Not to be left out of the noteworthy cuts is "It's Working for Your Good" featuring Pastor Jason Nelson. This is one of the shortest songs on the entire disc, but it never takes Nelson long to get his point in and over. The admonition to "trust God and hold on" lingers long after the song is finished. This is another one for repeat and this song needs to be added to the list of songs that carried us OVER.

All in all, Oh That Men Would Worship is a winner and is a wonderful addition to the best of 2012.

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Production: Stephen Hurd
album release date: March, 2012
Hurd the Word Music

— review by Gregory Gay

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