Creating Collaborative Environments of Praise
Posted February 23, 2015
By MaryNikkel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
WorshipMob is a Colorado born collective of worship leaders who initially started to gather in meetings focused on granting those who are usually pouring into their congregations space to recharge and be refilled with the Spirit. What began as small gatherings didn't stay contained to one room for long. Soon the group began recording videos of what was happening in their community, the result of a truly collaborative approach unique to their collective.
The fact that these tracks are focused not on a few select artists or voices, but rather grow organically from a large group of musicians who are mostly anonymous, makes the overall sound of this album significantly different from most other recent worship releases. The project, which is a blend of originals and covers, feels a little less focused because of its collaborative nature, which at times might make it hard for the listener to find something to latch onto. But it also succeeds in synthesizing a certain atmosphere extremely conducive to personal soul-baring worship. This music creates an environment more than it claims a spotlight.
Opening track "Satisfy" creates this kind of environment with cooling piano beds behind the interwoven vocals of multiple vocalists as the soothing song calls to let go of burdens. "Love Outran Me" also has these calming undertones carried by simple instrumentation.
Some of the tracks, such as "Arrested by Grace," have a slightly broader sound musically, employing stronger percussion and heavily delayed electric guitar. Declarative "We Are Yours" also exhibits this bigger sound.
Lyrically, the songs touch on both reassurance and longing, creating an environment of soul solace within the truth of who God is while voicing the deep spirit-longing to know Him better still. Their version of "More and More of You" displays this longing well. "Arrested by Grace" builds from the beautiful concept "my fall was arrested by grace." "Downpour" cries for the drenching presence of Jesus and the stirring of the Spirit.
The group chose to cover a few recent extremely well known tracks: Bethel's "You Make Me Brave" and Hillsong's "Oceans." "You Make Me Brave" stays relatively true to the original, which succeeds musically although it does not necessarily lend much innovation to what Bethel had already created. Their variation on "Oceans" stands out a little more, as the group draws heavily on strings and a more raw, natural instrumentation arrangement. They also weave in a thread of the classic hymn "Nothing But the Blood."
The heavily collaborative approach to this album makes it unique listening experience that is truly conducive to allowing God to take center stage. Although there is not a lot that is flashy or innovative in the individual songs, together they create an environment that enables praise, an atmosphere of earnest worship. These are sheltering songs for the listener, much as the services were initially sheltering for the dry-hearted worship leaders who founded them.
Song to Download Now:
"More and More of You"
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