Brian and Jenn Johnson aren't big names in the worship music industry and, at least to my knowledge, they haven't authored any of the top CCLI songs. They are simply worship leaders. And while they do their share of traveling, they are based in a local church in Redding, California as worship pastors. "We Believe" is Brian and Jenn's latest project and was recorded live at their home church. To me, there's just something special about hearing songs written in the local body and being sung by that congregation. This CD is a great example of that. For much of the CD, the congregation can be heard singing, praising, worshiping and responding to God. And I don't mean that the volume of the crowd was brought up in select spots for effect, you can actually hear the crowd singing along with Brian and Jenn most of the time. This puts you right in the middle of the action, and that's why "We Believe" is much more than a listening experience. It's a worship experience.
The songs on this CD are all original, excellently crafted and very congregation friendly. In fact, we've been singing track #3, "O Taste and See" at my church for a few weeks already. One has to assume that these songs are congregation tested since they are written by worship pastors. Stylistically the music is modern worship rock/pop but not to the point where it would disenfranchise your older worshipers. Lyrically, these songs are about being in love with God, standing in awe of His power, and living in His presence. If I had to take the lyrical and musical content and ball it up together, I might describe "We Believe" as a cross between Rita Springer, Coldplay and Parachute Band. But still, this generalized description ignores the unique qualities of this CD like Brian and Jenn's amazing emotive vocals, and their interaction with the congregation that was there the night of the recording.
"We Believe" is very live feeling, but not sonically rough. In fact, the quality of this recording is quite high, but certainly not overproduced. Those of you that like your live worship authentic and fresh will love this CD. Loaded with great moments and great songs, "We Believe" is a CD that is definitely (to borrow a phrase from Vineyard Music) "from the church, for the church."
(Review by Jeremy Dunn -- http://www.worshipmusic.com/7559630142.html)
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heartfelt worship| Posted June 04, 2008
I absolutely love this album! Brian & Jenn are very talented and you can feel that the Spirit is truly behind their words. They sing with passion and a heart of worship. This is a wonderful resource for churches to add new songs to their worship service and is also great for personal worship. It's hard to find, but it's worth it!