Back And Better Than Ever
Posted July 21, 2014
By CaitlinLassiter_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In June, the news broke that California worship pastor and Christian music mainstay Lincoln Brewster would be re-signing with Integrity Music, his record label for over a decade now.This news accompanied the even more exciting announcement that he would be releasing his ninth studio album on August 19. With the exception of a 2012 Christmas record, Oxygen is Brewster's first album in almost four years. Despite the lengthy period of time between releases, Oxygen proved to be worth the wait, and it seems Lincoln is back and better than ever.
In some cases, the first beats and lyrics of a project set the tone for the tunes that follow, and that is certainly true in this case. From the opening notes of "Live To Praise You," we can expect a high-energy pop theme throughout, as well as the lyrical theme of praising God for His goodness and faithfulness regardless of our circumstances, as stated in the first lines: "day after day / You never change." Up next is the title track, explaining the title with the declaration "I need you more than oxygen."
Radio single "Made New" serves as an encouragement to listeners that God can redeem anyone, while "There Is Power" and "On Our Side" proclaim timeless truths of the great power in the name of Jesus, reminding that He is always for us. Worshipful "You Never Stop" and "Heartbeat" continue the pattern of thanking God for His great love, with the latter also being a prayer to come together as one Body of Christ and be more like Him.
Honestly, there's not a bad song on the album, but the standout moment is the shining "Sinking Ships (Rescue Has Come)," which shows off Brewster's versatile voice and falsetto against beautiful instrumentation. The song tells a captivating story of God coming to our rescue when we're hurting or in need. Equally strong track "Whole Again (Come Alive)" follows close behind. In this softer cut, Lincoln's vocals are once again put on display to sing of God's redemption in the broken and painful parts of life. Closing out the album just as it began, "Shout It Out" is an energetic call to believers to praise God for all He's done and to tell the world about His goodness.
Oxygen seems to be the perfect mix of emotions. In the course of just eleven tracks, you'll find songs that make you want to dance, songs that make you want to cry, and songs that leave you in a posture of worship and praise to God for all He is. Lincoln has been renovating modern Christian worship music since his debut, giving it more of a rock edge, and that shines through in this project as well. The guitar riffs that he's known for make an appearance in several cuts and give the project the signature sound we've all come to know and love from him over the years. I'm sure Lincoln Brewster fans will agree when I say Oxygen left me wanting more, and it could easily be considered his best work yet. This album was definitely worth the wait.
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