It's the album that wasn't supposed to happen. After three solo projects, Ian Yates was ready to call it a day. Ready to move on. Yet God had other plans and in June 2015, after a period of plenty of divine encounters, Ian knew there were enough songs, enough of a message and enough of a God-given calling to go ahead.
The result is Awaken To Love; twelve songs that revolve around themes of trust, hope and the unending love of God.
"I feel like I've got my sound," says Ian. "I hope there's a depth to it, that it's not just nice songs but a journey that connects people to God. My heart has always been to take the music outside the church walls. I've always aimed to make the kind of music that can be given to someone who feels far away from God or who is not a Christian. I want to create something that might help people encounter God's love and goodness.
"So many of our non-Christian friends think that God's against them. And there are some who feel the same in the church too. But I know God wants people to lift up their head and heart and to know that He's with us."
The album includes a cover of the Beatles classic, All You Need Is Love. "I started singing it in a prayer meeting three years ago and it was a God moment. It's a prophetic song; knowing we are loved is the only way we can love others."
Produced by Trevor Michael and recorded at Bones studio, the album features the songs High Wire (co-written with Nick Herbert) and No Longer I, co-written with Sam Blake and Matt Redman (and also appearing on Matt's latest album Unbroken Praise).
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Sonically Creative Worship| Posted September 20, 2016
Hailing from the UK, worship leader Ian Yates is passionate about sharing the Gospel with the world. Also part of Elim Sound, Ian's first album released in 2010 and succeeded as an engaging and challenging group of songs. Three albums later, he now returns with Awaken To Love.
This is an album that almost didn't happen. Ian was ready to be done with his solo projects, until summer of last year God began to give Ian many divine encounters and plenty of songs for a new album. Convinced this was a God-given calling, Ian's Awaken To Love was born. With recurring themes of trust, hope and the love of Christ, these 12 new songs were written with the goal of depth and not just noise, to help listeners encounter God.
With "High Wire," a track that starts soft before blasting into a rock anthem of faith, we get the standout moment of this album right off the bat. Another energetic track, "Great Is The Lord" mixes Ian's strong vocals with passionate lyrics of praise that would make the perfect opener for any worship service. A somewhat surprising entry on a worship album, a cover of The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" makes its way into this collection of songs and pulls through as an enjoyable remake that stays true to the original version while still leaving room for originality.
Sonically captivating "Dream Again" produces a powerful moment of encouragement to weary hearts, followed by the title track, which also has much to offer sonically and lyrically. Previously appearing on Matt Redman's most recent album, "No Longer I" was co-written by Yates and plays on the classic hymn "At The Cross" to create a truly moving time of worship: "I will bow in the place where Your death became my life / I will run to the cross."
"He Has Never Left You" finds Ian being vulnerable with his lyrics and masterful in the way he shifts his voice to craft a softer track of redemption. "My Hope" feels like a big song, blaring to life with its anthemic chorus and verses packed by pleas of faith: "Your presence goes before me / I know You are with me still," the bridge sings out to create yet another standout track. "Deeper" and "Safe" bring the album to a close by giving listeners reminders of God's faithfulness.
Closing Thoughts: Awaken To Love began on a high note and pleasantly surprised me by keeping that same quality of creativity throughout the rest of the album. Sonically, Ian kept changing things around in every song, which made it stand out from your typical group of worship songs. Lyrically and vocally, he steps up his game and shows true artistry. The record feels genuine from start to finish and holds the attention of the listener while still inviting them to get lost in well-crafted moments of worship. For an album that almost didn't happen, Awaken To Love turned out extremely well and is sure to be a hit with fans and worship music lovers alike.
Song To Download Now:
"High Wire" (Get it on iTunes here.)