Daniel Bashta – Odes + Omens EP

GoForth Sounds

Release Date: February 22nd 2022

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Daniel Bashta– Odes + Omens EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
  2. Drenched In Love
  3. How Great Thou Art (feat. Matt Jackson)
  4. Great Is Thy Faithfulness (feat. HARVEST)
  5. It Is Well With My Soul (feat. EB Cole)

It’s been a while since I’ve heard any song from worship leader Daniel Bashta. The writer and original performer of “God’s Not Dead”, it is this song that has really transcended the artist. Nowadays, when you think about the iconic song that has spawned 4 movies (and counting!), you think about Newsboys (led by Michael Tait) and you think about the movie franchise and you think about an upbeat pop/rock song as opposed to an alternative rock/worship song by an independent artist. Or maybe you think about Crowder when he covered it in 2010? Such is the metamorphosis of a song, that perhaps the end result is unrecognisable. Does this mean that Daniel is impressed by the life “God’s Not Dead” has had with the Newsboys or would he be exasperated or frustrated, if this success and the CCM nature of the song isn’t what he originally had in mind? Regardless on the global stature of this song, what this does mean is that Daniel the artist has been left behind. And to be frank, I haven’t heard the bulk of Daniel’s music, and unfortunately, I don’t have any inkling to. It’s not like I’m putting shade on Daniel and his music… it’s just that other artists and their music come first in my preference.

And so, here we are, approaching Easter 2022, and all of us in desperate need for some uplifting and inspiring and impacting music, considering the state of the world today. And lo and behold; here we have some inspiring music… from Daniel Bashta. Odes + Omens, a 5-song EP comprising of well-known and lesser-known hymns; is a release that is an underrated worshipful EP this year, and a project that I reckon we all need to delve into and explore. You don’t have to be a Daniel Bashta fan (like how I’m not) to appreciate the ancient songs of old, recorded in a modern and refreshing way; and Odes + Omens beautifully and skilfully captures the sentiment of worshipping God for everything He’s done for us, juxtaposed with our human frailty and our need for a Father and a Saviour.

There isn’t much to explore here lyrically and thematically in this EP. These 5 songs are tracks we’ve all heard before, and Daniel more or less doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but deftly and expertly records his own take on these songs which are solid, powerful, and moving. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, is a lullaby-ish acoustic guitar led 2-minute melody that reminds us that we need to turn our eyes onto Jesus and to let Him take control of our lives. It’s not as ground-breaking nor engaging as Newsboys’ version (both versions with Peter Furler, and with Michael Tait!); however, Daniel makes this track his own and encourages us all through a simple, quiet, contemplative and reflective melody. “Drenched In Love” is an upbeat, reimagined recording of the hymn “Nothing But The Blood”, and relays to us all that there actually isn’t anything but the blood of Jesus that can save us all from hell and the grave. It’s a solid rendition, yet this melody doesn’t hold a candle to Casting Crowns’ version- and that’s ok- because we all have our own preferences. “How Great Thou Art”, with Matt Jackson, is a competent rendition of the timeless classic (although I do prefer Carrie Underwood’s out-of-this-world, flawless, and brilliant version!); while “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”, with HARVEST, is undoubtedly the heartbeat and pinnacle of this EP, as both vocalists fervently and powerfully relay God’s goodness and His faithfulness, praising Him for who He is and everything He’s done. Odes + Omens then ends with the serene, captivating and enthralling piano and acoustic guitar led rendition of “It Is Well”, sung with up and coming worship leader EB Cole.

Daniel Bashta’s Odes + Omens is a solid EP that lovers of indie folk or acoustic material will love. Listeners of mainstream worship music might find this release jarring, despite the familiar hymns present here. Yet as we move into Easter and thank the Lord for everything that He’s done for each of us; perhaps reflective hymns are needed at the moment. After listening to this EP, I can still say that I’m not a fan of Daniel Bashta, and his voice is somewhat distracting because it is so distinctive. Yet this EP isn’t that bad, and I guarantee you’ll find something good about it if you give it a chance.

3 songs to listen to: Drenched In Love, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, It Is Well With My Soul

Score: 3.5/5

RIYL: The Brilliance, John Mark McMillan, Gungor, All Sons And Daughters, Phil Wickham, Leeland, Bethel Music

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