The Next Worship Heavy-Hitter| Posted June 26, 2017
North Point InsideOut, the student worship ministry born out of Pastor Andy Stanley's megachurch in Atlanta, Georgia, has been releasing quality worship music since their debut album No One Higher in 2012. Both No One Higher and subsequent release Hear (2015) found their way onto the Billboard charts, and the InsideOut band is back with a new batch of songs for 2017. Nothing Ordinary Live EP 1 is a live recording containing two songs from the recent Nothing Ordinary EP and three tracks that are newly recorded. Together they are right at home with some of the best the praise and worship scene has to offer.
EP opener "We Are Royals" is a blazing dance-infused rock song, complete with a rap breakdown in the middle reminiscent of Young and Free's "This Is Living." That's not to say it's a copy of the classic 2016 hit; in fact, it more than stands on its own merits with tight instrumentation and a celebratory chorus that leaves you singing even when it's over.
"Holy" is next, a mid-tempo gem in the vein of Bethel and Leeland's "Lion And The Lamb" or Jesus Culture's "Fierce," with a chorus that's just as reverent and singable: "Holy holy / To the One who scattered the stars / Holy holy / to the One who holds every heart." "I Fall" changes the tempo and feel, with a simple piano intro framing Seth Condrey's honest lyrics. The opening verse is particularly poignant and relevant to the daily life of many Christians, and it's followed by a few lines from the classic hymn "I Surrender All" before building to a powerful conclusion. "Sons and Daughters (featuring Emily Harrison)" continues the feel introduced on the previous track, but with acoustic guitar driving the song instrumentally. The song retains a contemplative feel throughout, while focusing on the role of God as Father.
Final song "Death Was Arrested" is the unquestioned highlight. Though it's been given the studio treatment by North Point already and also has been recorded by both Laura Story and Aaron Schust, this is the first proper live recording of Seth Condrey himself leading it. The audience is engaged from the start, and Condrey leads them expertly through a rhythmically unique verse that changes back and forth between 9/8 and 6/8. The final line of verse two sums up the theme perfectly: "He canceled my debt / He called me His friend / When death was arrested / And my life began." One of the more powerful endings in recent worship song memory helps close the song.
Live EP 1 feels like a bit of an introductory party for North Point Inside Out, as they've released a five song EP that stands up with some of the best recent live recordings from any of the big hitters in the worship movement. "Death Was Arrested," with any focused distribution, could easily become one of the next most widely sung congregational worship songs.
The Bottom Line: North Point's Nothing Ordinary Live EP 1 is full of thoughtful lyrics and heartfelt moments of worship. If this and the previous EP Nothing Ordinary are any indication, there are more songs in the pipeline, and it will be fun to see what comes next from North Point's student ministry.
Song to Download Now:
"Death Was Arrested" (Get it on iTunes here.)