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"Worship Leader Magazine"

March 20, 2006:
Worship Leader Magazine
1000 Generations – To Those Who Cry

There is a gentle praise quality that comes from the melodic, techno instrumentals that can be found in the mainstream market. 1000 Generations seem to know this full well and their best songs have crafted a sound that can best be described as Moby with the vocals of Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay) taking turns with the vocals Danielle Young (Caedmon’s Call). Track after track the listener is treated to ambient noise loops (noise in the cool subtle and peaceful meaning of the word) and gentle vocal tones that lead you to offering your heart.

But that’s not all. The tempo speeds a bit with songs like “You Make My Skeletons” and “Help Me Let Me Let Myself Be Loved,” which, as the title would suggest, it’s a tune with fun lyric twists and a playful beat that catches you in its rhythm. A standout song “The Rest of the Way” maintains a more traditional structure but is a beautiful tune that works as a confessional as well as praise to the Author of our faith.

www.worshipleader.com - Worship Leader Magazine

"Christianity Today"

March 21, 2006:
Christianity Today
1000 Generations – To Those Who Cry
by Christa Banister

Sounds like … inventive, piano-driven pop/worship reminiscent of Michael W. Smith and FFH, with folk and world music leanings a la Caedmon’s Call and Paul Simon’s Graceland.

At a glance … both artful and accessible, To Those Who Cry aptly showcases 1000 Generations’ burgeoning talent as musicians and worship leaders.

It’s not easy to be wowed by a new worship CD these days with so many mediocre and cover-song driven releases available—save for the few diamonds in the rough. And that’s exactly what makes To Those Who Cry, the follow-up to 1000 Generations’ impressive debut Prayers, so remarkable. Instead of the same hackneyed sentiments and run-of-the-mill soundtrack, the Indianapolis-based group manages to serve up something energetic and original, lyrically and musically. Imagine that.

Led by Steven Potaczek and his wife Amanda, who are also worship leaders at their local Vineyard Church, the band clearly has a knack for writing catchy, congregational-friendly songs—particularly “Not of Our Hands” and “Your Love Never Fails,” a pretty piano ballad that wouldn’t seem out of place in Michael W. Smith’s catalog. But aside from an ear for church songs, 1000 Generations also mixes things up with the tribal feel of “You Make My Skeletons Dance,” complete with jubilant horns and an affirmative message of God’s forgiveness. While “Help Me Let Me Let Myself Be Loved” may be cumbersome as a song title, the message of God’s love is loud and clear (and the percussion throughout is pretty cool to boot).

Also providing the necessary variation is the trading off of vocal duties. While Steven sings the majority of the tracks, Amanda gets her moment to shine on the moody “Prove Me Wrong,” one of the disc’s highlights. Her pure, unfussy approach reminds me of a cross between Ginny Owens and Caedmon’s Call’s Danielle Young, which also works well on “Break Your Own Heart,” a song that also benefits from some quirky electronic accents.

Of this project, the band says, “We imagine music that is to the point, expressive, honest and vulnerable, transparent, and yet powerfully laced with the truth that we serve an all-powerful and loving God who ultimately cares about the details of our lives.” With To Those Who Cry, the band has not only accomplished all that, but has helped raise the bar for worship music at large.

To read the full article visit:
www.christianitytoday.com - Christianity Today


July 30, 2009:

Imagine an inventive worship project. No, really, I’m serious. I know, I know, for every David Crowder out there crafting complex songs and imaginative albums, there are nine others remaking songs, playing uninspired G-C-D chord structures and boring us to death. So back to the premise, because it’s original sound and vertical lyrics make 1000 Generations’ Turn Off The Lesser Lights a very refreshing listen.

The husband/wife duo of Steven and Amanda Potaczek have been at this for a while, leading worship in their home Vineyard church in Indianapolis and independent releases have been celebrated by Christianity Today andWorship Leader magazine. Still, Turn Off is their first label release on Vineyard’s new Varietal Records imprint and it’s perhaps their best yet. The almost emo sounds at times will catch the listener off guard and the musical variety lends a pop/rock feel to a worship album – almost so much that you forget what shelf you bought the album from.

“Fail Us Not” is the album’s first single and the without-a-doubt highlight on the album. From the quirky, interesting acoustic opening to the back-and-forth vocal between the Potaczeks, the track remains musically inventive the whole way through. But even with that in mind, the lyrics move from the outset with statements against any anthropomorphic views of God as he is too big to be changed or affected by our own shame or failures. The powerful refrain of “You are bigger than the battle/You are bigger than the battle has ever been” is repeated over and over again at song’s end, lending a power that few songs can truly contain.

The piano melody of “How Big Small Can Be” takes a strong musical turn near the one-minute mark with a quick acoustic strum and solid pop harmonies over the social justice focus in the lyrics. It’s an interesting mix and one that keeps the audience tuned into words about how impact begins at the small, local level. Amanda takes the stage on “Bring Me Down,” a prayer to God asking for humility as we try to walk before him. It’s another honest take and a heartfelt track buoyed by some light string work.

Some of the tracks can flow together as they remain in the middling ballad territory and “Do You Know This Man?” and “What Only You Can Do” get lost in the shuffle. It’s the words and chord progressions that remain predictable here and the songs really contain no variance enough to shake the routine feeling. Still the album redeems itself at the end with the building “Mansions in Floodplains,” which ends up asking the beautiful question, “Don’t you wanna love to live for something more than yourself?” It’s the source of the album’s title track and one of it’s strongest lyrical turns.

Steven and Amanda Potaczek have crafted a strong pop effort here and, better yet, one of the more musically inventive worship albums to come along in some time. While some elements are more impressive than others, as a whole it works wonderfully and 1000 Generations has an album they can truly be proud of. - Soul-Audio

"Relevant Magazine"

August 4, 2009:
Relevant Magazine Column Feature

By: Jeff Goins

In Nashville, Gospel Music Association Week can be a bit of a circus. For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in it, which has been a bittersweet occasion. While it’s been great to get to see a free Switchfoot show and hang out with bands like downhere, it also reminds me of all the things about Christian subculture that I disdain. Every once in awhile, though, I experience something that reminds that there is hope … even for Christian music.

Several months ago during this year’s GMA Week, I was having an exhausting day of listening to regurgitated rhetoric and Christian clichés. I was tired and ready to go home to see my wife. I only had one more interview to survive before I could escape the Jesus merchandise and paraphernalia that was beginning to overwhelm me. That afternoon, my final meeting was with a band called 1000 Generations.

This down-to-earth four-piece sounded like a mix of Sixpence None the Richer and Third Eye Blind (with a touch of a less-vulgar Ben Folds, for style). This isn’t a review of their music, however. What amazed me most (and still amazes me) about the band was their authenticity and earnest desire to serve whomever they met, wherever they were.

At these types of gatherings, it’s not unlikely to encounter a lot of ego and bravado … yes, even amongst Christian celebrities. While I’m sure that there is a great deal of pressure on faith-based musicians to really prove themselves as “real” artists, it doesn’t give them an excuse to act like jerks, which they sometimes do. The fact that 1000 Generations isn’t looking to be Christian rock stars is, in itself, refreshing. But the fact that they regularly take the time to get to know the people they come across is quite stunning. In an age when much of western Christendom is compromising its ideal of “being in the world, but not of it” for an opportunity to ascend the stage of stardom, groups like 1000 Generations are hard to come by. Their song “How Big Small Can Be” epitomizes who they are and what a practical response to world-wide injustices might look like. Again, this isn’t a column about their musicianship, but rather about their character and message. The opening stanza to the aforementioned song goes like this: “My hands cannot hold the world / But they can help someone in need / And my cash could never end hunger / But it will help someone to eat.” Their point is that sometimes the needs of the world are so overwhelming that we are rendered inactive by the sheer enormity of opportunities to meet such needs. Their response reminds us of how meaningful a simple gesture of sharing one’s food with the hungry or taking off a coat to clothe the naked can be.

Like most Christian bands these days, 1000 Generations has a social justice cause that they regularly support, and that’s admirable. Yet, what struck me most about this group was not a nonprofit link at the bottom of their website, nor was it an American Apparel V-neck with an outline of Africa worn by the lead singer. Rather, what really stood out to me was the group’s genuinely humble and caring demeanor. They were kind, thoughtful, and engaging. In addition to answering my questions, they returned with their own informal interview. They asked about my job, my wife and what life as newlyweds was like for us in Tennessee. When we finished the interview, they offered to pray for me. A week after meeting them, they sent me a handwritten “thank-you” card. The whole experience caught me a little off-guard. I’ve interviewed plenty of Christian bands and artists before and never received such personal attention. I’m not so sure that 1000 Generations will make it as Christian celebrities, but I’m also not so sure that they want to be.

The interview stuck with me for weeks afterwards, because it reminded me of what Jesus told his disciples to help cure their warped view of God’s economy. He turned everything upside-down for them, saying that the me-firsts would end up last in line, that little children would inherit a powerful kingdom and that the least and left-out would find themselves stuffed at banquet feasts. If you ask me, those are scandalous ideas even today—along the same lines as “how big small can be.”

Much to my chagrin, I secretly desire fame, fortune, and recognition. I don’t want small. I want big. The irony is that in ignoring the small things, I often miss out on some of the biggest things in the universe – namely, the opportunity to join God in his redemptive mission on earth. Like the Levite in Luke 10, I’m often on my way to a Christian concert, worship service or GMA event, passing right by those who are lying in the gutter, hurting. My wife often reminds me that one big gesture requiring months of thoughtful planning doesn’t make up for 10 small ones played out each and every day.

I know how big small can be, because I’ve seen it happen before my very eyes. I’ve seen a simple story told over and over again save a woman from homelessness in a manner of weeks. I’ve seen $11 restore tangible hope in a wandering vagrant’s life. I’ve seen a handful of presents placed beneath a plastic Christmas tree serve as a Gospel presentation for an inner-city family who didn’t think Santa was coming that year.

Maybe some of the biggest things we can do are actually quite small. Maybe love, as God would have us share it, isn’t as grandiose as a light show, but as simple as a smile or thank-you note. Maybe we have over-complicated and theologized stories like the Good Samaritan and the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats to the point that we have forgotten how to love well. As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, if we give everything we have to the poor and die as martyrs, but don’t have love, we gain nothing (1 Cor. 13: 3). May we learn today how big small can be by volunteering to be last, by changing something—anything—that is within our grasp to change, and by paying attention to someone we’d rather ignore. And may we do it all with love, letting God sort out what is truly big and what is small.

If you’re dubious of how big small can be, check out the following websites:

Small Can Be Big—Small Can Be Big networks with local charities that help families in need. A donation of $3 or $300 can help keep a single mother from losing her car or a family from being evicted during an economic crisis.

Kiva—Kiva offers “loans that change lives” for startup business and entrepreneurs in the developing world. $25 can help start a general store in Afghanistan or provide enough capital for a family in Mali to grow peanuts.

Gospel for Asia (GFA)—Gospel for Asia sends 100% of its donations out to the field to help hard-working (and underpaid) native missionaries in Asia (particularly, India). When $4 can buy eight New Testaments for people like the Sri Lankan woman who lost her husband in the 2004 tsunami, small can be huge. How else can small be big? - Relevant Magazine


August 4, 2009:
HearItFirst.com CD Review

By: Mark Warren

When a new artist sets out to impact the public in a memorable way, especially in the area of worship, it can be easy to write songs that appeal to the least common denominator. Things become packaged in tidy, three-minute disposable morsels that sound familiar and have a shot at radio. Thankfully, this is not always the case.

Proving that modern worship can be intelligent yet immediately accessible, 1000 Generations’ first national release, Turn Off the Lesser Stars, is a pop-rock album that leans heavily on both electric guitar and piano and features song arrangements that translate naturally to the live setting.

The lead single, “Fail Us Not,” speaks to how God is bigger than our suffering and our sin. Featuring vocals from Steven and Amanda Potaczek, the verses begin with an acoustic groove that transition into a driving chorus is ideal for a corporate worship setting.

Along with unique approaches to corporate worship, the band includes commentaries on social justice such as the track “How Big Small Can Be,” named Song of the Year by the GMA Academy. The opening pulse of the piano gives way to a Beatle-esque chorus challenging us to remember that the world can be changed one small deed at a time.

Upon hearing a new artist, or one that’s new to you, it’s easy to think, “This sounds like fill-in-the-blank.” The listener will be hard pressed to easily pigeonhole this record. The band’s influences can be heard, but each track features an approach that is distinctly their own

With a foundation laid by bassist Alain Picard and drummer Lorin Lemme, the band is poised to break out with their debut. This record would be welcome by fans of Caedmon’s, Derek Webb and Brooke Fraser. One can only hope that as 1000 Generations reaches a broader audience they will inspire up and coming worship leaders to create lyrically exceptional expressions of love and faith, just as they have before them. - HearItFirst.com


Turn Off the Lesser Lights CD (2009)

Loaded with addictive piano-driven pop born from a place of honest worship. Produced by Steven Potaczek and mixed by Grammy Award-Winning Engineers David Bianco (Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Elms) and Chad Evans, the band’s first nationally distributed project has already won several prestigious industry accolades through the Gospel Music Association and the John Lennon Songwriting Competition.

Tracks: Invocation, Fascinated, Fail Us Not, Not Of Our Hands, How Big Small Can Be, Bring Me Down, Collide, Do You Know This Man?, What Only You Can Do, Saints Of Our Redeemer, Mansions In Floodplains

To Those Who Cry CD (2006)

World-influenced pop sound often compared to that of Paul Simon, Michael W. Smith, and Peter Gabriel. ChristianityToday.com selected them as one of the top ten independent bands of 2004 stating that their music “has everything you could ever want in a worship album: original songwriting, a relatively unique sound, breathtaking musicianship, and a passion for encouraging others to walk closer with the Lord.”

Tracks: Only In Weakness, Not of Our Hands, Help Me Let Me Let Myself Be Loved, Prove Us Wrong, To Those Who Cry, You Make My Skeletons Dance, The Rest of the Way, Break My Own Heart, Your Love Never Fails, Full of Love

Prayers CD (2003)

Davin Seay, Worship Leader Magazine, writes,

”1000 generations has opened up worship’s expressive vocabulary. Throughout their very special album, ‘Prayers,’ they remain true to a singular vision, a way of speaking to and about God that is as liberating as it is exhilarating. From its resplendent cover art to its delicate aural accents, ‘Prayers’ is the best new album of the year.”

Tracks: He Is Yahweh, Eyes, Mystery, Do You Know This Man?, Obsessed, Save Me, Lily Of The Valley, All That You Are Still…, All These Wonders, Emmanuel



Since the release of their debut album in 2003, 1000 Generations has been garnering quite a following. Worship Leader magazine called their debut “the best new worship album of the year,” while songs from their current major label release, Turn Off the Lesser Lights, continue to draw major accolades. “Fail Us Not,” the band’s first single, has become a Top 40 hit on radio, while their social justice anthem “How Big Small Can Be” was named the GMA Academy’s “Song of the Year.” Touring extensively, 1000 Generations is quickly developing a great reputation performing at colleges, churches, and various events around the country.

Above all, 1000 Generations is intent upon seeing people connect with God—whether followers of Christ who’ve believed for decades, or pilgrims experiencing worship for the first time. “We’re really passionate about people having an experience they can walk away with,” concludes Steven. “We believe that if someone has a real experience with God, that it will change their lives, and lead to a chain reaction where the lives of those around them are also changed.” This is the heartbeat of the band’s calling and name: 1000 Generations.