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CD Review

To The World

C.W.’s Music Blog

January 2011

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Mike R. Schuster wears many different hats, that of a husband and father, a singer/ songwriter, and worship leader, based out of Calgary, Alberta Canada. Mike released his debut worship CD ‘Together’ back in 2006 and he’s now back with his sophomore effort, ‘To The World.’

His new release, ‘To The World’ is a collection of 12 songs, 8 originals along with several Mike co-wrote with some of his musician friends including, Laurell, Jon Bauer, Brad Rempel and Dan Nel. The release was recorded with Leroy Harder and Dan Nel at Slyngshot Studios in Calgary. Schuster is also joined by a large group of musicians who play on the release.

The first thing that stuck out to me as the music started was how clear and crisp the lead vocals were along with the nice subtle backing harmonies that are used on several of the songs. As my ears age it’s nice to not have to strain to pick out each word being sung.

I also liked the style of music with its elements of modern worship and light rock, along with a touch of modern country.

‘To The World’ gets off to a fast start with the up tempo track, “Celebrate Your Love.” The song deals with wanting to celebrate and share God’s great love with everyone.

Other highlight tracks include, “To the World” that features nice guitar and organ parts. The song deals with the need to have an active faith, not just setting on the sideline when we encounter injustices happening around the world. “Wholly Devoted”, a roots rock sounding track features, harmonica, organ and duel vocals from Schuster and Dan Nel. One side note on this song is Schuster’s playing of a Duncan Africa guitar. I hadn’t heard of this before and after searching the Internet found out the fascinating story behind these guitars.

Here’s just a small blurb from their website:

The Duncan Africa Society (http://www.duncanafrica.com/) has a vision to be an instrument of change in impoverished third-world communities. The vision was born from a combination of master luthier Jay Duncan’s desire to bring an affordable version of his instruments to a larger market and his world view that reflects God’s sense of justice and compassion for the poor and suffering. His dream resulted in the creation of the Duncan Africa Society in April 2005.

Back to my review, the track, “Rock Our World”, as you might imagine is an up tempo track featuring lively guitar work and big drum beats. The song deals with the need to avoid falling into a same old, same old, ‘comfortable faith life.’

“Sunday” is one of those afore mentioned country edged worship songs, thanks to the help of High Valley’s Brad Rempel. The song also offers up some nice mandolin and guitar parts on it.

I also want to mention, “I Want to Honor You” that has a simple richness thanks to the cello part found on it. The song talks about giving away our worries and being willing to slow down, wait and listen in times of trouble for God’s voice.

Things end up strong with the melodic mandolin filled track, “You Take Care of Me”. The song talks about if we keep God at the center of our life He will take care of us.

Mike R. Schuster’s ‘To The World’ is a real musical gem filled with both good music and spiritual wisdom. 

- C.W. Ross

C.W.’s Music Blog (The Music Reviewer)