UPDATE: Jamie Brown has a behind-the-album post at Worthily Magnify.
We Will Proclaim is the second live recording from The Falls Church Anglican.
<Captain Obvious Alert>The Falls Church Anglican is an Anglican church in Falls Church, Virginia.</Captain Obvious Alert> Their worship leader is Jamie Brown, who has written some excellent new songs and re-arranged some old ones as well. Both are included in this album.
Every album has an intentional structure to it; the songs aren’t in the order of the album by accident (or shouldn’t be, anyway). The structure of this album is based upon the Anglican liturgy (or order of worship, as we Southern Baptists would call it).
The opening track has four believers reading passages from the Psalms. The texts they read are all invitations to worship Yahweh together, and the intensity of the verses increases, as does the music behind. Finally, the crescendo resolves into the first song, “How Great Is Your Faithfulness.”
One make-or-break “feature” I look for in live worship music–whether I’m physically present or listening via recording–is hearing the congregation sing. If I can hear the congregation sing, it makes spectacular lyrics and amazing musicianship so much better. Here, not only can you hear the congregation sing, but you can hear them recite the prayers and the Apostles’ Creed together.
The best song on the album is “How Can It Be,” Jamie Brown’s phenomenal update to Charles Wesley’s hymn “And Can It Be.” I’ve had a longstanding animosity toward the traditional tune to “And Can It Be” for two major reasons: (1) it’s difficult to sing, and (2) for a song about the excitement and wonder that the gospel is actually true, the tune is more like a funeral dirge. “How Can It Be” captures the excitement expressed by Wesley in a fresh, contagious way. You can listen to the song (and download it for free) here.
Other songs that I particularly enjoy are “Jesus Firm Foundation” (another update song, this time to “How Firm a Foundation”), “Jesus, Only Jesus” (a spectacular meditation on the greatness and uniqueness of our Savior), and “Father, Open Our Eyes” (a plea to see and love Jesus more). The “10,000 Reasons / I Exalt Thee” medley is a great fit–I wouldn’t have thought to put those songs together, but the fit is seamless.
I wasn’t a huge fan of “The King of Love My Shepherd Is” or “There Is a Redeemer,” but not for any fault of the songs or musicians. They just weren’t my cup of tea.
All in all, I highly recommend this album and the first one from TFCA (A Thousand Amens). Jamie Brown and the saints there love the Lord Jesus and have given us a tremendous gift in their music.