Release Date: May 6th 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
All Sons And Daughters– All Sons And Daughters (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- You Will Remain
- God With Us
- Christ Be All Around Me
- For Your Glory & My Good
- King Of Glory (You Restore My Soul)
- The Victory
- Great Are You Lord
- Almighty God (Feat. Sandra McCracken)
- We Give You Thanks
- More Than Anything
All Sons And Daughters, a worship duo consisting of David Leonard and Leslie Jordan, have been wowing listeners with their songwriting and singing abilities, providing us poignant and vulnerable melodies ever since they were featured on the special event album Know Hope Collective, and then subsequently on their 3 EP’s, and albums Season One and Live. With such heart for Jesus and an infectious joy that comes out of their songs, such as the buoyant and eclectic “Oh Our Lord” and the piano ballad “All The Poor And Powerless”, the band has delivered high quality music – powerful and impacting worship songs while also pushing musical boundaries into the genres of acoustic, folk and bluegrass.
Now releasing their sophomore self-titled studio album, featuring co-writes with Stu G, Francesca Battistelli, Derek Webb, Leeland, Jason Ingram and Sandra McCracken; this is a certain purchase for any fan of All Sons and Daughters, and those craving and yearning for a new wave of worship music that could be touted as timeless and unique. Featuring some recognisable tracks, and newer sure to be future fan favourites, both David and Leslie harmonise and sing together on this album quite well, and we are transported to a magical and beautiful place of surrender towards our Lord and Saviour. One of my favourite worship albums of the year; there’s something here on All Sons And Daughters for everyone to enjoy!
Four of the 11 songs are immediately recognisable to me, and this familiarity brings with it an immense eagerness to listen to the rest of the songs. “Tonight”, written with Francesca Battistelli, and featured on the deluxe edition of her album If We’re Honest, was originally somewhat of a soothing and calm lullaby, however musically David and Leslie change the instruments dramatically, with guitars, banjos, mandolins all chiming in as the song progresses, and a much more fuller, all-encompassing folk sound employed as well. In every sense of the word, this song is a prayer to God for guidance and direction, and for Him to come to us and bring us peace and security, in the night in in the proverbial ‘night’- the storms and trials of life as well. A well-recorded rendition; this track is one of the most revealing and special songs of All Sons And Daughters’ career!
“Christ Be All Around Me”, written with Leeland and Jack Mooring, is led by the stirring keys and resounding guitars as well, and is also featured on Michael W Smith’s upcoming album Sovereign. A scripture-in-song type of encourager, letting us know that Jesus is alive in everything that we do, this version is similar to Michael W Smith’s powerful duet with Leeland, yet also distinct in its own right; with the passionate cry and declaration by David and Leslie culminating in the ever true and moving refrain that prophetically highlights that ‘…Your life, Your death, Your blood was shed for every moment, for every moment…’ and authoritatively declares that ‘…above and below me, before and behind me, in every eye that sees me, Christ be all around me…’. This song led by fervent guitars and gentle keys, is a song that I can see being sung in churches all around the world pretty soon, and will surely be on my iTunes playlist for a while.
The last two familiar tracks are “God With Us” and “Great Are You Lord”, both of which released as a live video weeks prior to the Live CD/DVD release date. While simple in its theme and lyrics, as David and Leslie remind us of God’s greatness and faithfulness, it is the sheer emotion and evident heart for Jesus from the duo in “Great Are You Lord” that really gets me excited. Though the anthemic and epic like piano led chorus is sonically sublime, it is actually at the start, where David exuberantly and profoundly offers up the prophetic words, that gives me chills ‘…You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness, You give hope, You restore, every heart that is broken…’, where the song kicks off with a bang, and then proceeds from there to create a massive God moment. Lead by the strings as well as a beautifully played keyboard, both vocalists sing in harmony as we are transfixed by the message of God’s greatness and sovereignty. Later on in the song big booming drums are introduced, yet the song still maintains its acoustic flavour and root. “God With Us”, a Christmas-like themed melody about God coming down to Earth and being God with us, led by Leslie, contains unique and creative instruments like accordion and strings (reminding me of how Rend Collective like to experiment with their instruments!). With the subject matter of God dwelling in us and never leaving our side being timeless and never out of date, the words of ‘Emmanuel, God With Us’ highlight to us that our celebrations of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection, should be undertaken all year around!
Throughout the rest of the album, David and Leslie employ a lot of different styles and musical avenues, keeping us interested and intrigued, while offering up honest songs rooted in the Bible, encouraging and inspiring us in our daily walk with Jesus. The solemn acoustic folk sounding “For Your Glory & My Good”, co-written with Derek Webb, is where the duo fervently pray to God, asking Him to make us fools for Jesus, to increase our faith to the point where we can accept with joy that whatever happens in our life is for His glory and our good. The equally quiet, reflective ballad “King Of Glory”, written with Stu G and driven by the acoustic guitar and light percussion, lifts God up , as He is proclaimed as the King Of Glory, with the duo majestically sing out from Psalm 23 that ‘…surely goodness and mercy follow me, every moment I will dwell with You…’. The poignant and enthralling mid tempo electric guitar led rocker “The Victory” (probably the most upbeat song on the album!) has us gladly celebrate with David and Leslie the resurrection of Jesus, marvelling at the wonder of Jesus and significance of the fact that we are now free in Him, singing out ‘…we lift up our praise to God whose marvellous Name is High above it all…’. And the moving and enchanting acoustic guitar driven duet “Almighty God” with Sarah McCracken serves as a Holy Spirit anointed vertical worship track, as Sarah joins David and Leslie in praising God- the chorus of the simple words of ‘…Hallelujah…’ is truly magical and my respect for the Integrity Music signed duo skyrockets and is further solidified. It is through these songs and more that All Sons and Daughters have shown varied and seamless music versatility and creativity that any artist could ever dream of; and with every song merely a vessel for praising God or crying out in desperation, longing and vulnerability to Him; these gems and treasures are truly some of the most honest, emotional, personal and best in 2014. Yet it is the album closers and opener that sets this album apart from most others so far this year.
“We Give You Thanks”, co-written with Jason Ingram, is surely a song that will be sung in churches everywhere, and possibly on the radio airwaves. Thematically a song about giving gratitude and thanks to God ‘…for all Your goodness, for how You love us…We give You thanks…’, David, who leads on this track, is truly in his element; and it is the unbridled and uncompromising passion and heart for Jesus that these two display in this song and many others, that make me respect theme more as an artist. Rarely Christian artists are skilful enough to play around with a myriad of styles as well as provide us with theologically and biblically sound lyrics and a captivating message, yet David and Leslie provide us with exactly that, hats off to Paul Mabury as producer and the other artists who co-write with them; there is hardly a fault or blemish amongst the eleven gems and treasures. As the album opener, the lead single “You Will Remain”, builds with strings, and Leslie sets the tone vocally with her beautiful and distinct powerful vocals; the sovereignty and faithfulness of God is explored, as we realise that Jesus will be with us forever, always with us in good or bad situation, that ‘…You, Oh Lord will remain, when everything else fades away…’. It is songs like these, which explores the theme of the enormity of God’s proclamation that ‘I AM’ instead of ‘I was’ or ‘I will be’; that has me grinning from ear to ear, and earnestly wanting to recommend my favourite bands to others who haven’t heard of them. “More Than Anything” ends the wonderful, refreshing and breathtaking musical experience worthy of repeating multiple times; with Leslie leading an earnest and intimate prayer led by acoustic guitar and piano authoritatively declaring that we need Jesus more than anything. It’s a simple refrain and notion, but oh so powerful and effective in its message! Well done All Sons And Daughters for creating gems of songs that are sure to take off in concerts and change people’s lives- as we declare that God is great and worthy to be praised!
All Sons And Daughters new studio album, containing songs sure to be sung in churches everywhere, is a must listen and a must buy! Definitely going to be included in my top 10 favourite albums by year’s end, this is a good a place as any to start listening to the band if you haven’t had the pleasure to listen, or if for some reason you’re not a fan. Redefining worship music, and adding their own creative spin and flair, reminding us that vertical worship music to God can indeed be creative, unique and different, while at the same time reflective, contemplative, and inspiring to listeners. With an infusion of genres mixed together, like pop, folk, acoustic, piano only tracks, you would definitely love All Sons And Daughters if you’re a fan of Rend Collective Experiment, David Crowder*Band, Gungor, Leeland, Needtobreathe, Audrey Assad and Jesus Culture! Leslie Jordan and David Leonard should be commended and congratulated on a fantastic job, there is hardly any flaws! With every track ministering to me in some way, especially personal favourites “You Will Remain”, “We Give You Thanks” and “Christ Be All Around Me”; the self-titled album once again reinforces why worship is my favourite genre ever! Well done guys for such a hopeful and inspiring album, one of my favourites in May 2014!
3 songs to listen to: You Will Remain, We Give You Thanks, Christ Be All Around Me
RIYL: Leeland, Rend Collective, Michael W. Smith, Paul Baloche, Meredith Andrews