Mercyme: Bart Millard (vocals); Mike Scheuchzer (guitar, background vocals); Jim Bryson (keyboards); Nathan Cochran (bass, background vocals); Robby Shaffer (drums).
Additional personnel: Paltrow Performance Group (strings).
MercyMe: Scott Mallard (vocals); Mike Scheuchzer (guitar, background vocals); Jim Bryson (keyboards); Nathan Cochran (bass guitar, background vocals); Robby Shaffer (drums).
ALMOST THERE is state-of-the-art worship rock from the wittily named quintet whose major label debut this is. Mercyme have an almost '80s style, and unless you listen closely to their lyrics you could mistake ALMOST THERE for something by the Alarm or a late effort by Big Country. Their popularity attests to seven years of hard work (they have half a dozen independent albums to their credit) and the burgeoning US worship music scene.
Though some may find the worship genre disconcertingly one-dimensional, Mercyme have an original way with a lyric, rendering songs like "How Great Is Your Love" and "Bless Me Indeed (Jabez's Song)" fresh and inspirational, while the shining simplicity of a song like "Cannot Say Enough" speaks volumes. The album-closer, the soaring "In You," with its string accompaniment, is a fitting summation to this devotional set of rock tunes, recalling none other than the end of the Beatles' "Hey Jude."