|A Potential Game-Changer | Posted April 05, 2013
Starting as two individual members attending and serving at Journey Church in Franklin, Tenn., vocalist David Leonard--formerly of Jackson Waters--and singer/songwriter Leslie Jordan were introduced to one another by a pastor back in 2009. The two musicians quickly found a common bond in their similar writing style, and their desire to write music that transparently led the church into intimate and confessional moments of praise. Thus, the duo now known as All Sons & Daughters was born.
Three original EPs and one full-length release later, the group is rapidly becoming one of the premier acts in the thriving contemporary worship scene. Their first full length live recording, the duo's latest release, simply known as Live, was recorded at Oceanway Studios in Nashville, and features 13 songs, including several of their most noted hits alongside a few new tracks.
"Brokenness Aside" opens the project and paints an incredible mental picture of what the personal atmosphere in the room looked like the night the album was recorded. A small setting of worshipers gather together with one voice once the chorus kicks in, lifting up the name of Jesus as Leslie Jordan's soaring vocals lead the way.
The listeners soon discover the harmonizing superpowers of Jordan and David Leonard on the next two tracks, the folksy and reverent "Hear The Sound" and "Oh How I Need You."
"Great Are You Lord" welcomes a soft cello to the musical landscape as the tone of the album slows once more in soul-satisfying worship.
"Rising Sun" takes an interesting indie approach, musically, and compels listeners to praise with its solid hymn like lyrics: "Our great Redeemer, glorious Savior / Your name is higher than the rising run / Light of the morning / You shine forever / Your name is higher than the rising sun."
Honest and emotive, "Reason To Sing" is a vulnerable plea for God to make Himself real to us when life causes us to doubt. It's truly a stunning moment on the project. Going back to their roots once more, "My God My King" and "Oh Our Lord" lean toward more congregational style praise.
"Wake Up" is an anthemic cry to rise up as believers and worship our God, the one who takes the dreams of the broken and makes them whole again. It's impossible not to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit invade the atmosphere of the room as the bridge is sung and repeated: "So here we stand, our hearts are Yours / Not our will, but Yours be done."
"Called Me Higher" is a worshipful challenge for God to take us out of our comfort zones and stretch us to new levels of faith, as sung in the lyric: "I could hold on, I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside / And I could be safe, I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home, never let these walls down / But You have called me higher, You have called me deeper, and I'll go where You will lead me, Lord."
The inviting "God With Us" provokes more personal praise, leading into the duo's most well known song, "All The Poor And Powerless," which has been covered by numerous worship acts, including The Digital Age and Travis Cottrell. As the writers of the song, it clearly holds a personal place in their hearts, proven in the passionate vocals and stirring worship it provides.
A spot-on medley/mash-up of "Your Glory" and the classic hymn "Nothing But The Blood" climactically concludes this heart-touching collection of praise songs, and does so on a high note.
This project is a potential game-changer in the area of live corporate worship. Intimate and deeply personal, it still carries the weight of a heavy-hitting worship album recorded in a packed out church or arena. No song feels lost or out of place, and while the album stays mellow for the most part, it never feels tired or boring. On the musicianship front, David and Leslie's vocals are near perfect the entire album, which speaks volumes to their talent as vocalists.
While there are moments on the project where I felt certain songs sounded a little too overproduced in post-production, the live feel is never lost, and it stands as a sparklingly rugged piece of worshipful artistry. For those seeking the perfect album for soul soaking moments of praise and seeking God, All Sons & Daughters' Live is just what you've been looking for.
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