In Christ Alone revisited

When I first heard “In Christ Alone,” it was the version by Geoff Moore (“Listen to Our Hearts” anyone?) and Adrienne Liesching (Jeremy Camp’s wife). I love this version. All the instruments and vocals are excellent. Soon after, I heard Stuart Townend’s original studio version from 2002. I like the musical accompaniment–the instrumental after the second verse is awesome–but it doesn’t take away from the beautiful simplicity of the vocals and melody.

I went on a YouTube rampage and had a time of worship as I found so many other versions of the hymn and listened to them all. They are listed in order of “moving power,” IMHO.

Stuart Townend – The woman’s voice in the first verse gives me chills. It cuts off at the end…:(
Stuart Townend again, haha
Travis Cottrell – Pretty awesome transition to another well-known hymn at 3:26.
Keith and Kristyn Getty – Just piano and voice. Keith is the one who wrote the lyrics!
Philips, Craig, and Dean – Pretty standard, but then they add the chorus from Michael English’s “In Christ Alone” (different song altogether, older) at 3:00, and it sounds awesome.
Newsboys – I like the piano but not the vocals.
Natalie Grant – Very cool instrumental backing (same verse chord progression as “Our Great God,” another great song), but Grant butchers the melody. 3:00 to 3:20 and 4:30 to the end are pretty awesome, though. Another performance here.

Sometimes I really wish we had a full band at church. But then I think of how much work it is to coordinate and lead so many people and instruments, especially when they are not “good” (in individual technical skill as well as in knowledge of how to play in a band). And unless the band puts in a lot of work to play the song well, there is a good chance that their mistakes will distract from rather than direct the congregation to worship. I have not sung any new songs at church in a while. Any new songs we do sing are usually older songs (a few years old) that I’ve missed out on until hearing it at a different church or somewhere random. It’s also harder to find decent new songs because many of the good ones don’t suit well to one-guitar-only settings. Even the awesome hymn “The Power of the Cross,” which I wrote about in an earlier post, we don’t play often, because it sounds so choppy on guitar.

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