Chris McClarney “Everything and Nothing Less” Album Review

Chris McClarney

Prime Cuts:  All Consuming Fire, Everything and Nothing Less, Holy Moment

"Everything and nothing less/My all, my best/You deserve everything and nothing less/My life, my song..."  When McClarney sings these words as if his life hangs on every syllable, you can't help but feel the holy gravitas of the song's lyrics.  And to borrow the title of one of these songs here, this record brims with a proliferation of "holy moments."   It's a challenge not to be gripped by God's Spirit as McClarney leads us in worship here.  Add to this is McClarney's burly and pregnant vocals; when he sings you can't help but feel the tenacity and power as he breathes life into each note he sings.  "Everything and Nothing Less," in short, is nothing more and nothing less than holy worship captured on disc. 

McClarney is well-known for writing the powerful worship anthem, "Your Love Never Fails," which has become one of the most popular songs in America's churches as reported in the TOP 25 of Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI). "Your Love Never Fails" is now Jesus Culture Music Catalogue's top selling song of all time, as well as the title track to their biggest selling album in 2008. Newsboys released the song and it went No. 1 on the Christian Hot AC/CHR chart for six consecutive weeks. McClarney's other top CCLI songs include "Your Love is Everything," "I Need You More" and "Waste It All."

Now with "Everything and Nothing Less," McClarney has partnered with Jesus Culture again as he leads worship recorded live at the 2015 Jesus Culture "Encounter Conference" in Sacramento, CA. Just like much of the music Jesus Culture produces, big anthemic ballads are the modus operandi of this record.  Taking his time to enjoy each and single note with his Savior, "Holy Moment" is a thoughtful and an evocative innovation of God's presence in worship that worship leaders would do well to incorporate into their repertoire.  Showcasing his mettle for theological balance is "All Consuming Fire."  While many contemporary writers often err on the side of God's love over His justice, turning worship songs into mushy love songs, McClarney strikes a Biblically balance here.

Just like the Psalmists who were not bashful in vending their doubts and fears before God, McClarney also brings before God his doubts in the penetrating "God of Miracles."  If there's any song that puts to music Jesus' words of forsaking all to follow him, it's the title cut "Everything and Nothing Less."  Jesus Culture's front lady Kim Walker-Smith adds her soulful voice to the duet "On Earth as It is in Heaven."  Though the song starts off well, it gets a little too heavily muddled by the final quarter of the song.  Much better is the more restrained acoustic guitar-led "Thirsty;" and the meditative "Beauty for Ashes" which boasts some strident acoustic guitar lines.  

In short, if you are looking for a worship record that exudes a holy awe that comes from a singer who throws in his heart and soul in worship, look no farther than McClarney's "Everything and Nothing Less." 



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