Release Date: June 17th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Brett Younker– Burning in My Soul EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- Burning In My Soul
- Everlasting Arms
- Forever We Are Yours
- I Stand Forgiven
- A Thousand Hallelujahs
Still a relatively new artist on the CCM/worship scene, Brett Younker has been using his songwriting skills to provide to us great worship melodies, with songs like ‘Come to the Water’ and ‘Not Ashamed’ co-written with Passion worship leader and artist Kristian Stanfill (both these songs were highly publicised and popular during the Passion 2013 and 2012 annual conferences respectively). While still independent, Brett’s heart for worship and his uniquely crafted 2012 album Come to the Water continue to make this artist one of my favourite indie worship artists of the past few years. His latest 2014 EP, Burning in My Soul, released last Tuesday, and if the title track ‘Burning in My Soul’ is an indication (for everyone who hasn’t listened to the album yet), then you’re in for a real treat. Promoted heavily on Passion: Let the Future Begin and recorded by co-writer Matt Maher on All the People Said Amen, ‘Burning in my Soul’, both song and EP, stands tall amidst songs and albums of 2014 so far, and while Brett is still an unknown quality when it comes to popular and publicised worship artists/bands; his music still continues to encourage, leading to Burning in My Soul to be one of my favourite worship EP’s of the year so far.
The title track on the EP, “Burning in My Soul” is a riveting and poignant anthem that reminds us all of the fire of God’s love within us that is longing to come out and be shared to every person we are in contact with. Encouragement, love, peace, hope and security in Christ are all what will come out when we realise that we can’t be the same once Christ’s finished work on the cross has taken a hold of us, hopefully spilling over (metaphorically) as we witness about the turnabout we have had because of Christ.
With electronics and a synth that takes the song musically to a new level and infuses worship together with unique instrumentation, Brett invites us all to bask and soak in the words, and be reminded, albeit repetitiously, that we’re hearing ‘…the sound from heaven, a mighty rushing wind, we’re calling for revival, God let Your fire fall again, it’s burning in my soul…’ A great way to infuse glockenspiels, light electric guitars and electronic keyboard riffs together with Brett’s vocals (that remind me like a mix between Kristian Stanfill and Jon Foreman); Brett leads us into “Everlasting Arms”, the second track and a well-choreographed melody that could have potential in being Brett’s second single from Burning in My Soul EP.
“Everlasting Arms” is a great reminder of how our future is secure in God’s presence, and that it is in Him that we realise He has our best interests at heart. With a piano riff and a slight reverbing vocal, Brett gives us a melody that will suit quite well are a re-imagined “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”, and one that uses hand claps, keyboards and acoustics to bring across the message that ‘…You’re holding on, with Your love…I’m trusting all that You are, so lead me on, You’re my hope…I’m falling on everlasting arms…’.
A potential radio single that I can see being sung at the next Passion event, “Everlasting Arms” continues into the longest song on the EP, “Forever We Are Yours”. Singing about just that, Brett uses a hymn-like structure and a vocal reminiscent of Crowder to bring to the surface a theme of closeness with the Trinity- declaring the powerful chorus of ‘…we are Yours, forever we are Yours…’ is one of the most powerful lines, not only of the song, but of the whole EP- it is in this when we proclaim we are completely God’s that we fully surrender to His will and glory and our good. The EP ends with songs most fit for the church, in the acoustically driven “I Stand Forgiven”, a Chris Tomlin-esque melody about us standing forgiven in front of God, knowing that what we do or say won’t change how much love He pours over us, and “A Thousand Hallelujahs”, a melody fitting of the final track, as we poignantly declare that ‘…with a thousand hallelujahs, we will lift our highest praise, You are worthy, God of glory, Hallelujah to Your name…’ (and another melody on the EP reminding me of something Chris Tomlin would sing).
Though only 5 tracks, Brett Younker’s passion oozes through, to make the EP full of lyrical richness and worth the money spent on iTunes (if you are looking for a new album to purchase). From ballads like “A Thousand Hallelujahs” to upbeat songs like “Burning in My Soul”, Brett’s repertoire of songs already recorded and sung by many listeners of CCM are sure to continue propelling him up into newer heights of popularity. Songs full of hope, surrender, love and encouragement as we realise that we are whole in Him, this is a definite purchase for anyone who loves Passion Conferences and their music, especially the music of Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Kari Jobe or Matt Redman. Well done Brett for such poetic, poignant and powerful melodies. Can’t wait for the next album whenever it releases!
3 songs to listen to: A Thousand Hallelujahs, Everlasting Arms, Burning in My Soul
RIYL: Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Kari Jobe, Matt Redman