Visions of Freedom
Posted October 09, 2017
By PhillFeltham_NRT, Staff Reviewer
A new trend has emerged: local worship teams in churches big and small across the world are releasing worship albums. Los Angeles-based Higher Vision Church, with a multigenerational congregation of nearly 3,000 people, is no different. The church's worship team recently dropped their debut album For Your Kingdom.
For Your Kingdom is reverent, familiar yet innovative. The band's artists sing to God with complete reverence on each track. Some songs have a well-known sound, a perfect fit for Sunday morning worship. But Higher Vision Worship also innovatively and bravely tinkers with different sounds which are uncommon for today's worship albums.
The band cleverly mixes live instruments with funky dance beats. For Your Kingdom's lead track "Higher" starts the album off with a hip-moving groove. "Freedom of Your Love" continues this upbeat tempo, with an '80s-style hand clapper. Audience applause on live worship albums can sometimes drown out the music. But in this song, applause happens at just the right time, giving the piece that much more energy.
"Worthy is the Lamb" is a catchy ballad perfect for Sunday mornings. The musical arrangement in this eight-minute piece uses a myriad of different instruments, staying away from too much repetition. The impressive guitar riffs help bring life to the song. The ballad "He is Here" is similar to "Worthy is the Lamb" in sound and tempo. It starts slow and picks up speed as the song progresses. It is a well-arranged duet between Higher Vision Worship and the audience.
"Hands Held High" is a mid-tempo track with another 80s-style arrangement. For Your Kingdom's title track starts strong but stalls a little at the one-minute mark. "Near to the Broken" is a musical conversation between the singer and God. This piece is definitely one of the album's standouts.
"Broken the Chains," the album closer, is a beautiful, gentle ballad to God (easily the best ballad on the album). The song starts off with an intimate sound between voice and piano. At the two minute mark, other instruments join in, turning the piece into a hand-raising worship anthem. The song celebrates freedom, Jesus sacrificing his life so we could be free of sin's bondage.
The Bottom Line: Lyrically, Higher Vision Worship delivers solid reverent lyrics. Musically, For Your Kingdom experiences some mood swings throughout. The first three songs are strong, giving a quality listening experience. Songs "Trust in You" and "Set Our Hearts" are weaker, effectively moving the listener to another place. "He is Here" brings the album back on track, only to move off again with the album's title cut. "Broken the Chains" finishes the album on a very high note, closing the album with style.
Songs to Download Now:
"Freedom of Your Love" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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