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Resonance (Live) by Vive Worship Resonance (Live) by Vive Worship
What You Need To Know
Neighbor Songs by The Porter's Gate Neighbor Songs by The Porter's Gate
What You Need To Know
The Porter's Gate is a collective of worship artists...
God So Good (Live) by Life.Church Worship God So Good (Live) by Life.Church Worship
What You Need To Know
Life.Church is a church movement led by pastor and author...

Showing 1-10 of 19 |   View Next 10 Album and Book Reviews
Loving God and Loving One Another | Posted October-31-2019
What You Need To Know

The Porter's Gate is a collective of worship artists from various cultural backgrounds and worship styles who have come together to champion conversations and create art that fosters worship, mission and unity in the Church. Their second album, Neighbor Songs, is the result of that ongoing mission and conversation. Among the many vocalists featured on this album are Audrey Assad, Leslie Jordan, Casey J, Josh Garrels, Urban Doxology, Dianna Gameros, Lauren Goans, Zach Bolen, Latifah Alattas and Paul Zach.

  

What It Sounds Like

The diversity of backgrounds, Christian traditions and worship styles represented amongst the artists of The Porter's Gate is showcased through the diversity of musical styles in each song. On this album, you will experience hints of folk/acoustic ("Blessed Are The Merciful"), Gospel ("Teach Us Your Ways"), piano ballads ("Love Will Never Fail"), vocal arrangements that are reminiscent of liturgical worship styles ("Daughters of Zion") and more. Of particular note, is "The Earth Shall Know" featuring Urban Doxology, Casey J and Leslie Jordan, which has a reggae-inspired feel to it that adds so much charm and joy to an already great song. 



There's something about the arrangements, instrumentation, and mix that makes the album feel beautifully raw and organic, almost like friends gathered together for house worship. The sense of unity amongst believers–especially amongst diverse believers–is also evident in the way the artists sing and collaborate with one another to craft and share these songs.  



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

"Daughters of Zion" is a special song on this album. It expresses a humble, hopeful cry for God's justice and tender mercy toward the hurting and oppressed, and for His victory over wickedness. When will the truth come out? / When will Your justice roll down? / When will Your kingdom come / And evil be undone?



Best Song On The Record

"The Earth Shall Know" wins for best song on the record. It's thematically rich as the lyrics sing about the Church across every nation, tribe, creed and color unifying in worship of Jesus, proclamation of His name to our neighbors and care for one another's needs. It's also musically creative, incorporating elements of pop, soul, reggae and a pretty sweet horn section.



For Fans Of

David Leonard, Audrey Assad, Casey J, Ellie Holcomb



Final Word

Neighbor Songs is easily one of the most lyrically and musically diverse and engaging albums of the year. Born out of conversation, community, and mission, this album offers songs to the Church that highlight aspects of relating to God, one another and the world around us that are not often sung about in Church but are so vital.



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify


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Bold Declarations of Faith | Posted October-31-2019
What You Need To Know

Vive Worship is comprised of worship leaders and musicians from Vive Church based in San Francisco, CA, with additional locations throughout the U.S. The team releases Resonance (Live), a full-length live worship album.



What It Sounds Like

There are several aspects of this album that will draw you in. The fact that it's a live recording is a start. The exhortations of the worship leaders during the songs add a personal and engaging touch to the album. The team leadership of the worship leaders and vocalists is also great. It's really special to hear this album and truly feel that you are being led in worship by a team of people who worship God and led others into His presence on a regular basis. 



The vocals are mixed in such a way that even while featuring a lead vocalist, the other group members' voices and harmonies are still heard and highlighted in such a way that they contribute to the song just as much as the lead. Resonance (Live) combines elements of contemporary worship, Gospel ("Resonance," "War") and live and electronic instruments ("Walk On," "King of Dysfunction," "Future").



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

Part of Vive Worship's mission is to create songs that are "full of faith and bold in declaration about Jesus." That theme resonates in every song on the album. "Walk On" is just one great example: In joy and pain You always remain / I've got Your promise on repeat / Your love keeps chasing after me / There's faith, there's fear, Jesus You are near / We rise, we fall, the victory is Yours / I've got your promise on repeat / Jesus, I'm walking to Your beat



Best Song On The Record

"Heaven's Hand" and "Future" tie for the best song on the album. Both are high-energy, anthemic songs that capture the faith-filled declaration that drives the artistry and ministry of the band. 



For Fans Of

Planetshakers, Life.Church Worship, Israel Houghton, Elevation Worship



Final Word

Resonance (Live) is a diverse album full of soft ballads that will move your heart and high-energy praise anthems that will get you clapping and dancing. No matter the style, the lyrics will fill your heart and mouth with truth to bold sing in praise to Jesus and over whatever situation you face. 



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify


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Relevant and Rich Worship | Posted October-04-2019
What You Need To Know

Life.Church is a church movement led by pastor and author Craig Groeschel that's impacting the world, leading people in both local and online communities to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Life.Church Worship releases its latest project, God So Good (Live), a full-length album of original worship songs born from their church.



What It Sounds Like

Life.Church Worship has been contributing incredible songs to the Church for years, but God So Good (Live) stands out as the strongest release to date. Of particular note is the songwriting on this album, which I believe is some of the best we've heard yet from Life.Church Worship. This album gives you everything from upbeat and EDM tracks to make you dance ("Life To Me," "On Fire") to simple vocal and piano ballads to move your heart ("To God Be The Glory," "I Won't Move," "The Artist"). No matter the musical style, rich theological lyrics are woven into every song. I personally recommend the title track "God So Good" for worship leaders to incorporate into your song rotations, as well as "Life To Me" if you are looking for songs to connect well with youth.



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

I love the way "Grand Design" depicts God as Creator and Savior. These lyrics remind me of Psalm 33, which speaks about how God created not only the heavens and the earth, but He also created and understands the human heart. All the glory of creation / Everything is from your hand / Reaching down out of the heavens / All to sculpt the heart of man / Not in gold and not in silver / Nothing precious or refined / Across a universe of wonder / You make dust Your grand design



Best Song On The Record

It's so hard to choose one song from this amazing project as best, but "I Won't Move" is a really special moment on this album. Since the song is stripped down to just piano and vocal, it feels like you are listening as the vocalist simply sings a heartfelt prayer to God and we all get to listen in and be drawn into our own prayer as well.



For Fans Of

Passion, Hillsong Young & FreeElevation Worship



Final Word

God So Good (Live) is a gem of a worship record. The music is fun and engaging and the lyrics are both rich and catchy. Be sure to give this one a listen.



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify


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A New Sound of Worship | Posted September-04-2019
What You Need To Know:

E58 Worship releases their debut album, Make Way (Live)–a live worship experience recorded at their home church, Expressionn58 in Glendale, CA. Featuring lead vocals from several Expression58 worship leaders, the songs of Make Way (Live) carry the church's core values of creativity and experiencing and demonstrating the love of God.



What It Sounds Like:

E58 Worship fosters an experience on Make Way (Live) that makes you feel like you are right in the room worshipping with them. The album is instantly inviting and engaging from the first note, and will draw you in not only to listen but to engage in worship. E58 is a collective stacked with artists who are not only great vocalists, but passionate worshippers gifted at leading people in the praises of God. The opening song "Freedom" features Matt Sallee of acapella pop group Pentatonix on lead vocals. Also featured on the album are Wendy Vides, Sharon Piedt, Jeremy Fowler, Reeco Butcher, and Morgan Dahlgren. 



The musicality on the album facilitates the message and mood of each song well. There are particularly beautiful piano melodies and interesting chord progressions on this project that truly elevate the lyrics. There are also songs of high-energy praise ("Love Goes On"), faith-filled declaration ("Powerful") and tender worship ("Secret Garden").    




Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights:

"Filled With Heaven" has powerful lyrics reminding us that God isn't far from us. Because we are His children, we live in His presence and have access to Him at every moment. "I don't need to beg or plead / You're already near, already near / You're not far from where we are / You're already here, already here / So when You breathe out I will breathe in / I live in the fullness of Your presence / And I lack nothing in Your goodness / You and I are one and now I'm filled with Heaven"



Best Song On The Record:

Best song on the record is a tie between "Freedom" and "Love Goes On." "Freedom" serves as a great call to worship song, inviting us to acknowledge the presence of God and respond by singing His praise because His blood has made a way for us to freely worship Him. "Love Goes On" is a fun, upbeat praise song declaring the unfailing love of God.



For Fans Of:

Passion, Elevation Worship, Kaylee + Erica, Here Be Lions



Final Word:

Make Way (Live) is one of the best live worship releases we've heard this year. I'm glad the songs born of out Expression58 are being released into the world, and as you listen to this album you will be too. These are songs that will make way for you to experience God in worship. 



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify. Read our exclusive song-by-song interview with E58 Worship here.


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Sincere Worship and Encounter With God | Posted July-16-2019
What You Need To Know

Cleveland, TN based sister duo Kaylee + Erica release their live album, Heaven Is All Around (Live).



What It Sounds Like

Kaylee + Erica have created a sound that is the perfect blend of contemporary and Gospel influences ("My Soul Says Yes," "Speak Victory"), and overflows with a passion that comes from deep relationship with God and longing for His presence. Kaylee + Erica are passionate worshippers, stellar vocalists and great songwriters and all three of those elements are evident on every song. 



Of particular note is the way the instruments support and accent the lyrics and moments within the songs in such a way that they help your heart connect with God as much as the lyrics do ("Mountaintop," "Peace Reigns"). Every drum hit, chord change, build, break and melody line is intentional and serves a purpose in the song. The album also includes stirring renditions of known worship songs such as "To Worship You Live," "Shout to the Lord," "Draw Me Close", and a cover of Rita Springer's "Never Lost" that will stir your faith and leave you hitting repeat.   



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

"All of Creation" contains a particularly beautifully written lyric. It's a poetic declaration of the truth that God has created us and redeemed us so that we could know Him and praise Him with our lives. From dust we came, scattered and broken / You gave us a name, worthy, chosen / You took our shame and made us beautiful / We want to know You, Creator, Redeemer / Tell us all about Your deepest secrets / And we'll shout the praise of everything You are



Best Song On The Record

"Heart's Desire" is a standout on the record. With beautiful gospel-influenced chord progressions that bring the song to life, "Heart's Desire" is a raw cry of love for Jesus and desire for Him more than anything and the end of the song captures a powerful spontaneous moment of worship. Kaylee + Erica's heart for God shine through especially in the vulnerability of that moment and give us a special glimpse into the type of encounter with God they desire to bring people into through their music and ministry. 


 



For Fans Of

Elevation Worship, Hillsong Worship, Travis Greene, Tasha Cobbs Leonard



Final Word

In the Bible, the Psalms are filled with vulnerable songs of seeking God, praising Him, and declarations of faith and prayer with passion, longing, sincerity and vulnerability. Those are the types of songs Kaylee + Erica have crafted and the types of worship moments they have led us into with Heaven Is All Around (Live). More than simply offering good music to listen to, this album will lead you into a personal encounter with God. 



Buy or stream the album on Apple Music.


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Worship In Community | Posted May-19-2019
What You Need To Know

New Mexico-based worship collective from Calvary Chapel Albuquerque release their project, Breakthrough



What It Sounds Like

What's most striking about Breakthrough is the lyrics: they really are simply stories of believers walking through life with God and singing about their faith together, and that's what makes the album so powerful and such a pure expression of worship. ("What Are We Afraid Of", "Grace After Grace") The arrangements and instrumentation on Breakthrough do an excellent job of supporting and elevating the lyrics so that they stand out and draw the listener in. ("Breakthrough," "Just A Glimpse")



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

Battledrums describes part of their mission as inspiring the church to sing anthems that will help us live victorious lives, and "Emmanuel" is a song that perfectly captures that. The lyrics passionately proclaim that God is with us and that we are victorious in Him.



Best Song On The Record

"Edge of Heaven" wins for best song. It has an anthemic, drum-heavy bridge that connects with many when listening to the worship genre. More than that, however, it describes a longing for God's presence that is raw and sincere.

 

For Fans Of

Here Be Lions, Elias Dummer, Freedom Movement



Final Word

There's something powerful about worship songs that are born out of a local community of believers living life and pursuing Jesus together, and Breakthrough will draw you into the preciousness of that experience.



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify


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Worship Meets Rock | Posted May-19-2019
What You Need To Know

Martin Smith, best known for fronting beloved Christian worship band, Delirious?, releases Iron Lung, his first studio album in six years.



What It Sounds Like

With Iron Lung, Martin Smith gives us a sound that is the perfect combination of worship ("Exalt," "Fire's Gonna Fall") and rock ("Iron Lung," "Great and Glorious"). The album is synth-heavy and atmospheric while at the same time giving space for guitar and drums to shine. As usual, Martin's iconic vocal brings heartfelt lyrics to life as only he can.



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

The title track, "Iron Lung", is inspired by a miraculous story from Martin's life. As a baby, he came down with bronchial pneumonia and was placed in an iron lung to help him breathe. Prior to his recovery, his mother prayed and promised to dedicate Martin back to God if He would heal him. The song paints a powerful image of remembering our stories, the trials God has brought us through, and how He brings purpose out of some of our most difficult moments.



Best Song On The Record

"Everybody Is Broken" is a standout on the album. It's sonically diverse and super interesting to listen to. Martin speak-sings the lyrics in a way that almost makes the song feel like a spoken word piece. The lyrics cleverly weave in the themes of Ezekiel 37 and the valley of dry bones story to convey that although each of us is broken, God restores and brings dead things to life.



For Fans Of

John Mark McMillian, David Leonard, We Are Messengers



Final Word

Iron Lung is a creative body of work that is as heartfelt as it is lyrically and musically intriguing, and it won't disappoint.



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify


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The Power of Worship | Posted April-04-2019
What You Need To Know:

Former lead singer of Desperation Band and New Life Church Worship Pastor Jon Egan releases a solo-project, Unveil, on Integrity Music.



What It Sounds Like:

There's nothing like a live worship experience and Unveil captures the power of these moments perfectly. Sonically, this album creates the feel of passionate corporate worship from top to bottom, because that's exactly what it is. It offers us the rawness of live worship and a congregation singing praise together. Each song is played by a live band throughout the album, with drums that know exactly when to be subtle or when to build to elevate a moment ("The Name We're Running To," "What You Said") and several hauntingly beautiful piano melodies ("Pure Exaltation," "Unveil"). "This Changes Everything" would make a great addition to Easter Sunday worship sets.



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights:

With many of these songs born out of Jon's battles with anxiety and depression, this album highlights the power of worship to help us fight spiritual battles, to turn our hearts to God when life is overwhelming, and to encourage and comfort our hearts with God's presence through hard times. 



Best Song On The Record

"Be Strong" wins best song on the record. It's both a vulnerable cry to God to rescue you from hardship and give you victory, as well as a moment of speaking encouragement over your own soul that God will break through into your dark situations. 



For Fans Of:

Passion, Here Be LionsDesperation Band



Final Word:

Jon Egan has a gift for crafting songs for God's people to sing together - anthems of faith and praise. With Unveil he delivers, once again, a collection of songs that will lead you into passionate, powerful moments of connection with God. 



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify

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Vulnerability and Versatility | Posted March-26-2019
What You Need To Know:



David Leonard, former member of worship duo All Sons & Daughters, releases his debut solo album, The Wait, on Integrity Music.



What It Sounds Like:



With The Wait, David brings us the folk-acoustic worship style reminiscent of his time with All Sons & Daughters ("Know Your Heart," "Come As You Are," "There's Nobody"), and explores new sounds we haven't heard from him before, such as rock ("Share This Burden") and synth-pop and alternative ("By My Side," "Signs of Life"). This collection of songs showcases David's vulnerability as a person and songwriter, as well as his versatility as a musician.   



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights:



The album vulnerably explores themes of wrestling with faith, waiting, and trusting God. In "I Will Wait", David sings I won't forget that Your hand will hold me / Your love sustains me through the wait. That lyric reminds me of Psalm 139:7-12, which speaks about God being with us, guiding us, and strengthening us even in seasons that feel dark and difficult. In the lyric itself, David sings phrases verbatim from Psalm 103:1-2, "Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me."





Best Song On The Record:



"Know Your Heart" stands out as best song on the record. It's possibly the closet moment on the album to the type of heartfelt worship anthem that you've come to appreciate so much from David's time with All Sons & Daughters, but David definitely leaves a mark on this song that is all his own. The chorus is both catchy and prayerful. It's one you will walk away from this album singing and praying throughout your day.



For Fans Of:



Elias Dummer, Michael Farren, We Are Messengers



Final Word:



David has opened up his heart on The Wait, honestly sharing his journey of faith and conversations with God. His words will give voice to your own journey and conversation with God as well. 



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify

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Worship In Many Musical Styles | Posted February-14-2019
What You Need To Know

Bethel Music releases their latest live worship collection, Victory (Live). This project features familiar Bethel Music voices such as Brian and Jenn Johnson, Cory Asbury and more, as well as some new voices such as Molly Skaggs, Bethany Wohrle, Emmy Rose and Daniel Bashta.



What It Sounds Like

No stranger to musical excellence and exploration, Bethel seems to have stepped out even more stylistically with Victory (Live). Even in subtle ways, these songs reveal the influence of various genres such as folk ("Raise A Hallelujah"), country ("Goodness of God") bluegrass ("Ain't No Grave"), while still creating moments of God's people singing and experiencing Him together in corporate worship, which Bethel does so well ("Praise Is A Highway", "Promises Never Fail"). 



Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights

These songs were born out of Bethel Music artists facing and overcoming real trials in their lives, such as Brain Johnson's battles with anxiety or the life-threatening sickness of Bethel Music CEO Joel Taylor's son. These declarations are honest and faith-filled. It's clear that they are written and sung from a place of clinging to God's character and promises and declaring the hope and victory we have in Him over every circumstance.



Best Song On The Record

"Stand In Your Love" stands out as the best song on the record. The song creates an atmosphere that feels like house worship and it's a really special moment on the album.



For Fans Of

Passion, Phil Wickham, Hillsong Worship



Final Word

Victory (Live) is a collection of songs that will bring you into an encounter with God, empower you to sing His promises over your circumstances, and give you a variety of musical styles to enjoy while you do it. 



Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.

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Showing 1-10 of 19 |   View Next 10 Album and Book Reviews

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