Release Date: January 26th 2018
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- The King Is Here (Live)
- Lift Oh Gates (Live)
- Praise the King (Live)
- God Who Moves the Mountains (Live)
- As It Is in Heaven (feat. Michael Farren & Alisa Turner) [Live]
- Nothing is Impossible (Walk Through Fire) [Live]
- Canyons (feat. Krissy Nordhoff) [Live]
- I Got Saved (feat. Crystal Yates) [Live]
- Don’t Ever Let Me Go (Live)
- You Promised (Live)
Recently signed to Integrity Music, worship leader Corey Voss has dabbled in many areas in his professional life, and has dabbled them all to great professionalism and perfection. A stellar and engaging worship pastor at Gateway Church Shelbyville, as well as a highly respected songwriter at All About Worship, as well as a veteran member of People & Songs; Corey has delivered to us many worship hits, such as “Praise The King”, “How Great”, “Worthy Is The Lamb”, “Consume Us” and “Nothing But The Blood”. Last year, he dropped his brand new live EP Songs Of Heaven And Earth (Vol. 1), and boy did it not disappoint (read our review here!). Only 5 songs long, this 25 minute long inspiring and eclectic worship experience was well worth listening to again and again. Now, this year, Corey is back, with an additional 5 new live tracks, which when added in and mixed around with the first 5 tracks released last year, form his full length live debut Integrity Music project Songs Of Heaven And Earth (Live). While to me it doesn’t make much sense for Corey to re-release the 5 older songs verbatim (maybe studio versions of all of these would have been more welcome and fitting…) however there’s no denying Corey’s heart in this nearly 50 minute long project, in what objectively is a solid and inspirational debut. With fans of worship music in general, and particularly artists like Phil Wickham, Paul Baloche and Michael W. Smith, sure to love Corey’s label debut; Songs Of Heaven And Earth (Live) is one of my favourite worship albums of this year, alongside albums from Alisa Turner (Miracle Or Not), Lincoln Brewster (God Of The Impossible), Cory Asbury (Reckless Love) and Michael W. Smith (Surrounded).
The album opens with the same song as the EP- the vibrant and energetic “The King Is Here” is a slight repetitive in the chorus, however since these songs in general are very accessible and suited to be sung in the church on a Sunday morning, creative lyrics do not have to be present on every single track- just solid theological foundations and a yearning to worship Jesus in all circumstances. In light of the fact that every one of the ten songs on Corey’s album is biblically sound, “The King Is Here” is the perfect way to start a beautiful and powerful worship experience, as we praise Jesus forever and declare ‘…sing, sing it out, let the earth resound for the King is here, the King is here, shout, shout it out, there’s a hope we’ve found, for the King is here, the King is here…’, across engaging guitars and captivating keys.
The rest of the album thoroughly engages as Corey invites us to partake in both corporate and personal worship, proclaiming the goodness of Jesus. “Canyons” is a radio friendly ballad, a soft reflective piece led by the piano, where Corey eloquently and ardently reiterates the depths of God’s love for each of us, channelling his inner Phil Wickham vocals in this song; while Corey is joined by both Michael Farren and Alisa Turner in the hymn like piano prominent “As It Is In Heaven” (also recorded by Alisa in her debut Integrity Music project!), which I’m certain will be a radio hit in the future and/or a staple on Sunday morning worship services in the coming months and years. As Corey, Michael and Alisa eloquently sing in harmony together, and proclaim that ‘…on the earth as it is in heaven, let it be here with us right now, where your word is fulfilled and your glory revealed, let it be here with us right now…’.
The penultimate track on the ten-track album is also recognisable, with the strings and keys led mid-tempo worship anthem “Don’t Ever Let Me Go” a melody where Corey passionately asks God to keep holding onto us throughout all circumstances; while the final ‘previously released’ melody is “God Who Moves The Mountains” (also recorded by Jaci Velasquez on her 2017 album Trust!). Written by Richie Fike, Dustin Smith and David Leonard of All Sons and Daughters, “God Who Moves The Mountains” is brilliantly covered by Corey (almost as good as Jaci’s version!), as he declares against the serene backdrop of stirring electric guitars and pulsating drums, that Jesus is the One who can and will move the mountains in our lives. All powerful, ever true and always reliable and faithful, Jesus is the One who is always in our corner, no matter what. As Corey fervently reiterates that when ‘…You say speak, we say, “move”, and You say watch, what You can do, You say trust, and then You prove You’re the God who moves the mountains, the God who moves the mountains…’, we are comforted also, by the fact that this all powerful God, knows us and loves us intimately and like we could never imagine, thus we do not have to fear, as He is with us. Well done Corey for probably one of my favourite worship songs over the past few years, reminding us all that he is one of today’s up and coming worship leaders in CCM!
Now, that’s enough reminiscing, don’t you think? The 5 remaining brand new tracks as equally as impressive, and none more so than the immediately recognisable “Praise The King”, previously recorded by Jaci Velasquez. One of the most CCM tracks on the album, Corey brings to the fore the notion and concept of us praising the King, praising our Lord and Saviour with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength, simply because of the fact that ‘…Jesus is alive, praise the King, He is risen, praise the King, He’s alive…death’s defeated, Hallelujah He’s alive…’. Though at times the song is repetitive lyrically, the catchiness of the music here and the fact that there’s tons of biblical truth, is enough for me to be utterly transfixed and captivated by Corey’s version of probably one of today’s most underrated worship melodies! “I Got Saved”, previously recorded by Selah in 2014, is another personal highlight and standout on the album, as Corey earnest and ardently recounts to us a very simple concept- relaying to us the eternal truth that Jesus saved us when we were the most broken, that ‘…I’m restored and made right, He got a hold of my life, I’ve got Jesus, how could I want more…’. Though there’s more to this song than possibly being a modern hymn in the future (I reckon the Holy Spirit’s anointing is on this track more so than other tracks…), I encourage you all to listen to the song, and see what I mean when I say that this might be the song that propels Corey into greatest heights than he is at now!
Vibrant and eclectic, “Lift Oh Gates” is an anthemic electronic keys led mid-tempo ballad, where Corey majestically praises to God, declaring ‘…lift, oh gates, open wide, come to life, come to life! Oh Lamb of God, crucified, the Warrior is alive, come to life…’, while “Nothing Is Impossible” is sure to be added on Sunday setlists soon, as Corey highlights to us across explosive electric guitars that our God is Almighty, He can do all things, and we can call on Him whenever we need to. The album closer “You Promised” rounds out proceedings, as the 5-minute worship anthem, driven by keys and stirring electric guitar, has Corey eloquently declaring that at all time, and in all moments, He is everything that He has promised us, in relation to promises about Him outlined by prophets and also by Jesus Himself in the Bible. A faith declaration (as I’m sure there are times in our lives when we won’t feel like speaking this song as truth!), the fact still remains- that Jesus is everything that He said He is, and even though our plans aren’t turning out the way we want them to, God’s plans are higher than our own, and bigger than anything we could ever imagine.
What more can I say about Corey Voss’s label debut full length project? With plenty of standout tracks (inclusive of “I Got Saved”, “Praise The King, “God Who Moves The Mountains” and “As It Is In Heaven”!), I will let these songs speak for themselves. So what are you waiting for? Enough from me. Dive in and listen to high quality worship leading and songwriting, even if you have heard 5 songs already before, which to me is a nit-pick issue, but then again, it’s not really, as we hear these songs in a brand new light! Songs Of Heaven And Earth (Live), as I mentioned earlier, is one of my favourite worship albums of 2017. Well done Corey, I can’t wait to hear more of your inspiring, honest, poignant and worshipful future material in the coming weeks and months!
3 songs to listen to: Praise The King, As It Is In Heaven, I Got Saved
RIYL: Jaci Velasquez, Desperation Band, Hillsong Worship, Phil Wickham, Paul Baloche, Michael W. Smith