Chasing Down a Sound
Posted January 24, 2018
By MarcusHathcock_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Jared Miller is a Houston-based artist who has been working in the church for most of his life. The Worship Pastor of New Covenant Church has been songwriting for a very long time, and has released collaborative projects, but it's been a while since listeners have had the chance to hear new solo music.
Walking the line between contemporary worship leader and post-modern electronic pop artist, the Chasing Me Down EP walks a tightrope between two very different styles. Lyrically, however, the project paints an overall picture of a relentless, loving, involved God who is worthy to be praised.
Album highlights include "Loved by You," which perhaps is the song that best executes Miller's vision of bringing congregational/acoustic-based worship sounds together with the EDM format. Harkening back to vintage Tree63 with a modern flair, "Loved by You" showcases Miller's vocals at their most tender, and in their most comfortable range.
"Taking Me Higher" is probably the strongest overall song on the record, giving listeners a little less of the EDM vibe and projecting a more live recording-type feel. With atmospheric guitars and soaring vocals evoking shades of U2, this song lauds God's triumphant love: "If all the earth would shake / Love would still remain / If all the ground would quake / My heart would rest the same."
Fans looking to throw a worship dance party should look no further than the two opening tracks. "Lift up the Name" carries the overall feel of a worship set opener, but with plenty of EDM production--four-on-the-floor drum machines, synths, and a healthy dose of distortion vocal echoes and autotune embellishments.
Title track "Chasing Me Down" feels a little less congregational but still carries plenty of the worship vibe, singing: "Goodness all around / There's no place I could go / Where Your love's not found / Surrounding my heart with Yours." Chill, ethereal verses project many nuanced layers of production that provide plenty of aural interest. Fans of Planetshakers would love this track.
There are other live-style songs on the record that really project Miller's prowess as an every-Sunday worship leader. "I Will Be Still" is a chill number that just focuses on guitar and vocals, declaring a surrender to God's ultimate design. "Faithful" closes out the project with a familiar-sounding refrain that would find its home in any Sunday worship set.
The Bottom Line:
Chasing Me Down by Jared Miller is a great revving back up for the worship pastor solo artist. While his merging of styles isn't always consistent, and doesn't always fly, it's exciting to see an artist who will take those kinds of risks to be relevant and accessible. When the EP hits, it hits hard, evoking some of Christian music's most beloved bands, past and present, while presenting something entirely its own. I'm excited to see where this independent artist goes next. Usually with these first projects (or first projects after a break), there's a degree of experimentation to see what sticks. Hopefully he'll see what his sweet spot is (I think it's more in the vein of the big-sounding "Taking Me Higher"), and continue to make heartfelt, vibrant worship.
Song to Download Now:
"Taking Me Higher" (iTunes / Spotify)
View All Music And Book Reviews By MarcusHathcock_NRT | View MarcusHathcock_NRT's Profile