An Album of Influence
Posted March 17, 2017
By JohnHisel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Elevation Worship, born out of Elevation Church in 2007, has steadily forged their way into the mainstream contemporary worship scene since their beginning in 2007. "Give Me Faith" from 2010's For The Honor was their first song that gained widespread traction, and songs like "Only King Forever," "I Will Look Up," "Raised To Life," "O Come To The Altar" and "Resurrecting" have helped the band's ministry match the meteoric rise of the church they are attached to. There Is A Cloud is poised to take Elevation to another level still with expertly crafted, vertically-focused worship anthems that will quickly find space in contemporary churches everywhere.
The first four full songs of There Is A Cloud are about as solid as a worship album can get. The songs are musically intricate, but also as easy to sing as anything recently released. The mid-tempo album opener and title track "There Is A Cloud" is a beautiful representation of a common prayer for many Christians, singing "For the dry season is over / There is a cloud / Beginning to swell."
Absolute record highlight "Overcome" is next, checking every box on the great worship song checklist: the infectious synth hook, perfectly placed rhythmic accents, powerful chorus and soaring bridge are all there. Following closely is "Do It Again," a song that many have already heard in advance that is truly powerful lyrically. Closing out the powerhouse first four songs is "Fullness," a piano-driven ballad that could have a future at summer camp altar times.
Even after the exceptional first four tracks, there is still much more to come. "He Is Lord" takes the tempo back up slightly, the fastest song on the first half of album. It contains a declarative and rhythmically interesting bridge that starts the next part of the album on a high note. "Yours (Glory and Praise)" notably gives the congregation a chance to carry part of the song, once more on a spectacular bridge. "Uncontainable Love" is the first of four female-led songs on the second half of There Is A Cloud, and one of three truly fast, praise type songs. It's catchy and clap- worthy, while also channeling--just maybe--some familiar pop sensibilities.
Kicking off the final part of the album is "None," taking more of a contemplative tone with lyrics scattered throughout like "No sacrifice can now repay the debt / or earn this gift of righteousness / that was your own." One the few fast songs is next, with "Grateful" containing the catchiest chorus with a synth part that completes the song perfectly. "Mighty Cross" is the best female-led song of the four and would be at home next to something like "Stay Amazed" from Gateway Worship or "What A Beautiful Name" from Hillsong, and it launches into one of the most soaring bridges on the entire album.
"Here In The Presence" is placed perfectly at the end of the live portion of the album. It feels like a successor to the previous album's "O Come To The Altar," containing a hope-filled bridge that every Christian needs to hear, singing out "I know your past is broken / You can move on, it's over now / Here in the presence of the Lord." This song also contains some of the best guitar work on the album, and it overall serves as a nearly perfect end to a great album.
Not to be forgotten are three acoustic tracks at the end, stripped down but faithful interpretations of three of the best songs on the album: "Do It Again," "Yours" and "Fullness."
The Bottom Line: In There Is A Cloud, Elevation Worship has created one of the best worship releases in recent memory. This is a band that is excellent at writing songs full of hope and faith, with instrumentation that's intricate enough and yet still accessible to many churches. Elevation's heart has always been to contribute to the worship movement as a whole, as evidenced by the fact that they provide both official chord charts and snyth/piano loops free of charge to make the songs easier to pull off in a regular church setting. There Is A Cloud is full of songs that have the potential to be sung anywhere and everywhere, while always keeping the focus on Jesus. There Is A Cloud is an album that could prove to be very influential throughout the praise and worship movement.
Song to Download Now:
"Overcome" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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