Sounds like … an amalgam of congregational and radio-friendly worship choruses sung by some of the biggest names in Christian and worship music.

At a glance … though musically on par with most meat-and-potatoes worship music, CompassionArt is groundbreaking for its approach, logistics, and charitable intentions.

The inextricable bond between religion and social justice is as old as James' charge to visit the fatherless and the widows while keeping oneself undefiled from the world. Of late, more and more artists, especially worship leaders, are embracing that challenge, creating songs that not only encourage believers to reach upwards, but outwards, too—to the outcasts, the downtrodden, the least of these.

CompassionArt: Creating Freedom from Poverty is easily the most ambitious, sprawling initiative to arise out of that desire to date. It all began when Delirious frontman Martin Smith couldn't reconcile his comfortable Western lifestyle with that of the people he encountered in his worldwide travels—especially those too poor, too hungry, or too exploited to speak up.

And so CompassionArt, the charity, was born. The idea for the nonprofit appeared novel on paper but was logistically formidable. In a nutshell, the plan was to invite the biggest worship songwriters in CCM—including Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Paul Baloche, Tim Hughes, Darlene Zschech—to a retreat and see what songs would spring from their collaborative efforts. Making the challenge even more difficult was the goal of giving 100 percent of the publishing royalties collected in the song's entire lifetime to charity. All of it.

Nothing quite like this has ever been done. There have been scores of charity singles, albums, and ...

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CompassionArt: Creating Freedom from Poverty
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3½ Stars - Good
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Release Date
January 27, 2009
Sparrow Records
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