|A Duo that Stands Apart | Posted May 23, 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
While they might be a new name to you, the husband and wife duo known simply as Brad & Rebekah are no strangers to the music circuit. The two met while attending collage in Minneapolis, MN. Brad, a member of an all-male worship team, was on the hunt for a female vocalist to sing lead on a new song. Rebekah happened to be walking by at the time and caught his eye--the rest is history.
Having released several independent albums over the last five years, the couple has been involved in various aspects of worship ministry ever since feeling the Lord calling them to purse music full-time in 2008.
Although they currently call the quiet town of Haymarket, Va. home, their bags are rarely unpacked for long, seeing as they lead worship in churches throughout the country almost every weekend out of the year. As if that wasn't impressive enough, Brad & Rebekah also have found time to give back and travel as missionaries throughout Uganda, where they work with an organization called Watoto, which reaches out to those touched by the crippling effects of war, poverty and disease in the nation.
Produced by Josh Silverburg, When We Gather is the duo's latest offering—a collection of 12 songs written to lead the church into an intimate time of reflection and praise to our Creator.
"Wake Up" bursts forth as a glorious introduction with a large scale congregational feel. Brad commandeers lead vocals while Rebekah offers complementary BGVs. For those unfamiliar with the duo's work, this is a stellar portrait of their harmonies.
Displaying Rebekah's vocal talents on lead, is the follow-up track "Oh Such Love." The praise filled lyrics point to the everlasting love of God, and with a strong melody, instantly draws you in. I could see this being a favorite on AC radio.
"Lift Your Hands" is reminiscent of Kari Jobe's version of "Healer," and offers lines that are just as poignant and powerful: "We are the chosen, the beloved, we are the broken / Still He holds us, He deserves all praise / No one is greater, who can measure?"
Listeners are met with more flawless harmonies and the inclusion of a beautiful cello symphony on the softly anthemic title track "When We Gather," yet another song written with congregational worship in mind.
"All You've Done" shifts from the mellow contemporary style of the record and delves into a borderline pop track. The worshipful chorus is infectious as Brad and Rebekah trade off vocals, making it a song you'll no doubt be singing and bouncing along with.
"Christ Is Alive In Me" is sung as an tender, adoring prayer for Jesus to come and make Himself known in our lives, while "Only You" lifts up more wholly abandoned praise to the King.
Arguably the best offering, "Children Of The Living God" has the all the makings of a hit song with its catchy beat and anthemic chorus. When met with the musical artistry, the victorious lyrics take a fantastic song to even greater heights, proven true in the stanza: "God is alive, He is on our side, and He will go before us."
"Oh Great God" is completely chilling with its haunting piano accent. The vocals are sorely off put at times, but regardless, the song is still a beautiful artistic expression, and hiccup aside, has massive potential.
"Be Here Now" boasts yet another memorable hook with passionate lyrics, while "Body Of Christ" is a call for the church to rise up and stand together to make a difference in the name of Jesus. Brad's consistent vocals are a highlight, and with its inspiring ‘rally the troops' feel, reminds me of a Chris Tomlin penned tune. Worship leaders should take notice of this one.
Closing the project on positive note, "We Are Not The Same" hangs mellow until a sudden twist at the three minute mark, at which the song suddenly becomes a bubbly toe-tapper. Since the album had begun to grow somewhat tired on the latter half, this is an impromptu treat: "Until our final breath falls from our lips, this promise we proclaim / That Christ is alive and we will sing, we are not the same."
When We Gather is a delightful surprise. In an indie market where worship leaders seem to be a dime a dozen, Brad & Rebekah are a duo that stand apart. Resonating lyrics are met with stunning compositions, and when paired with their spot on harmonies, you can't help but wonder after at the end of every track what they're going to do next. The solid songwriting is commendable, and although the album does feel like it drags near the end, their mix of low-key praise and contemporary pop are sure to satisfy those who love either genre.
With a portion of album sales going to help the folks at Watoto, this is an project that is definitely worth the investment, not only for the great cause you‘ll be supporting, but for the rich ministry you'll be receiving in return.
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