"Kingdom," the upcoming release from Covenant Worship was produced by multiple GRAMMY Award winner Israel Houghton, who also was integral in crafting the album's songs alongside the Covenant team. The album features Covenant worship leaders David Binion, Nicole Binion, Colin Edge and Josh DuFrene with guest vocals from Israel Houghton. Covenant Worship is a group of worshippers who share a focused passion to see God's Kingdom realized in the earth. Blending sounds and styles of every color, age, and genre, Covenant is a powerhouse of songwriting and music production that reflects the diversity of God's people. With powerful songs and relevant production, Covenant Worship is an outstanding source of music for the church today.
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New Every Morning (Featuring David Binion and Joshua Dufrene)
Risen (Featuring Nicole Binion and Israel Houghton)
Good To Me (Featuring Colin Edge and Joshua Dufrene)
A Broad Experience| Posted June 24, 2014
I may have been asleep for the last five years or so, because I had never heard of Covenant Worship prior to listening to their latest offering, Kingdom. For the uneducated like myself, Covenant Worship is the music ministry from the multi-campus, inter-denominational Covenant Church, with their main campus located in Carollton, Texas. If there is one word to describe the sound of Covenant Worship, it is much like a word used to describe their home state, and the God they serve: big.
At the start of the first track on the album, "New Every Morning," I was reminded of Lakewood Live – upbeat, rock and roll, adult contemporary worship. Honestly, it sounded like it may be about four or five years old.
Speaking of Lakewood, the tracks "Risen" and "Can't Stop Singing" feature Israel Houghton. The songs fit the iconic worship leader perfectly, and his presence is welcome. That said, they are fairly standard praise songs that do a lot to stir people up but left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed.
The album slows down with "Let The Name Of Jesus Reign." This is a beautiful song about the power of the name of Jesus. I found myself enveloped in this song after being somewhat put off by the earlier songs. This is a singable worship song. Production-wise they tried a little too hard to add electronic elements going into the bridge, but other than that it is a wonderful song. The album turns a corner with this song, as I'm sure the atmosphere in the worship service did.
"More Holy Spirit" is a nine minute heart cry for God's spirit to be poured out on the people: "Lord I decrease / As You increase / it's all about You / it's not about me." They park on this line for a bit in what turns out to be an extremely intimate moment and leads into the solo female voice singing "Holy Spirit break us / come and overtake us / You're the one we're living for / Holy Spirit lead us / to the heart of Jesus / there is nothing we want more." It is a beautiful, heartfelt prayer. This is what changes worship leaders to lead worshippers.
As that tender moment ends, we are smacked upside the head with a tom drum solo and a somewhat confused mixture of Gaithers meet Rend Collective with "Your Kingdom Come." After that track, things slow down again with "Closer." This is followed by "Here Waiting," which adds a sense of prophetic worship similar to Misty Edwards. "Not Ashamed" is a worship anthem, and the album closes with "First Loved Me."
It seems as though Covenant Worship hasn't fully decided what they are going to be in terms of a worship band. There are songs that will appeal to fans of Lakewood, Misty Edwards, Vineyard, Centric and even the Gaithers. The album was rather confusing to listen to from beginning to end, but had very wonderful moments on it with "Let The Name Of Jesus Reign," "More Holy Spirit" and "First Loved Me." The other highlight of the album is that it was recorded live, just as all worship albums should be.
A Multifaceted Experience| Posted July 17, 2014
One of the largest, most prominent churches in the Dallas area, Covenant Church has had a robust and talented roster of worship leaders for some time now. The four-campus, multicultural church has enjoyed several other releases from its worship team--fronted by senior worship pastors David and Nicole Binion--but with their latest live album, Kingdom, they're looking to take things up a notch.
They put themselves on good footing for power-packed praise by enlisting the production and vocal talents of top-level worship artist Israel Houghton, whose flavor eclectic musical mixtures can be felt throughout the record.
Houghton's voice is a powerful addition to the Covenant team (as it certainly would be anywhere), and the worship leaders' unisoned, choral-type vocals shine the most when his stratospheric tenor soars above them. "Risen"--the standout track of the record--features pounding synths that propel Houghton's voice. Nicole Binion blends well with Houghton, and the vibe of the song is very celebratory (think Hillsong Young & Free). The message of Jesus' resurrection is a good one for Easter.
Israel's vocals also loom large and in charge on the other songs in which he's featured: "Can't Stop Singing" and "I Am Loved Medley." On "Can't Stop Singing," Houghton delivers a fun and declarative line: "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, 'cause I can't stop shouting!"
On the other numbers, Nicole Binion's pure, Darlene Zschech-like vocals are a definite highlight, particularly on her two solo songs, "Here Waiting" and "First Loved Me." Nicole's voice (good enough in my opinion to be a Disney princess) evokes a lot of passion, and her delivery adequately matches the powerful messages of both songs. On "First Loved Me," I particularly like the line: "Your grace covered my shame and saw my need."
Stylistically, Covenant shows its multicultural makeup with its musical diversity. From the energetic, driving distortion guitars of opener "New Every Morning" to the driving Southern rock-influenced "Good to Me" to the Rend Collective-like Celtic jam of "Your Kingdom Knows No End," the band shows it won't shy away from any style, really.
Other great moments include the great refrain repeated in "Let the Name of Jesus Reign"--"Jesus reign, reign in our hearts, reign in our souls, you and you alone / Jesus reign in this place, with power and grace, let Your kingdom come"--as well as the atmospheric free-form praise by Nicole Binion at about 5 ½ minutes in "More, Holy Spirit."
Covenant Worship strikes a good balance between the choir-style worship vocals of the past (think Hillsong in the Darlene Zschech era), timeless Gospel sounds, and at times edgy modern musical arrangements, complete with gritty guitars and pounding synths.
Kingdom does a good job of capturing a live church atmosphere. I mean, you really feel like you're part of something live as you listen through. From the admonishments and encouragements of the worship leaders, to the free praise, to the massive vocals from the veritable choir of singers, Kingdom is less like a traditional worship album, and more of an experience of one particular, powerful night.
Song to Download Now:
"Risen" (Get it on iTunes here.)