Fair Trade Services
Release Date: November 1st 2019
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Joy! He Shall Reign
‘…the Lord brought a word at the beginning of this year, in the middle of all of our busy-ness, and I think in some ways we had failed to rest. A pastor friend of ours shared this word and just said, “you guys are going to find the rhythm of the rest of God.” I was like, “man, I don’t even know what you mean, but I know that’s right because it just hit me right in my heart.” That’s been it–learning how to do this, but remembering how to laugh, you know? When you’re hearing about difficult things that people have been going through or that you’ve been going through in a season, it’s so easy to get your battle face on and never come out of that place. But I think some of the biggest ministries to us has been the comradery of just sitting and laughing about some of the goofiest things and remembering the joy, not that we have to do this, but that we get to do this. This is not what we do for a living–it is that, too–but this is what we do with our living. That’s a different way to look at it, and that’s a step in the right direction to try to stay away from burnout…’ Big Daddy Weave have been in and around the CCM industry for quite some time, starting their career in the early 2000s and entering into the hearts and radio stations of people around the world with their chart-topping single ‘Audience of One’. Since then, it’s been hit after hit after hit, and Mike Weaver and co. have been delivering songs that are earnest, heartfelt, emotive, challenging and encouraging as we see arguably one of the bands of CCM today that is dearly underrated. With songs like ‘Redeemed’, ‘Love Come to Life’, ‘Everytime I Breathe’, ‘Yours Will Be’, ‘Jesus I Believe’, ‘My Story’ and the ever-reliable Bethel Music cover ‘The Lion and the Lamb’, Big Daddy Weave have been giving us songs of hope and positive change for years upon end. This is no different when it comes to their brand-new originally written Christmas song ‘Joy! He Shall Reign’, the first original Christmas song since a bunch of them on their 2009 album Christ is Come.
As with songs like ‘Majesty’ (Avalon) and ‘Joy Unto the World’ (The Afters), this new song from Big Daddy Weave has struck a chord with myself ever since I heard it during this December Christmas season. And while as I’m writing this review, Christmas is officially over, I’m nevertheless reminded of the passion and poignancy that this song has, as Big Daddy Weave decide to give their own rendition and take on the classic Christmas carol ‘Joy to the World’. Similar in theme and what both songs want to portray, we’re reminded of God reigning above everything else, and that because of who He is, He ought to take the highest place in the lives we ever so monotonously lead. ‘Joy (He Shall Reign)’ employs the use of violins and other string instruments to present a style that is unique and different from all the ‘guitar’ standard fare, as we get a glimpse into a style not necessarily presented to the fore that often- Irish/Celtic music, with string instruments prominent. ‘Joy (He Shall Reign)’ prepares to remedy that, and with a nice undertone of violin throughout the track, I’m pleasantly pleased that Big Daddy Weave can deliver something new, lively, joyous and all-round happy and enthusiastic. Many Christmas songs often tend to be sombre with songs like ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ and ‘O Come O Come Emmanuel’, but not this new one from BDW. As powerful and catchy as it can be, the song itself is a great reminder of where our hope lies- in a baby born years upon years ago, that such a God who came down to us as a babe and died some thirty odd years later for all the sins of all mankind in all of history- that feat itself ought to deserve us declaring His name and lifting Him up, as He reigns rightly so- above anything and anyone. A song that has continued being played on my iTunes playlists for the remainder of the year (and maybe into next year too!), Big Daddy Weave’s new Christmas song is what this year needs- an original track that is refreshing, different and biblically powerful, as ‘Joy to the World’ the carol gets a new awakening, and one that I’m sure will encourage more listeners of not only Christmas music, but originally written songs about Christmas, alongside people interested in Big Daddy Weave’s discography as well. Well done Mike and co. for such a powerful song, can’t wait for maybe a Christmas album and a followup to Christ is Come in the future!
RIYL: Matt Maher, Jonathan Thulin, Britt Nicole, Sidewalk Prophets