Release Date: August 28th 2020
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Brian Ortize – King of Kings (EP) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- King of Kings
- The Blessing
- Is He Worthy?
- Way Maker
- See a Victory
Worship artists seem to be popping up like wildfire these days. Not that there’s anything wrong with worship artists in general, they have a great tremendous impact within the church and providing tools to worship both in an individual and corporate setting. Yet more and more these days, we wonder that the sheer volume and amount of artists that create music within the confines of this thing called the ‘worship’ genre, means that sometimes, good songs are tirelessly played on radio and great songs are overlooked, well, because, they’re not Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Hillsong (all its facets), Jesus Culture…you get the picture. It seems like if you’re not part of the famous worship leaders that are currently popular right now, then your song or album or music in general isn’t really going to be noticed or even recognised…right? Frankly, worship is a lifestyle, not a genre of music (technically it is, but for the sake of such an argument as this, it really isn’t!), and so the worship music, just like any other type of music, needs to be cultivated and crafted and created in such a way that it is exciting, engaging, and unique. Artists throughout the years have responded to such a call- Tim Hughes, Paul Baloche, Delirious?, All Sons and Daughters, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, The City Harmonic, Leeland, One Sonic Society, Meredith Andrews and Urban Rescue have all created a moment and space in time where ‘worship’ music can be seen as a place where all vulnerabilities and uncertainties can be voiced without judgement or condemnation. Truths are spoken, yet the music and quality of the song itself (the arrangement, how the song sounds and whether it is plagued with repetition or not!) is not compromised either. Enter in BEC Worship artist Brian Ortize, a worshipper who sounds eerily like Jon Micah Sumrall (of Kutless) vocally. He created a collection of songs way back in 2018, and a full-length album in 2019. In these songs unveiled to us over the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed them- I even gave to the world, a review of the 2018 EP here. Now in 2020, we see another offering by Brian, and this time, it’s a worship album through and through- 6 songs of the popular worship songs of today, redone by Brian himself.
Yes, this album review seems a little redundant right? Because in all honesty, what am I about to say can also be further fleshed out on any of my Shane & Shane The Worship Initiative reviews, or even the review of David Leonard’s acoustic EP a few weeks ago. Because that’s what this review would be- a great album of 6 songs, comporable, compared to anything The Worship Initiative has done, and comparable to the piano-only David Leonard 4 song EP. And with one look at the track listing here on this Brian Ortize EP, how can you not enjoy this EP? It’s songs we all know and love- ‘The Blessing’, ‘King of Kings’, ‘Tremble’, ‘Is He Worthy’, ‘Way Maker’ and ‘See a Victory’, by the original artists Kari Jobe, Hillsong Worship, Mosiac MSC, Andrew Peterson, Sinach (made famous by Michael W. Smith) and Elevation Worship, respectively, are all present here on this EP. It’s the songs we know and love for a generation desperate and hungry for the prescene of God. Done in such a way, acoustically, by Brian, whose vocal songs strikingly similar, in a good way, to Jon Micah Sumrall of Kutless. And so this EP was born, and with a listen through once, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Not groundbreaking, not a ‘wow’ factor, but nevertheless, it’s songs I know, in such a way that can be used as a reflective tool for people worshipping without any grandiose instrumental presence.
And so these songs work. In spite of us all hearing these songs over and over these last few months. Nevertheless, Brian has done a tremendous job at creating such an EP as this- one that is perfect to worship along to, at home, or drives on the highway. Well done Brian for this EP and these songs that I can be reminded of, of how these songs have touched a generation when these melodies were written, and even now during COVID-19 in 2020. Well done Brian for these songs, can’t wait for a full-length album of original material, whenever that comes next!
3 songs to listen to: Is He Worthy, King of Kings, See a Victory
RIYL: Hillsong UNITED, Kutless, Battledrums, CAIN, Casting Crowns