Album Review :
Jeff Deyo - Unveil

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Artist: Jeff Deyo
Album: Unveil
Label: Indelible Creative Group
Release Date: May 22, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Glory Rain Down
2. So in Awe
3. I’ll Forever Love Your Name
4. Unveil
5. Glory
6. Falling Down Like Rain
7. More in Love
8. Love of God
9. Nothing on Earth
10. You Are God
11. Fall on Me

The other day I had a conversation in the car while listening to this album, when my friend commented that it must be hard to review a “worship CD,” because there’s this whole other category of things to look for. With a regular disc, a review would talk about the quality of entertainment, how bad they rocked or how catchy or maybe thought-provoking or relatable the lyrics were. But with worship, there should be a different goal, more than to make you dance or make you feel, but to help you experience God personally and sing to Him from the heart. I responded by saying that this is true, but just because God is your focus doesn’t give you an excuse to suck musically or write some crappy generic lyrics. If this song isn’t being written for people to enjoy, but as an act of worship to God, it should actually be better than songs that are just written for other people. Unfortunately, Christian music has a reputation for not agreeing with me on that point, but somewhere along the line, this reputation has been exaggerated and is mostly undeserved.

Take a man named Jeff Deyo, for example. Back in 1999, his band Sonicflood debuted on Gotee Records and their version of “In the Secret” was so good it launched a wave of “modern worship” bands, following their radio-friendly, alternative rock based sound. But then when Jeff went solo in 2002, his music took a much more mature approach. He could still rock, but he also had some more slowed down tracks to really sing a heartfelt desire and need for God. A few albums and a label change later, Jeff is back with Unveil, and he’s still pushing in the same direction. Songs like “Glory Rain Down” and “More in Love” are ready for listeners to sing about their love for God and rock out on an air guitar all at the same time. “Unveil” and “Glory” are standouts lyrically. The first asks God to remove the walls we’ve built and allow us to really see and know Him. The second sings of how Jesus has rescued us from sin and one day all will sing “Glory, glory, glory to the Lamb.”

While Jeff Deyo’s “worship music” fits into the general mold of other music in this genre, that may be a good thing. Jeff sticks with what he knows, making it better and better. The guitars and everything else in these tracks are tight, down to the strings on “Glory” and the piano on “Nothing on Earth.” At times the themes or lyrics seem a little repetitive, and the album is missing that one really good song that stands above the rest as really gripping the listener and bringing them into a prayer to God (such as “You Are Good” on his first solo album, Saturate), but it’s still a solid set of songs that at times will help you to refocus on God and remember His goodness. Personally, listening to this makes me want to listen to Saturate again, but that doesn’t mean this record is bad. It’s all good, it’s just that nothing truly stands out. Either way, every one of these songs would be easily transitioned to be sung in churches or youth groups, and there they would certainly do well to inspire us to worship.

7/10

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