Sounds like … Ben Folds crossed with the alternative worship musings of Phil Wickham and the classic song craftsmanship of Rich Mullins
At a glance … one of Canada's rising stars cranks out a magnetic vertical collection, encouraging listeners to consider a life of missions
Through the last seven years, Arthur Wachnik has worn many hats including worship leader, youth worker, missionary and even a professional actor in his home country of Canada. All the while, he was passionate about making music, which he delivers here with fervency, riddled with inspirations from a few of those other fields.
The most prevalent theme comes on tracks like "Praise and Adoration," "Holy," and "Our God Reigns," praises to the purest extent, coupled with skillful word phrasing gleaned from Rich Mullins' poetic playbook. Though it's hard to match Mullins' proficiency, Wachnik comes close, though he could also be considered a piano pop contemporary of Phil Wickham.
While Wachnik's primary focus is worship, he also challenges believers to leave their comfort zones and consider a life of mission work. For those whose circumstances don't allow such a step, songs like "Don't Waste Your Love" call listeners to reach out to the less fortunate among us. Although it's unclear if Wachnik wants to pursue a full-fledged career in Christian music, it sounds like he's found his most fruitful calling.
Others worth noting:
Parker TheoryA Reason to Believe
Style: power pop/modern rock; Jimmy Eat World, This Beautiful Republic, Future of Forestry, Switchfoot
In a nutshell: This California act follows in Switchfoot's footsteps with surging power chords, surf-pop sounds and unforgettable melodies that could fill a stadium. From a lyrical perspective, the band ponders the meaning of life in a seeker-friendly manner, but always come to a hopeful, spiritually-anchored conclusion.
Lee Williams & the Spiritual QC'sFall on Me
Style: gospel; Blind Boys of Alabama, Al Green, The Canton Spirituals
In a nutshell: Vintage gospel rave-ups and more modernized spirituals are the highlights on this quartet's latest live CD. Though some of the ballads meander, the group gets some serious praise on in the album's more soulful material.
Andi OakesClose to Me
Style: adult contemporary; 4HIM, Clay Crosse, Bryan Duncan
In a nutshell: With smooth vocals and breezy beats, Oakes delivers an amiable and comforting listening experience. But he needs more energy and variety if he wants to reach anywhere near the top of the pop crop.
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Copyright © 2009 Andree Farias subject to licensing agreement with Christian Music Today. Click for reprint information.