Title:  Beauty In The Broken Artist:  Starfield Label:  Sparrow Records Length:  11 Tracks / 50:55 Released:  May 16th 2006

The thundering guitar riffs of Jon Neufeld introduce     “My Generation” the opening track for Starfield’s newest CD release Beauty In The Broken which hit the stores on May 16th. Neufeld who along with his brother and lead vocalist Tim form one of Canada’s hottest exports to the US are finally receiving the recognition that they so richly deserve. They have more bookings than they can handle and have built a solid following among both youth and adult audiences.

Some months ago I spoke to Tim as they were in preparing to record Beauty In The Broken. He reminded me that he and Jon have never wavered from their view that God has given them an opportunity to create and play good worship music for the church. He commented on the songs that now appear on Beauty In The Broken, “We are trying to write about where we are at, which is the best way to write. We are trying to write about our experiences. We want to be authentic and just as real as we can be before God.”

Along with experience comes maturity and it is easy to hear that in the tracks of Beauty In The Broken. Although Tim Neufeld has always played an acoustic guitar it is much more to the forefront in songs such as “Captivate” and  “Son Of God”. The acoustic chords create a simplicity often forgotten in today’s hyped worship services. The two tracks are also strategically placed on the album providing for a good change of pace.

There is nothing contrived about Beauty In The Broken nor would you expect there to be as the CD comes straight from the heart of two of America’s most passionate and sincere worship artists.

The different colors of Beauty In The Broken can be attributed to the Neufelds co-writing some of the songs with other band members Gord Cochran (drummer), bassist Shaun Huberts, producers Ed Cash (Bethany Dillon, Chris Tomlin)and Matt Bronleewe (Rebecca St James, Nathalie Imbruglia, Michael W Smith) and other colleagues. The collaboration of the producers, Neufelds and Jason Ingram created the sure fire hit “Everything Is Beautiful” a song that if it hasn’t already will climb to the top of the CCLI charts.

In the past Starfield has looked for affirmation from worship leaders such as Mark Hall and Chris Tomlin. Songs such as “Captivate” and “Obsession” will become a standard by which others now measure themselves. “Obsession” in particular is well suited to Tim Neufeld’s tremendous vocals.

The prayerful “Shipwreck” expresses the humility of a servant;
“I am just a beggar here at Your door
I am just a shipwreck here on Your shore
I come empty handed
Ready to see
Your life in me changing who I’ve been
To who I need to be”

Beauty In The Broken is filled with rich vocals, lots of melodic rock and priceless lyrics offering praise. Any worship leader or local church worship band would do well to invest in this splendid disc.

Copyright © 2006 Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved. This material may not be redistributed without prior written permission from Joe Montague. Joe Montague is an internationally published freelance journalist / photographer.

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