I’ve said often that Sydney Anglicanism has an ambivalent attitude to music.
A fear of Pentecostal excess has led to an overly conservative attitude as regards musicianship and songwriting. “The words are the only important thing,” has been the implicit message.
I’ve felt that this has somewhat restricted Emu in the production of their albums.
Let All Creation Sing is the first Emu album where I’ve felt these very fine musicians have realised their potential. Restraint has been discarded, and the album is full of dazzling musicianship, exuberance, passion and depth. It is a delight to listen to.
A common criticism of Emu has been that the lyrics can be overly complex, sometimes more resembling a doctrinal thesis than a song.
I’m pleased to say that this seems to have been taken to heart - the lyrics seem tighter and simpler, though still with depth.
More use has been made of repetition too, which is a key tool for congregational songs.
One of my criticisms of previous Emu release We Are His People was the lack of good hooks. Let All Creation Sing is full of good melodies, and I think the songs will have a long shelf life.
Two songs in particular I think are very powerful - Never Alone and The Voice of the Lord. Both send chills up my spine - marvellous.