Leeland [The Great Awakening]
Posted September 12, 2011
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
The Great Awakening by Leeland is the band’s fourth full-length album. I first experienced Leeland with their stunning 2006 debut Sound Of Melodies, my top album of that year. Then, I saw them on tour with Casting Crowns where they blew me away when they performed “Reaching,” “Carried To The Table,” “Sound of Melodies” and the stirringly emotional “Tears of the Saints.” At that show, I became a Leeland fan for life. Three albums and five years later, brothers Leeland and Jack Mooring are joined by 18-year old new band member Shelly Mooring, their younger sister, along with drummer Mike Smith for their best album since Sound Of Melodies.
Title track “The Great Awakening” kicks off the album in style with a hooky piano intro and infectious melody featuring Leeland’s instantly recognizable vocals laying the foundation of the album. The song is based on an anonymous poem from the 1700’s with these great lyrics, ‘One man wakes, awakens another, second one wakes his next door brother, three awake and arouse a town and turn the whole place upside down, many awake will cause such a fuss, it finally awakes the rest of us, one man awakes with dawn in his eyes, truly then it multiplies.’ As missionary kids with hearts for the lost it is a quintessential Leeland song, and an incredible worship anthem. Anthemic is a great word to describe the entire project which oozes with Leeland’s unique ability to capture the incredible emotion of their live performances in a seamless eleven song worship experience. “All Over The Earth” is almost nine minutes long and is a worship jam session. Recently retired worship band Delirious? has a worthy successor in this progressive worship band who blends U2 and Coldplay-style guitar riffs with worship choruses that could all be added to church services around the world, just like Hillsong UNITED.
The songs I’d love to sing with fellow believers are “Chains Hit The Ground,” “Holy Ghost,” “While We Sing” and “Unending Songs.” They are all Scripturally based catchy songs addressing important Truths for people to lean on Jesus for hope no matter what their circumstances. The songs all come right out of personal prayer time for this gifted band and there are also some stirring ballads in the middle of the album including “I Wonder,” “Pages,” “Not Afraid Anymore” and “I Cry.” You can really hear the siblings harmonize in “I Wonder” as they all worship with awe and wonder the greatness of the Cross. “I Cry” includes vulnerable and prayerful lyrics, “I cry are You out there tonight or am I all alone, this time is the fight of my life, I cry, I can’t do this on my own, I can’t do this on my own, I am giving You control.” It is a gorgeous offering to our Savior and Redeemer Jesus. The song reminds us of the Truth of Romans 8:35—“Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.” Amen.
This is the most spine-tingling worship project I've ever experienced and these eleven songs are all completely anointed, Spirit-led and emotionally captivating. The Great Awakening by Leeland is flawless and overflows with worship-driven emotional responses to our Lord and Savior. This is the top worship album of the year! Each of the previous three albums were GRAMMY nominated and I expect the same for this album, along with multiple GMA Dove Award nominations including worship album and group of the year.
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