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Review: You Hold It All – Travis Ryan

You know what’s even better than a really good worship album? A really good worship album with a live audience. Travis Ryan’s new EP You Hold It All has five great songs, but I appreciate them even more because they’re performed with a congregation, without the benefit of studio tricks.

Because it’s recorded live, you can tell that the songs are keyed well for congregational singing. The arrangements are congregation-friendly as well. In fact, Travis recorded this album at LifePoint Church, where he serves as Worship Pastor. These are songs written for and sung by the local church.

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The opening track (“We Believe”) is essentially a musical creed, declaring a list of truths believed by those who follow Christ. And there’s a great line that starts off the third verse: “Let our faith be more than anthems, greater than the songs we sing.” It’s a nice reminder – during a song – that worship is more than music.

The second track, “Until My Voice Is Gone,” paints a picture of worshipping to a point of physical and spiritual exhaustion: “I raise my hands until my strength has faded.”

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“Forever Holy,” the third song on the EP, really showcases the mix, which is extremely clean, especially for a live recording. In fact, if it weren’t for the sounds of the congregation singing along, you’d be hard pressed to tell that this wasn’t done in a studio.

The EP wraps up with an emotional conclusion in “You Hold It All.”

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One thing I didn’t notice right away is how long some of the songs are. With four out of the five tracks clocking in at longer than fine minutes, I was surprised that none of them felt dragged out or overly lengthy. It’s a testament to good songwriting when that happens.

You Hold It All is a solid collection of congregational worship songs. It’s available at iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

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