Prime Cuts: Fear Not Tomorrow, Nothing's Worrying Me, Joy is Not Cancelled (Everything that Matters)
Overall Grade: 5/5
The Collingsworth Family's "Worship from Home" is made for these times, yet it is so timeless. These 14 cuts which were performed live from the family's living room were meant to foster worship among families during these pandemic times, but the recording is so timeless that one can envisage this album being played 20 years from now. The recording coming from the family and label honcho Wayne Haun is first class. The singing is so stellar that some songs only require the accompaniment of a piano. And the worship is so contagious that you can't help but singalong to many of these tracks.
The album started off as a live stream a concert from home to benefit Samaritan's Purse on March 29. The family had no idea what God would do with this act of obedience. As a last minute decision, they set up recording equipment to record an event that would be viewed by more than 595,000 people and raise more than $220,000 for Samaritan's Purse, the Franklin Graham organization that had just moved into New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. The songs featured here are mostly hymns, southern gospel favorites, their own songs ,and one new original written specifically for this project.
The album starts off on a glorious note with Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir's "Jesus We Crowned You with Praise" packed some of the most delightful stacked harmonies. Then they immediately transition to a jazzy take of "Nothing's Worrying Me." Pay attention to the sublime Diana Krall-esque piano frills which are definitely one of the album's highlights. Naturally, with the scare of the pandemic, many of the songs address the issue of trusting in Jesus. Case in point being the medley "Through It All/I Can Trust Jesus" and hymns such as "It is Well with My Soul" and "What a Friend We have in Jesus." When they revive their own "Fear Not Tomorrow," they do not just sing it on autopilot mode. Rather, their seamless transition into "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow" takes this song to new heights,.
The new song that Kim Collingsworth wrote specifically for the project is "Joy is Not Cancelled (Everything that Matters)." Though many aspects of the song can be pinpoint to what's happening during this pandemic, the song is by no means contrived. The melody and the song's focus on the things that are eternal makes this a classic in the making. Taken from their 2013 album "The Lord is Good," "It Matters to the Master" is given a heartfelt rendition beautifully nested in the crystalline sound of a grand piano. For some singalong fun, try clapping and humming along with the infectious "Show a Little Bit of Kindness" or "Bigger Than Any Mountain."
Ever since the Collingsworth Family started working with StowTown Records, they have produced one first rate album after another. This one is no exception. It's a beautifully executed album with lots of ear-worm melodies providing us with lots of opportunities to find refuge in Jesus during this COVID-19 pandemic.