Prestonwood Worship is the music ministry of the 42,000-member Prestonwood Baptist Church, located in Dallas, Texas. Their latest live worship album, Songs Of the People, features all new songs from Prestonwood’s worship team, led by Michael Neale, along with their renowned 500-voice mass choir and special guests Paul Baloche and Michael W. Smith.
The songs contained in this project were definitely written for Sunday morning worship and are delivered with passion and authenticity. The album opener, “Songs Of The People,” which was co-written by Michael Neale and Paul Baloche, sets up the album well with its hook-laden chorus that celebrates how God’s people have been using the gift of music to worship their Creator throughout history.
A string laden intro that runs through the beloved melody of the famous hymn, “I Surrender All” sets the tone for “You Can Have It All,” with Neale singing about how God wants every part of us. “Your Love is Our Favorite Song” features an inviting melody that will draw in even the most tune-deaf pew member, and “You Cover Me” features a gorgeous cello and piano foundation and is based on Psalm 91.
“Let the Redeemed” sees the Prestonwood Mass Choir trading vocals seamlessly with Baloche, and the Rick Briscoe-led “Grace So Marvelous,” is a cleverly written modern hymn that could easily rival the best works from Isaac Watts or Charles Wesley. However, Michael W. Smith shows up only at the closing track of the record, “We Are Alive,” which is a tad on the non-descript side.
While the overall creativity of this collection from Prestonwood is nothing out of the ordinary, I really loved how they involved the entire choir, worship team, and congregation in this recording. So often on worship albums we only hear one or two voices from the platform with the congregation somewhere off in the distance. Prestonwood did a fabulous job of using their entire team, and the harmonies from the choir throughout this project made it special. There are a lot of great songs here, and those of you who are worship leaders should add this album to your collection.