This EP was written and recorded in Italy near Milan. It was a response to an electrical storm that blew up the hard drives that had the original files and backup files for Brandon's 3rd full length unreleased record. This was a devastating experience and really reflects in this EP. "Songs from the Sky" really digs deep into what Brandon was praying to God at the time. Worship songs are just prayers written to song. These songs are just that.
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Inviting Worship| Posted June 02, 2017 Brandon Bee is a man of many talents. The worship leader, ordained pastor, producer and co-founder of Save The City Records also carries the role of a singer/songwriter, and he is gearing up for his first release since 2011's Inside These Walls.
Songs From the Sky, Brandon's EP release on June 2, was written and recorded during a time he spent living in Milan to be part of what God is doing in the European worship music scene. Created in response to an electrical storm that destroyed the hard drives that held files for his third full-length record, this EP digs deep into Brandon's prayers after such a devastating experience. "This EP is a response to all that God did in me while my family lived overseas in Italy. I hope they are a blessing and an instrument for you to respond to Jesus," Brandon shares on his heart behind Songs From The Sky.
Sonically captivating "Comforter" opens the album with a powerful declaration of who Christ is, leading into worship-focused "I Give You My Whole World." With a voice and style that grabs the attention of listeners, piano-carried "Activate" is a call for the love of Christ to awaken us.
Displaying Brandon's smooth vocals, "Your Name Says It All" fits well in a congregational worship set with its praise-centered lyrics. Another beautifully-written track, "Remain," sets an atmosphere of worship and gratitude: "Your kindness draws me in / Your mercy covers me / For all You've done I am thankful." Mellow "I Celebrate The Lord" praises God for His faithfulness and goodness before bringing the EP to a close with a live version of "Your Great Love."
The Bottom Line: Fans of the inviting worship style and strong voice from artists like Phil Wickham will find an enjoyable listen with Brandon Bee's Songs From The Sky. While the seven tracks on this EP don't vary too much in their sonic landscapes, they're still engaging worship anthems for the church, welcoming Brandon back to artist side of his career while displaying potential for the future.
Song To Download Now:
"Your Great Love" (Get it on iTunes here.)
Songs From the Sky are Songs FOR the Sky| Posted June 05, 2017
It's been a wild ride for Brandon Bee and his family over the past couple of years. Having left his job as an in-house producer and worship leader at a Portland, Ore.-area church, Bee and his wife and kids pursued a wild call of God for music and ministry in Italy. However, after just a few months overseas, medical issues in the family brought the Bees back to the Northwest.
This season of change and travel and challenge has birthed some new songs out of one of the industry's most underrated talents. Now, after his discography has largely been dominated by artful songwriting in pop-rock flair, Brandon Bee gives us a worship EP in earnest, titled Songs From the Sky.
Fans of Bee's previous work, as well as the modern worship movement, will find something to love here, as the artist seamlessly transitions from corporate worship song to vertically oriented pop-rock song.
While Bee incorporates some synth elements on these six songs, there's no question that the guitar remains the main driving force of his music, whether it be driving electric guitars, the finger-picking goodness of an acoustic, or fun lead lines.
Although the EP is titled Songs From the Sky, I think it should be titled Songs For the Sky, because each song is directed right at the Lord, centering on the themes of declaration and dedication.
Dedication is shown even in the title of the second track, "I Give You My Whole World," and acoustically driven song of confession and decision that powerfully vows, "You deserve more than Sunday / So I give you my whole world." There are beautiful, soothing harmonies that carry the chorus, along with the atmospheric guitar tones that ring throughout.
The album highlight, "Activates," is incredibly singable, talking about how God's love and His Spirit reaches into the hearts of His people and activates them to change the world. From a first-person perspective, Bee sings in the large, climactic bridge, "Without fear, without blame, with a voice unashamed / We will tell the world there is no greater name / Than Jesus!" The vocoder effect in the bridge section elicits goosebumps.
In terms of declaration, "Comforter" kicks off the EP with a repeated refrain that "there is none above You," basically declaring that because He is above all the things of this world, the Lord is uniquely qualified to be our comforter. It's a definite congregational song that I could see being sung in churches with varying arrangements.
"Your Name Says it All" focuses on the name of Jesus--"enough for me, enough for all the lonely people..." The song manages to be driving and energetic without being manic; Bee keeps his chill throughout the entire project, although that doesn't mean it's a sleepy record by any means. "Your Name Says it All" is a nice hyperfocused song that resounds His name, a name that needs to be sung out more than ever these days.
"I Celebrate the Lord" is a song of declaration for the things Jesus has done for all of us, personally and corporately. After comparing himself to a sheep with a broken leg being carried by the Good Shepherd, Bee declares that he's given the strength to stand and be understood because he worships "the God of love." The ambling song builds to a beautiful crescendo that allows Bee to showcase his smooth, powerful high notes.
The only speed bump on this project, sadly, is the album closer. It's not that "Your Great Love" is a bad song; it's indeed a very good song--quite possibly the strongest on the record. The problem is that after five tracks of well-produced studio material, this is a somewhat out of place live track whose rawness wouldn't be a problem if it weren't juxtaposed with the other songs. The arrangement is solid and the lyrics are poignant, so it's kind of a bummer that this song didn't get a studio treatment, as it could be an awe-inspiring album closer.
Brandon Bee's foray into modern worship music is a delightful first outing, and I sincerely hope he continues trying to write songs for the Church. His creativity, musical know-how and passion for the things that matter are much needed in worship songwriting. He also does a good job of writing singable songs that aren't immediately timestamped by trendy arrangements, but instead, are equipped for longevity.