Release Date: May 19th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- King Of All The Universe
- Throne Of Praise
- Heaven On Earth
- What A Faithful God
- Victory Is Yours
Known for their pop/CCM/country genre style, and hits such as “There Is A God”, “One Life To Love”, “Jesus Calling”, “Where I Wanna Go” and “What Grace Looks Like”; 33 Miles, comprising of Jason Barton and Chris Lockwood, have been providing us with inspiring and heartfelt songs for a while now, with each album their deliver to us quite impacting and encouraging, with a wide array of genres and topic explored. Now, Chris has released his second EP this past week as a solo artist…is it as powerful and relevant as 33 Miles’ body of work? A quick listen to these explosive, celebratory and reflective tunes has me saying ‘yes!’ but let’s dive in deep and delve into these tracks in more detail, so that you all can make up your mind!
Opening the tracklist with the acoustic guitar and hand clap led “King Of All The Universe”, a mid tempo worship ballad with Chris emphatically announcing that Jesus is the King of all the universe, and that He reigns forever! What a great way to start the brilliant EP, by singing praises to the Almighty, as we join in and sing with Chris that ‘…sin has lost its hold on me, death has no more victory, You reign…’. The simplicity of the bridge where Chris cries out ‘hallelujah, You reign’ is magical as well!
Another stirring and powerful worship ballad is “Throne Of Praise”, which starts off as a soft piano led piece and later swells to an epic orchestral movement of gigantic proportions, driven by keys, guitar and a myriad and smorgasbord of other instruments as well! Though a tad little CCM musically, Chris’ heartfelt and earnest lyrics carry the song greatly, as we are treated to strong lyrics, and we sing about how we are to devote our lives wholeheartedly to God, and praise Him greatly for all the things He’s done for us. As we build a ‘throne’ of praise to God, we can sing from the top of the rooftops His glory and sovereignty. What an explosive and majestic anthem to remind us all of God’s goodness by!
The piano led mid-tempo acoustic ballad which is the title track, rounds out the first half of the EP, as Chris unashamedly sings a prayer, asking God to let everything that is good and pure in heaven come to pass on earth. An honest prayer that creates questions of what heaven is like; Chris’ brilliance vocally and lyrically in the chorus is sure to create buzz and enjoyment as we ardently proclaim to God ‘…let Your kingdom come over all the earth, let it be like heaven, let it be like heaven; for the fame of your name, let it start with us…’. A song that will be on my iTunes playlist for a while, this folk/pop tune reminiscent of Bellarive and Leeland musically and vocally has me tapping my toes and enjoying every minute of Chris’s potential hit! “What A Faithful God” is a stripped down acoustic version of 33 Miles’ CCM/pop smash hit from 2013, relaying that God is faithful and that His plans can be trusted 100%, as we lean on Him, following in His plan and His ways, which are higher than our own.
While the piano led calm and reflective worship ballad “Victory Is Yours” revisits the notion that our salvation and security in Christ lies in Jesus’ victory over death. As Chris ardently and passionately sings out that ‘…victory is Yours, it is Yours, Hallelujah, rescued by Your love, by Your love, You will never let us go, You never let us go…’, I can’t help but be overwhelmed, as I remember everything Christ has done for us, all because He loves us, and that simply boggles the mind! The album closer is the piano led reflective pop melody “Unstoppable”, where Chris sings out that God is unstoppable in drawing people to Himself, in actively inviting people into relationship with Him. As we are presented with light piano, acoustic guitar and Chris’s distinct vocals, we are gently reminded that ‘…still You are great, You still save, God of miracles, hope is here to stay, You remain, strong and powerful, unstoppable…’. Hopefully we can actively believe and accept that God is working in our lives; this song is a step in the right direction for most of us to really believe the notion of God in control in evert aspect of our lives. Well done Chris for a compelling EP worth plenty of listens!
Though the status of 33 Miles isn’t known, Chris Lockwood’s new solo EP, although quite short (maybe 4 or 5 more tracks included?), is enjoyable and exquisite in every way, as we are immersed in unbridled and passionate worship for corporate as well as individual worship. Chris has recorded a well thought out EP, and I definitely would suggest you all listen to these new songs! Releasing on a day where Unspoken and Morgan Harper Nichols drop these new albums; Chris’ dynamic presence and bubbling heart for Jesus is so infectious that I can’t stop singing long after the songs are finished. Well done Chris, I can’t wait for your next release!
3 songs to listen to: Throne Of Praise, Heaven On Earth, Victory Is Yours
RIYL: Phil Wickham, 33 Miles, Leeland, Bellarive