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Vulnerable Truth
Posted March 02, 2016
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer

The ministry of Bethel Music has become a mainstay on the worship scene in the past few years. Beginning with their various live and studio projects as a collective of artists, then continuing with solo projects from individual worship leaders, several of their songs have become commonplace in churches today. With the recent additions of Leeland and Cory Asbury to the collective, the gang at Bethel are truly setting themselves apart as the premier source of worship music.

Bethel's latest offering, Have It All, once again shows the breadth and depth of talent in this team of artists as well as the heart of worship that is alive and well. The album opens with William Matthews' distinct vocals on "Shine On Us." The song is beautiful and reflects on the beauty of God. Rather than starting with a high energy song, they opted to go with a reflective piece that truly draws you into the presence of an almighty God.

The title track, "Have It All," is new song of surrender. The sound of the congregation singing along with Brian Johnson draws you into the evening it was recorded. The subdued guitar and muted kick drum in the opening leave the listener with an ethereal sense of being. This is a song to be sung from your knees with hands raised in surrender. 

A highlight of the album comes with Leeland singing "Lion and the Lamb." When I first listened to the song, I was brought back to May 2015 when Leeland led worship at YC Alberta. This is an incredibly powerful song. Leeland's voice and style match perfectly with the rest of the Bethel artists.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the ladies of Bethel on this album. Steffany Gretzinger, Jenn Johnson and Amanda Cook all deliver emotionally charged performances on "Pieces," "Heaven Come" and "Mercy," respectively. "Pieces" speaks to how God gives us all of Himself, not just pieces. It talks about the perfection of God's love, drawing on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Jenn Johnson delivers "Heaven Come" with power and authority, a call for Heaven to come and fill the Earth now and forever. On "Mercy," the rhythmic piano and driving bass line are a perfect backdrop for Amanda Cook to bring her distinctive style. This song, of course, is from Amanda's own solo project Brave New World, and focuses on the truths of Micah 7:18 and James 2:13.

The Bottom Line: This album is full of truth and reflection. It is not a high energy praise-fest, but rather an album designed around the concepts of vulnerability, honesty and resilience. Songs from this album will become personal reflections for many in the Church as they touch on the greatness and purity of God and our own desires to draw closer to the heart of God and let Him Have It All.

Song to Download Now:
"Lion and the Lamb" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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