Nuanced, Unifying Worship
Posted March 05, 2018
By MarcusHathcock_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Although the worship ministry of Minneapolis' River Valley Church has been making records for a while now, the release of Million Lifetimes signifies a new era for both this collective and its new label home. This album is the first released under new BEC Recordings/Tooth & Nail imprint, BEC Worship.
What it Sounds Like:
Electronic dance music has been a part of the worship scene for a while now, but what hasn't been mainstreamed in worship music is a good balance of programmed and live elements. River Valley Church does this well, running the gamut between EDM dance party, slower acoustic jams, piano-driven ballads and all places in between. While the sound is youth-friendly, it's not overly "youthy" to the point where older worshippers can't find something to enjoy. Indeed, both the Youth & Free crowd and Tomlin crowd can unite under these songs.
Look, it's pretty simple: The Gospel is on display, declaring Jesus' overcoming, overarching victory over death, the grave and hopelessness. "Victory" is a beautiful back and forth juxtaposition of our hopeless situation and Jesus' solution: "My ransomed grave, your grace was greater / Strong were the chains, your grace is stronger / These crimson stains washed by my savior // Victory, Christ in me / My debt is paid, I've been set free." Awesome lyrics abound throughout, including "Hope Has A Name."
Best Song on the Record:
"Hope Has A Name" incorporates all of the great pieces of this project, blending acoustic and electronic elements, which carry a dramatic, hymnlike structure that points to the supremacy of Jesus as the author and fulfillment of our hopes. People who love the big, anthemic declarations (think "10,000 Reasons" or "The Stand") will adore this.
For Fans Of:
Hillsong Young & Free, Elevation Worship, Passion, Vertical Worship Band
With River Valley Worship, BEC's new imprint is hitting the ground running, bringing us the kind of high-energy, well-crafted songs many worship leaders will feel like they can (and should!) actually execute during Sunday morning services.
Listen to it on Spotify and iTunes.
View All Music And Book Reviews By MarcusHathcock_NRT | View MarcusHathcock_NRT's Profile