Cindy Cruse Ratcliff “Edge of the Universe” Album Review

Cindy Cruse Ratcliff

Prime Cuts: Unshakeable, King of the Kingdom Never Shaken, Costly

Every Cindy Cruse Ratcliff album release is an event.  "Edge of the Universe" is no exception.  As vast and momentous as the titular suggests, this new album is a full-blown, state of the art, cinematic experience of worship.  On certain tracks, you will be blown away by the grandeur of the sounds and be transported from earth to God's throne room where we witness the transcendent and the holy.  These moments will leave us breathless with awe and worship.  Then there are the ballads where we get so close to Jesus that you can even trace the wrinkles on his face.  In short, this record brings us literally to the edge of the universe where heaven interacts with the earth.  "Edge of the Universe" (released via Dream Worship Records) is Ratcliff's follow-up to "Heaven Raining Down" and its Spanish language counterpart. Teaming up once again with producer and label chief David Hanley, this CD is a live recording at one of America's largest church Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas.

Ratcliff is the Senior Worship leader at Lakewood Church where famous author and TV preacher Pastor Joel Osteen serves as the lead pastor. For over 15 years now, Ratcliff has been broadcast weekly to 100+ million households in the US, as well as international broadcast to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, China, Philippines & Africa. She was a major driving force behind the last 3 Lakewood Church CD's, which sold in excess of 100,000 units each, in which she is featured as a vocalist, writer, and co-producer. She released Heaven Raining Down" in 2014 which charted #11 on Christian Billboard and #2 on Worship.  Now, "Edge of the Universe" is her follow-up album that features co-writes by Ratcliff with Hillsong's Mia Fieldes, Alexa Cruse, Kyle Lee, Jonathan Lee, Michael Farren and others.

Subtlety is definitely not the title cut "Edge of the Universe's" strongest suit.  Featuring crashing electronic drums and disco sounding swirls of synths, "Edge of the Universe" is a clarion call for everything that has breath to praise the Lord.  Catchiness takes form with the dance-able "Unshakeable."  A kicking worship burner that will get our feet shuffling, our hands raised, and our voices soaring in praise of our unshakeable Lord.  The rhythms are in full force on "Right Here, Right Now" which also has an in-built rock n' roll draw that is truly infectious.

Being a seasoned and Godly worshipper, Ratcliff is carefully not skirt to around songs that deal with the cost of following Christ.  Instead of just focusing on the glitzy and glamorous, "Costly" is a gorgeous pledge to serve Christ even when the circumstances are challenging.  This theme again surfaces with the beat-heavy ballad "Valley." "King of the Kingdom Never Shaken," which may be a mouthful for a title, is the album's cynosure.  Ratcliff is at her worship best carefully creating an inviting presence and taking her time (the track clocks in at 11 minutes) to draw us in.  "Marvelous" with its made for congregational palpability sounds like a song Darlene Zschech or the Hillsong Worship team would love to cover.

When Ratcliff promises to bring us to the edge of the universe, she really does so on this record.  On this record we get a far richer glimpse of our Creator that at the end of the day our lives would not be the same because we have seen the King.  Do yourself a favour, get this record, and let's occupy the front seats in the presence of this unshakeable King.  



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