|Songs of worship with a slightly island flair | Posted October 19, 2013
Oahu is well-known as a great place for honeymoons, vacations, etc. It is not always known as a place for Christian recording artists and worship teams. However the Hawaiian Islands have many believers who are Tongan, Hawaiian, Samoan, Japanese and many other other races. It is basically a beautiful "stew" of believers.
New Life Oahu are not here to kill any stereotypes, but they are definitely here to bring honor to God. They release Hope Is Rising, produced by Sean Cook and Dave Hanley (of Press Play).
One of the things that grabbed me while listening is the soulfulness of some of the vocalists like Jana Alcain. This worked best on the album's live songs. It is always great to hear soulful vocals combined with songs of a rock edge. This happens with songs like the energetic, "Glory and Beauty," written "in house" by Joseph Lauer, Fred Alcain and Dave Hanley. I loved when they went into bridge singing a resounding, "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Glory!"
They recorded two of Israel Houghton's songs, "Jesus At the Center" and "Speechless." These are great songs, but New Life really shine on the original songs. The moments seem more powerful when listening to those original songs. Title track "Hope Is Rising," should be another great song to add to song lists across the globe. This song serves to help people take their focus off of their problems (and themselves) and focus on God. '
"How We Worship," also written by Lauer, is a moving ballad topped with signature ukulele and dialect of the Island. The soaring soprano sings masterfully on "Please You" as she asks God for more of him backed on by keyboards.
There's a place for anyone to worship God. It is such a beautiful thing to hear the way New Life Oahu sing praises to God. Well-rounded album and I hope they continue to give us more!
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