Veritas “Veritas” Album Review
Prime Cuts: Dare You to Move, 10,000 Reasons, The Hand the Holds the Storm
In our age of manufactured goods over artisan rusticity, Veritas is a breath of fresh air. They have come to put a new face to Contemporary Christian music with their impeccable voices that soar with an operatic bombast accompanied by their unique synthesis of classical, pop and Christian music. Just as Il Divo, Charlotte Church, Andrea Boccelli, Luciano Pavarotti have brought their classical trained voices to pop songs, Veritas brings their pitch perfect harmonies to some of Christian music's most memorable songs. Some of the offerings here include the quintet's rendition of Switchfoot's "Dare You to Mve," Matt Redman's "10,000 Reasons," MercyMe's "I Can Only Imagine" to material with a more traditional flair including "You Never Walk Alone" and "The Lord's Prayer." Comprising of Jeff Anderson, James Berrain, Andrew Goodwin, Jordan Johnson, Lucas Scott Lawrence, "Veritas" is their debut full-length album they have made with Fair Trade Services (Citizen Way, Sara Groves & The Afters).
If you are into big sounds, the type often used in epic movies such as "Son of God" or "Hercules," you are in for a treat here. The swelling sounds of a 45-member orchestra acting as the album's musical foundation, listening to some of these songs makes one feel like an entire movie is unreeling right in front of you. This is indeed the experience when we hear Veritas' take of Michael W. Smith's "Agnus Dei." Though the song was first released in 1990 on Smith's "Go West Young Man" record, it has a classic hymnic element that harkens back to the times of the Wesleys and Watts. Seamlessly interweaving "Agnus Dei" with hymns such as "Mighty Fortress" and "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name," you know that this is more just an exhibition of immaculate showmanship. Rather, this is worship at its glorious best.
With the same orientation is Veritas' take of Matt Redman's worship anthem "10,000 Reasons." This song, with its elongated notes and its teased out phrasing, simply invites us to sing along. And in this regard, if Veritas were to perform this song live, the result will be nothing short of stunning. Though their read of "The Lord's Prayer" and "You Never Walk Alone" are flawless, the song choices seem far too safe. They seem to be the standard repertoire we have come to expect crossover groups to cover. Much more innovative is their take of Switchfoot's "Dare You to Move." While the Christian rock band's original was far more introspective, Veritas give this song a more expansive application about not running away from the decisions we have to make. And prepare to have your heart being fluttered with "Love of My Life," the amorous blend of voices are like the arrows of Cupid's arrows shot right through our hearts.
With "The Hand that Holds the Storm" Veritas show that they do not just have big voices, but they also have a huge God; one who is so enormous that with his hands he can also withhold our storms. If there is a song on the record that can enlarge our faith, this is the prime candidate. Thus, this is not just a record of big sounds, big voices, and big production; it's also a collection of faith-imbued songs for anyone with a big heart for Jesus.
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