Review of the new CD by Susan Bailey of Grapevine Magazine
Critical Mass has broken with their own tradition of releasing albums every three years or so and, to the delight of their fans, come out with
an energetic live album known as Celebrate.
Celebrate contains a good mix of familiar praise and worship tunes along with some of the group's biggest hits. Each song sounds fresh with that
unique Critical Mass edge that makes them so popular.
Favorites include Open the Eyes, Cry the Gospel, Awesome God and Trading My Sorrows. I am not normally a fan of cover songs because so few artists
put their own signature on such songs, but Critical Mass does.
For example, Open the Eyes starts out rather slowly but then suddenly rips open with a driving force. And then, just as quickly, at the end, slows
down again. Its quite effective.
A very pleasant surprise was the complete reworking of two of their most popular songs, Completely and the acoustic World Youth Day 2002 song,
Share it with the World, which now really rocks out!
If the groups goal in putting out Celebrate was to show listeners what their live concerts are like (and to entice them to come see), they have
succeeded. The sound is great and theres a real feeling of electricity in the air.
My one criticism? The packaging. I would have preferred a much more colorful, eye-catching cover. The color blue to me denotes peace, not the
fire of the Holy Spirit. My first thought was, Why wasnt this cover red? A careful re-working of the artwork would make this project nearly perfect.
But dont let that keep you from experiencing Celebrate. Its the next best thing being there!