Tree Hill Collective – Making Room for What Matters

May 1, 2012

One of the underrated but critical aspects of visual design is “white space.” White space, the space between graphic elements, isn’t necessarily white, (it can be another color or a texture) but it creates space and allows a design to breathe. When designs have room to breathe, so does the observer. Designs that are cluttered or packed with elements make it harder for the observer to make sense of or even enjoy what they are seeing.

It occurs to me as I’m listening to One Redemption, Tree Hill Collective’s new offering, that this is what frustrates me about many of the current worship offerings. It’s not that they aren’t made by talented people who love God and write great songs, it’s that you can’t seem to come up for air often enough. No white space. The feature that seems to show up in worship music routinely is the effects laden wall of sound – avalanches of guitars and loops encased in driving rhythms that seem more relentless than inviting. That’s why One Redemption is so refreshing and effective. This group appreciates musical white space. They provide room for the instruments to really be heard, the lyrics to be clear and the listener to explore the songs with curiosity rather than the anxiety of feeling over powered.

 

The treatment of O For A Thousand Tongues is outstanding; rising and falling in perfect cycles that keep the listener engaged and motivated to praise.  He Has Engraved You is a beautiful Hosea like song calling wandering lambs back to the fold.

Can you hear the ones He’s gathered?
All the lambs that He has found
All the angels will sing, every sinner He frees
They are met will joyful sound
They are met will joyful sound

I Stand is my favorite in the collection. Even though it’s written in the common first person perspective, it’s a gospel drenched call to the church to worship and has a really lovely spontaneous spot that you wish went on for some time.

I stand before His mercy seat – His holy throne of grace
I stand in freedom granted me from sin’s oppressive chains
So unrighteous, so unworthy guilty outcast, born to shame
I stand – this pardon covers me, my sentence He forgave

Saints arise – and bring your offering
Sanctified – no more in sin
Saints arise – and praise your Savior King
Magnify – and honor Him

Jeff McCullough is the “visionary behind the sound and production of each Tree Hill Collective song. Jeff owns and operates Tree Hill Media in Escondido, California.” Along with song writing partners Mark Snyder, Tim Hageland and Wisdom Moon, they create and produce the Tree Hill Collective music. Graciously, they provide the chord charts for all their songs. Follow then on Twitter and Facebook

The One Redemption collection is available on itunes and Noisetrade