Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Wake Up
- Oh Such Love
- Lift Your Hands
- When We Gather
- All You’ve Done
- Christ Is Alive In Me
- Only You
- Children Of The Living God
- Oh Great God
- The Heart Of The Father (feat. Watoto Children’s Choir)
- Body Of Christ
- We Are Not The Same
- All You’ve Done (Acoustic)
- Ever Faithful (Acoustic)
- When We Gather (Acoustic)
- Welcome Home (Acoustic)
- Lift Your Hands (Acoustic)
- Your Presence (Acoustic)
“…This project is an amazing reminder and testimony of what God has done in our lives. He has been and remains to be always faithful. Sometimes we forget that and we need to be reminded that our strength and our plans are nothing compared to God’s plans and his ever faithfulness. I pray this project encourages people to pause for a moment, look back to take note of what God has done through both the good and bad, and rejoice knowing that God will continue to be faithful…” Just like other high profile CCM/worship husband/wife duos like SHINEBRIGHT, Love & The Outcome, Jonathan & Emily Martin, FFH, Gungor and the now disbanded Watermark, who have at one point or another created inspiring music and encouraging worship melodies to God so that we are blessed as listeners; independent worship duo Brad + Rebekah, consisting of Brad and Rebekah Bichsel, are following in the footsteps of these aforementioned artists, as we have been recently introduced to their debut album All You’ve Done via Discovery House, produced by Josh Silverburg. Featuring 12 high octane, energetic studio recordings and 6 intimate acoustic renditions of their smash hit songs, Brad, Rebekah and their band have unveiled an album sure to impact the lives of many. Though their songs are simple, it is their heart for Jesus and Holy Spirit anointing of the lyrics that makes this album great. Trust me, this album will be one of your favourites by the year’s end…I know it is for mine!
Opening the eclectic and vibrant recording is the celebratory “Wake Up”, driven by pulsating electric guitars. A Hillsong Young And Free or Steve Fee type of joyful energetic ball of energy, Brad ardently recounts the reasons why we can wake up and praise God for who He is, because ‘…the curse has been broken…His kingdom is coming…He is risen…He is with us, we are alive…’. A fantastic opener to kickstart a musically diverse and eclectic album; “Wake Up” is one of many rousing and danceable high tempo melodies that we can praise God to.
The electric guitar led mid tempo melody “All You’ve Done” (the title track) is another tune abounding in many layered instruments (sounding like an 80’s dance tune!), and is close to a rock or dance song, with undertones of Skillet or Planetshakers musically present as well. As Brad and Rebekah trade vocals and sing together in beautiful harmony, they reiterate the fact that we can lift up our hands and join in heaven’s song because of all Jesus has done- this is a prayer of gratitude and thanks, and the refrain of ‘…glory in the highest…’ repeated many times brings this song extra depth. The guitar and drums led mid-tempo pop/rock melody “Only You”, reminiscent of something Delirious? would record; is another album highlight, as Brad emphatically reminds us that only Jesus can save us, and that ‘…only You can set us free, you’re the rock of our salvation, God eternal, Christ our King…’. Brad singing the song in a modern hymn like format is a plus as well.
And as the explosive rock and pop tunes continue, with the CCM/pop hand clap and synth led melody “Children Of The Living God”, where the duo remind us that we are children of the God who lives forever (and that fact ought to make us thankful and grateful for God’s hand in our lives!); and the guitar led worship anthem “Body Of Christ”, proclaiming that we as Christians are the hands and feet of Jesus, and that we are the church- meant to be an encouragement to share the gospel; one may think that this album is full of songs that make you want to jump up and down- in fact if that was what the album was, I’d be ok with that. Partly because of the passion and heart of Brad and Rebekah, negating any possible genre sameness.
Yet, I guess it’s a good thing, that most of the rest of the album is vastly different than the aforementioned musically busy melodies. With the ballads and piano heavy melodies primarily led by Rebekah, we are glimpsed into another side of the duo which makes me love their music all the more! The piano and acoustic guitar driven CCM pop melody “Oh Such Love” has Rebekah passionately crying out and ardently highlighting to God that ‘…we are grateful for the saving perfect everlasting Love, the Love that overcame and overcomes, the Love of God…’– a straight up catchy and captivating worship song through and through; while the Bethel and Passion like piano focused inspiring worship anthem “Lift Your Hands” highlights the fact that Jesus is worthy of all praise as He is sovereign, holy and almighty, with Rebekah channelling her inner Kari Jobe, Christy Nockels and Meredith Andrews’ calibre of vocals- Rebekah’s vocals shine here and that is reason enough to listen to these impacting offerings.
If you thought Rebekah leads the ballads and Brad the rockier melodies, then the duo change things up later on, with the piano centred soft and contemplative ballad “When We Gather”, which later turns to an epic full band worship anthem, being led by Brad, as he fervently gives praise to God, outlining that there is power in the presence of two or three people meeting to pray. God is present amongst us and He is always moving; this is a concept that cannot be sung enough! The strings and synth led powerful and magnetic “Christ Is Alive In Me” follows, and reiterates that Jesus’ presence in our lives means we can accomplish greater works in our lives than Jesus ever did. Rebekah’s vocals are sublime here; great job to both Brad and Rebekah for creating a simple yet effective melody declaring that Jesus is alive and dwelling in us!
With the piano led haunting and mysterious All Sons And Daughters like inspiring tune “Oh Great God” relaying that God is great and our redeemer and strength, and that ‘…You alone are God of all, mighty Lord, You reign forever…’; and the Watoto Children’s Choir joining as guest vocals on the vibrant, energetic and colourful guitar led “The Heart Of The Father”, delving into the heart of Jesus and the fact that He loves us beyond anything we could ever comprehend; it is the album closer that epitomises what the album is all about and what Brad & Rebekah both stand for as Christians.
“We Are Not The Same” is another highlight, and my favourite song on the album. I guess it’s ironic that this melody is last on the album, but it’s fitting too, as Brad and Rebekah have saved their best melody for last. A piano led contemplative ballad, Rebekah eloquently outlines that Jesus has changed us from the inside out, as ‘…the old is gone, new life is found…’– it’s a simple song with simple lyrics, yet there’s something about this song that makes it special. I believe the song is Holy Spirit anointed; what do you all think? Well done Brad and Rebekah for delivering a batch of 12 inspiring and motivational songs of praise to God!
“…My hope and prayer for All You’ve Done is that the name of Jesus will be glorified, and that hearts will be drawn closer to God. My heart’s desire for any music that we do is that, through the Holy Spirit, people will be blessed, ministered to, healed, set free, and brought to deeper understanding of salvation in Christ…” With the last six songs being acoustic renditions of some of their most famous hits (on this album and previous independent albums as well!); Brad + Rebekah have recorded a brilliant debut album worthy of multiple listens. Personally, each listen of the album has only propelled Brad and Rebekah to loftier and higher peaks- sky’s the limit for this passionate duo. Sounding similar to All Sons And Daughters, Crowder, I Am They and FFH; Brad and Rebekah should be proud of their efforts. They have succeeded in ushering us into communion and worship with Jesus, and I pray and hope than many more people will be blessed by their songs as well! Congratulations Brad, Rebekah, on this new album; it’s one of my favourites of 2015! I can’t wait for the new album, whenever it releases!
4 songs to listen to: Oh Such Love, All You’ve Done, Children Of The Living God, We Are Not The Same
RIYL: Kristian Stanfill, Meredith Andrews, Love & The Outcome, Crowder, I Am They