Bethel Music's "Starlight" is a Powerful Collection of Worship Songs
Posted August 21, 2018
Over the past several years, Bethel Music has been a driving force in the Worship Music genre, writing many of the songs that we sing every week in church like "Lion and the Lamb", "This is Amazing Grace", "Forever", and the list goes on from there. With this offering, Bethel Music expands their style with songs of spritual depth, lyrical passion, and musical beauty. Starlight is the ninth live album from Bethel Music. It features worship leaders Amanda Cook, Steffany Gretzinger, Jenn Johnson, Kristene DiMarco, Hannah McClure, Melissa Helser, and Kalley Heiligenthal, as well as guest worship leader Francesca Battistelli. It's the second women's album however and the sequel to their first #1 women's album You Make Me Brave (2014).
The title track, "Starlight", opens the album with Bethel's signature atmospheric sound, eventually swelling into an epic bridge sung by Amanda Cook, backed by soaring strings, booming drums and powerful guitars. This track is definitely a standout musically and lyrically, as Amanda Cook's powerful lyrics add depth to the already powerful song. Francsca Battistelli brings a power and authority during her new song "There's No Other Name" and the Bethel classic "God I Look to You", the former of the two being one of the strongest worship songs on the album. Steffany Gretzinger brings her signature powerhouse vocals during her stirring rendition of Sarah & John Mark McMillan's song "King of My Heart" (which she leads with Jeremy Riddle, the only man featured on the album), as well as her new song "Extravagant", a duet with Amanda Cook. Both songs are among the strongest featured on the album. Kristene DiMarco is also featured for the first time since the You Make Me Brave album with her new song, and lead single for the record "Take Courage". The songwriter who brought us It is Well sings the anthem with passion and conviction, encouraging the body of Christ to be still and know God has a plan even in the time of waiting.
Some of Bethel's worship leaders who aren't always featured on their CDs are brought to the forefront on this album. Hannah McClure leads her song "Old for New", one of my personal favorites, and Kalley Heiligenthal leads "The War is Over", a song written by Josh Baldwin for his solo album of the same name. Coming off the success of her and her husband's studio album released in late 2016, Melissa Helser leads the live version of her song "Catch the Wind". The No Longer Slaves singer is finally featured on a live album with a song to lead by herself for the first time.
Towards the close of the CD the music is brought down to a simple acoustic song. "For the One" is led by long-time Bethel leader Jenn Johnson and is one of the most touching worship songs Bethel has ever released. It's a simple prayer, that the church and all its members would strive to be more like Christ and to love purely and unreserved, just as Christ did. The album closes with Amanda Cook's version of the Jonathan & Melissa Helser hit "You Came (Lazarus)" to end the powerful CD on a joyous and happy note.
Starlight shows the creativity and passion that worship music can have. The music is phenomenal, the lyrics are sound and creative, but most importantly the heart and the vision are in the right place. With songs that talk about encountering God, worshipping God, and standing on His Word in time of trouble. I would recommend this album to anyone wanting to draw closer to the presence of God through worship music.
Songs to get right now:
"There's No Other Name"
"Old for New"
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