The dynamic, multicultural youth ministry of Planetshakers Church, planetboom, releases its full-length sophomore album. Inspired by the diverse youth culture at planetboom that represents at least 60 nationalities and exists to see this generation encounter the love of Jesus, the new album was produced by creative director Josh Ham, mixed by worship leader Joth Hunt and written or co-written by planetboom youth pastor, songwriter, author and drummer Andy Harrison. Harrison also shares the compelling story of this new album on video.
"JC Squad is really a message about the global Church," says Harrison. "We believe the Church is relevant, crucial and still God's plan, and we are the next generation. We want to champion and uphold the Church - in all of its expressions - in the hearts and minds of young people all around the world."
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Worship Like No Other| Posted February 03, 2021 What You Need To Know
Australian natives Planetboom are the youth ministry band for the Planetshakers Church in Melbourne, Australia. This 10-plus member band is composed of young musicians, songwriters, and vocalists who lead thousands of teenagers in praise and worship weekly. Planetboom’s style of music infuses electronic dance music (EDM), hip-hop, contemporary, rock, and soulful worship powered by energetic handclaps, bass, and overpowering vocals.
The youth worship band began their public musical outreach by being featured on a track from a Planetshakers’ album in 2016. Next, three singles were released in 2018 and their debut album was released in 2019 titled, Jesus Over Everything. Most of their early singles have gathered over one million streams on Spotify, and the last two albums have songs close to 500,000 streams.
The youth band recently released JC Squad, their sophomore album. The project was inspired by the diversity present during weekly youth services representing 60 or more nationalities. Their goal is to witness generations of youth and young adults encounter the love of Jesus. JC Squad was produced by Josh Ham, mixed by worship leader Joth Hunt, and co-written by youth pastor Andy Harrison. The album serves as a message about the global church body.
What it Sounds Like
A multitude of elements is present throughout the album. An ode to the diversity present, it’s near impossible to fit Planetboom into a boxed genre. This is one of the most attractive qualities of their music and influence, from my personal perspective.
The album opens up with “Walk” while listeners are exposed to thundering bass, funky electronic rhythms, as well as crowd involvement. These sure-fire anthems will be a blast live once concerts and in-person events are possible again. The opener is immediately followed by the title track from the album. “JC Squad” encompasses variety in every shape and form. It’s complete with tempo changes, earth-shattering bass, sounds of a flute, sermon snippets, hypnotic handclaps, and an electronic explosion of sound.
The overall sonic value of the entire album is insanity at best with what feels like 101 examples of unique instrumentation. It’s a full-on combined Chinese and breakfast buffet smothered with more options than Amazon. There isn’t any lack of creativity and experimentation on the album. Thankfully, regardless of how many twists and turns the album takes via the soundscape, it all worked out beautifully in so many ways.
The only hints of normalcy related to an atypical worship track would be on “ILY (Live),” “All I Need,” and “Jesus is The Key.” It’s like the band took a short pause from the energetic theme throughout to just sing in awe of the love of Jesus. From there, the music quickly returns to its regularly scheduled dance party finishing out the album.
Due to the fact that the album is considered a collection of worship music, listeners are not hard-pressed to hear the spiritual influence of the band throughout the lyrics, regardless of the track. Fueled by youthful, spirited devout followers of Christ, each song possesses its own heavenly sound praising our Father and Savior equally.
“Kamsahamnida (Live)” exclaims, 'Jesus is the best.' Several tracks, such as “Loved By You” and “All I Need,” are just personal and expressive outcries to God and how much His love is appreciated by believers. “Praise Over Problems (VIP Mix)” is a remix of one of their original blockbusters that assures believers regardless of the trials and valleys faced, we shall always praise God for all the positive situations in life we’re blessed with frequently.
Best Song on the Record
A difficult choice, but if I had to select a favorite, I’d chose “Walk.” It’s an amazing opening track for the album cementing what to expect. The energy is infectious. The call-and-response of “We Win” closing the track out. The booming bass. All combined, I’d say this track is one of my favorites of the worship genre in quite some time.
Planetboom achieved something few other bands and artists have, a unique sound. No other band sounds like Planetboom regardless of the track. It’s memorizing. It’s unique. It’s over-the-top. It’s everything I never knew my ears and soul needed. I adore all of the various instrumentation and eclectic soundscapes. This is one of the few albums I’ve listened to 10-plus times in less than a month’s time. I hope other youth group bands follow the creative mold Planetboom has set going forward.