Erik Nieder Music / The Fuel Music
Release Date: September 28th 2018
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Erik Nieder is perhaps one of the most underrated worship artists…ever. Since being on the radar after his hit ‘Dead Man Walking’ was covered by Fair Trade Services artist John Tibbs (who has since gone back to being an independent artist), Erik Nieder and his music has been instrumental in my own life, and my own walk with Christ of late. Since discovering his acoustic style hymn-like music in 2015 with his release of Valley of the Shadow (that incorporated ‘Dead Man Walking’), I have been blessed to hear such powerful and poetic melodies from an artist that is so much ahead in both maturity and song-writing skills than his late twenties that I’m sure he really is. Usually you come across artists that have a ‘wow’ factor (like Phil Wickham, Jason Gray, Josh Wilson, Andrew Peterson, Tenth Avenue North…you get the picture)- Erik is also one of these artists. With a vocal reminding me of artists like Jars of Clay, Jadon Lavik, Tenth Avenue North and Phil Wickham, fans of these aforementioned artists will thoroughly enjoy Erik’s songwriting and singing style. Erik’s music, be it his new song or songs and albums gone by, is unique- many of his songs he has recorded could easily fit in a hymn-book, that’s the quality of his music! And while people may say that this style of writing music may seem a little less contemporary and less energising than other songs by artists like Bethel Music, Chris Tomlin and the like, I say that Erik’s ability to create hymn-like melodies again and again is a skill in and of itself. As Erik continues to release song after song with a hymn-like quality (much of his songs on Faithful EP (that released earlier this year) embody that structure as well), we are indeed reminded that hymn-structured songs aren’t just for the melodies of yesteryear, that there seems to be a power and beauty in hymns, and Erik is creating songs that remind us all that hymn-like songs are just as much needed now as they were a fundamental part of music and society back then.
Since Faithful EP (that showed us great songs like ‘My Hope Secure’ and ‘Faithful’), we are met with yet another song from Erik- we see no sign of slowing down, with a song in ‘Reignite’. Co-written with Paul McClure from Bethel Music, and led in a variety of festivals during the June-July season, we are now blessed with a studio recording of ‘Reignite’, a melody worthy again of being yet another Erik Nieder song that is just…well, good. ‘Reignite’ tells the story of us wanting to be revived and renewed, longing for the fire within us to be awakened again, to birth again a passion within us that has died or stayed dormant over the years, for whatever reason. The song is a prayer, an anthem, a longing and a desire to turn back to what once was. It is a song of praise, knowing that God can and will reignite us when and if it is necessary for that moment, but as I hear this song, I hear a song of lament happening as well. A song that reflects upon what was before, and contrasts it to now, as we ask the Lord to reignite us as we’ve been before. A song that even bothers to ask the Lord to reignite us, is a song that has come to terms with how far we have come to believe that we don’t even have the fire in there at the moment. And so we ask the Lord because we know He will come through. And even if He doesn’t, we will know about ourselves and Himself in the process. With acoustic guitars and his powerful ethereal voice, Erik continues to wow us, and ‘Reignite’ is no different!
And so…that is ‘Reignite’, a song about reigniting the fire in our hearts, at a time where renewal and reviving is very much what this world needs. And so Erik’s new song is fitting for a country and for the world at the moment. And while this new song may be part of a newer longer-style project in the future (or it may not be), one can’t deny the impact and encouragement this song will have in the upcoming weeks and months ahead. A worship leader destined to be part of the next generation of worship songs in months and even years to come, well done Erik for such a prolific and defining melody, even though this song comes shortly after Faithful EP, and thus may have a stigma attached to it that if a song is released too quickly after a EP/album release, then that song that was just released isn’t as great, for whatever logic they may use. Still, Erik is sure to be on the radar of music executives and record labels in the upcoming months (that’s if he wants to be signed)- but even if he doesn’t and still stays independent, his music will still have the power to reach far and wide. Well done for ‘Reignite’, can’t wait for the new EP/album in the upcoming years ahead!
RIYL: Jars of Clay, Phil Wickham, Tenth Avenue North, Jadon Lavik