The Bright Sadness
Charlie Hall delivered his magnum opus with this intrinsically captivating worship album. His approach to modern worship has no true contemporary, though it's easy to hear the influence of the Passion scene, which Hall helps lead alongside labelmates like the David Crowder Band and Chris Tomlin. A moving concoction of swirling synths, punchy guitars, and challenging lyrics helps lift Hall above the mediocrity of the day. His tenor voice serves as vehicle for deeply penetrating messages of the ironies of the Christian walk. "This is a night of Love's renovation" he sings on "Hookers and Robbers." "We must learn to see without our eyes" he submits on "The Second Alive." These themes, extensions of the album title, indicate the acceptance of the duality of our lives and how it brings us even closer, not further, from God. A "bright" spot, indeed, for fans of innovative contemporary Christian rock.