It does not seem five minutes since “Spirit Break Out”, the previous album from Worship Central . . . but hey, that’s me getting old. What is not OLD is the sound, the songs and the sense of the Spirit on this great new album.
Kicking off the album, “Ready for You” is a track that sets up the rest of the album, we don’t have to do a bunch of things before we come into God’s presence – we are His children, we are welcome, we have this freedom! Lets, come, lets be ready – as God works in us . . . hearts open, “ready for you” . . . “God Most High” driven along by the drums, this upbeat track lifts the eyes and spirit as we recognise who we worship and praise God, declaring His worth and glory. The title track is deservedly so! A cracking tune (which I played to a bunch of children at our midweek club . . . they loved it at first listen!), “Let it be Known” is released as a single on 17th Feb 13, just go and get it – because it is an infectious, pop infused, joyful track – it is impossible to listen to without worshiping and without moving!
Now comes a track which leaves me with goosebumps and is my stand out favourite on the album, “The Cross Stands” . . . the lyrics are stunning, every line receives a silent (not always silent) amen from me. There is a longing cry within the song, but it ultimately fueled by hope, “Christ has overcome . . . it is finished, He has won” being the bridge that needs to be shouted from the rooftops, from the streets, in our homes and our lives . . . this track is among the best I have ever head on the Cross.
“Dry Bones” a devotional song, both gentle and demanding at the same time. The gentle rhythm of the song cannot hide the demanding lyrics – do we want to change? do we want God to have His way in us? . . . and as the song builds, YES, “these dry bones can live – we’re nothing without you” a song that takes us on a journey from hopelessness to a place of life and possibility! “Kingdom Coming” follows and is a declaration of what has, and what is happening when the Kingdom of Jesus is present . . . I also LOVE the bridge with “Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy” (In the Greek, known as the Kyrie Eleison), the mixing of the ancient with the contemporary should form a greater part of our worship . . . LOVE IT!
“Guardian” A song I already knew, and – my first thought actually (which was a surprise to me!) was this is an absolutely cracking track for a mens gathering. Although I don’t personally have an issue with singing songs about Jesus being beautiful etc – I know that some men do. Well, seriously guys, sing this song – you will be able to belt it out – the words are true, it is proclaimational and nails where our hope and our confidence should reside – in our Guardian! Also great is the way the lyrics echo great prayers of the past with the idea that God is before us and beside us and around us . . . an anthemic, congregational crowd pleaser.
“Draw me close” an intimate and atmospherically rendered track on the album, acknowledging again our weakness, our need, a song of promises too – God being our comfort, our sustainer – this is not a song about triumphantly overcoming the pain in our lives, but about recognising that in the midst of our pain, suffering and the human condition that “He is here with us”, I love the honesty reflected in these lyrics, especially, “EVEN now”, (with what I have done Lord? with how I feel Lord?) YES, even now.
“The Constant” I am loving the mixture of devotional intimacy and proclaiming it LOUD who Jesus is and where we need to put our trust and confidence. If ever we needed to sing these words, is it in the World (and the Church) right now, everything else might change . . . but we have a God of Hope and a God who is Constant.
“Hallelujah” it is apparent from the short passages of praise and adoration in Revelation that we do not need loads of words to make our worship meaningful, I can imagine this tune be sung around the throne – and when we sing it here on earth, that the angels are joining in. A mantra of a song of worship that is praise but also a reminder to us of how our lives and our thoughts and our attitudes should be lived . . . be glorified!
“Our Generation” A different song, but reminded me of “Can a nation be changed?” We need to be reminded to sing these songs, and thankfully they keep being written too – UNTIL we see it happen, much like the persistent widow – this is a song for justice, a song for freedom – and – like many of the songs on this album, this needs to be more than a song to be sung but a song that sends us to our knees . . . naturally following on from this is what sounds like, on the album at least, the spontaneous “Set me Free“, a prayer as much as a song . . . and an illustration of the wholeness of the album, this is not just a bunch of songs . . . I feel like I have been on a journey as I have listened to it straight through, growing, progressing, discovering and learning about worship as I worship. I don’t know if that was a plan or not (maybe it is just me!), but these songs hang together and the right stuff is in the right place on the right album . . .
One of the stand out verses in scripture for me is Romans 8:11, the title of this track, “The Same Power“, another great song about the REASON we can sing about the Cross, because Christ rose again and conquered death . . . powerful, punchy and an Easter Sunday song if ever I heard one!
There is so much in this album, great Bible filled and Spirit fueled lyrics, tunes that stick – both the congregational and the quiet personal devotional alongside just some great stadium filling tunes. I am not knocking songs (and even albums) of the recent past – but, as I have listened to this – by comparison some have felt lightweight fluffy, and churned out . . . this is a rich, deep, album for disciples of Jesus – and wherever you are on your journey – buy this album, play this album, sing these songs – but more important than singing “Let it be known” is if we allow songs like these to be the breath of our worship and – as we worship and encounter God – that we might be transformed increasingly into the likeness of Christ.
Album Rating: 5/5