The Mission Bell tolls today, a little late for Christmas, but a good head start on the new year. Modern worship is dominated by bands from outside of the USA, with the UK's Delirious? considered founding fathers of the musical movement. Well-known for songs including I Could Sing of Your Live Forever and Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble, they've kept the same five-member lineup for the 13 years the band has been in existence, perhaps an indication that they really practice what they preach.
This project was more of a group writing effort than the past, with most of the songs getting their finish in the studio, rather than vocalist Martin Smith and guitarist Stu G. bringing essentially completed songs for the rest of the band to learn. The resulting recording has a passion and a polish that should make The Mission Bell a favorite among modern worship listeners.
Worship stalwart Matt Redman contributes his writing talents to Now Is The Time, a guitar-driven rock worship tune showcasing the harder side of the Delirious? sound. Another guest appearance comes from TobyMac, bringing a guest rap on Solid Rock. I especially enjoyed Miracle Maker with its church choir harmonies mixed in with Scriptural lyrics and Stu G's fine guitar work. Paint This Town Red has a rousing sound with a lyrical twist, and Our God Reigns hits harder lyrically than you might expect on a worship project, but the message is fitting--true worship can't exist without a practical lived-out component. For a special treat, the CD also includes video footage of the band in the studio.
Delirious? continues as a standard-bearer in worship music, focusing on Jesus Christ without forgetting the day-to-day application. The Mission Bell sounds out a call to action for believers with a variety of musical styles united by a primary lyical theme.