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Great Awakening

Great Awakening

UPC: 083061092825

Format: CD

Release Date: Sep 20, 2011

Regular price $4.95 USD
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Personnel: Paul Moak (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tenor guitar, Hammond b-3 organ, programming, sampler); Leeland Mooring (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, piano, vibraphone); Jack Mooring (vocals, piano, tack piano, Hammond b-3 organ, pump organ, electric keyboard); Mike Smith (vocals, drums, percussion); Dana Jorgensen, Ben Brown, Josh Brown, Heather Christian, Ashley Goins, Kristin Watson, Tom Loschiavo, Shelly Mooring, Roxanne Nichols, Melissa Seueogru, Matthew Faulkenbury, Matt Swaringim, Leslie Eiler, Jaime Smyth, Cyndy Mooring, Cammie Hall, Brady Toops, Abby Wood, Jason McArthur (vocals); Eleanor Deonig (violin, strings); Claire Indie (cello, strings).
Audio Mixers: Andy Hunt; Paul Moak.
Recording information: Smoakstack.
Photographers: Allister Ann; Mike Jay.
Leeland Mooring is nothing if not ambitious on the fourth album by the band that bears his Christian name, and which also features several of his siblings. Despite the title, the effort is not a concept album about the religious revival of the 18th century or its successors, although in the lead-off title song Mooring addresses the idea of the spread of faith from one person to another. Rather, the great awakening the singer/songwriter has in mind is, more simply, the realization of faith itself. For the most part, the songs fall into the praise & worship category, with simple, often clichéd lyrics directed to the Christian God and describing the deity's virtues. What lifts the album out of the generic, however, is the music and Mooring's performance of it. He seems to have spent a lot of time listening to and studying inspiring rock performers such as Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, and U2, and he fills the band's arrangements with their anthem-like effects. The tempos tend to be slow or moderate, and the music, while simple in structure, is always intensifying. The guitars ring and chime (sometimes using the kind of sequencing favored by the Edge), and pianos and organs fill in the mid-range sound à la the E Street Band, with added echo and even strings. Over that, Mooring sings in his rich, if slightly reedy tenor. Like Morrison, he is not afraid to repeat the same phrase or chorus; if it's worth singing once, a dozen times is even better. And he sounds impassioned, genuinely in awe of his Savior. It's music of broad scope and sweep, meant to get big crowds singing along. On "While We Sing," Mooring changes the mood by recognizing the existence of poverty: "While we sing," he notes, "the hungry roam the streets." It's a late recognition of the responsibility of Christians not just to worship God, but to do good works. But Mooring and his friends and family will have to fit that around their musical ministry. If he recalls Springsteen in any manner, it's in his desire to perform seemingly forever. "I will sing unending songs," he proclaims at the close of the disc, and it's clear he means it. ~ William Ruhlmann


1 - Great Awakening
2 - All Over the Earth
3 - Chains Hit the Ground
4 - I Can See Your Love
5 - I Wonder
6 - Pages
7 - Not Afraid Anymore
8 - I Cry
9 - Holy Ghost
10 - While We Sing
11 - Unending Songs