Rick Muchow: Songs In The Key Of The Congregation

Many of you may remember Rick Muchow from his days as the Worship Pastor at Saddleback church in Southern California beginning in 1987 and ending just four years ago. He was a big part of that church’s huge growth and even though he is no longer a worship Pastor per se, Rick is still hard at work mentoring young worship leaders, speaking at various conferences, and writing songs for the Church.

Songs In The Key Of The Congregation is his first record release since 2009 and contains ten worship songs written to be sung on Sunday mornings. This collection includes some newly penned songs from Rick as well as a few hymn re-paints that, for the most part, work well.

Some of the tracks that rise to the top are his bright and cheery version of “How Great Thou Art,” which has a kind of Paul Baloche vibe to it yet remains true to the original hymns melody and verse. “Building My Life On Your Word” gives homage to “The Solid Rock,” with an added chorus and verses speaking of the importance of building our faith around the Word of God.

“Broken Heart” is a catchy little blues number about God’s forgiveness and the life in heaven that we can have because of Jesus’ sacrifice. The southern blues guitar work on this track is just outstanding and Tom Brook’s Hammond B-3 work puts this track over the top musically.

“Do What It Says” feels a bit dated but is still very catchy and vibrant and Rick even does a Spanish version of this song at the end of the album.

This album gives us a nice stroll down memory lane and for the most part, the instrumentation and arrangements are fresh, bright, and bold in some areas. Rick’s vocal style is a bit dated and didn’t seem to fit with some of the modern arrangements, but it didn’t take away from the overall experience of the album. I thought the title was catchy and kind of made a statement about how modern worship music isn’t always written for the people who are going to sing it, with too much repetition and keys that are out of most people’s range. Thank you Rick for reminding us who worship is about . . . and it isn’t us.

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