Release Date: March 31st 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Grace On Top Of Grace
- With Us
- Name Of Jesus
- Jesus Is Alive
- With Us (Acoustic)
- Jesus Is Alive (Acoustic)
Previously signed to Fair Trade Services, new up and coming worship band Fellowship Creative released their debut label album Running To Follow in May last year, with plenty of upbeat and slower paced worship tunes for the church and personal worship. Since then the worship ministry released their follow up independent EP The Mix: We Will Riot and now just released their live album Alive In Us EP. Born out from Fellowship Church, which was founded in 1990 by Pastor Ed Young, the worship part of the ministry has always been revolving, with the label debut album on Fair Trade Services and the EP which released in September 2014, showcasing many young and up and coming artists’ song writing and vocal talents, while also pointing people to God and His love. As Fellowship Creative promote diversity in age, ethnicity, skill level, Biblical knowledge and many more, the result on the record are sounds that transcend many different styles, with plenty of rockers, ballads, both female and male fronted tracks as well as each track bringing something new and fresh to the table, and this trend carries on from both Running To Follow and The Mix: We Will Riot to their new EP Alive In Us EP. A taster for maybe a full length album in 2016 (or more EP’s), this new band reminding me in style, lyrics and vocals of Hillsong Young And Free and Desperation Band, are one to listen out for and really take notice of come the year’s end.
Opening the EP is the energetic and celebratory hymn like melody “Grace On Top Of Grace”. Led by powerful synth, the mid-tempo track is filled with hand claps and a vibrant energy that makes me want to jump up, dance and praise God for who He is. Though the lyrics are simple, with the chorus reminding us that ‘…hallelujah I am free from the sin and penalty, at the cross You took my place, with Your grace on top of grace…’, we are presented with an earnest, joyous occasion where the band declare (fittingly this Easter) that Jesus’ grace when He dies on the cross and rose to life is what has freed us from sin and made us holy and blameless in His presence. Well done guys for the solid, honest, no-nonsense, inspiring opener.
Following on from the creative opener is the more CCM and pop rock worship anthem “With Us”, driven by synth, invoking the feeling of gratitude and praise to God. The band do their ‘Abandon meets Hillsong’ impression, and surprisingly it works somewhat. Though the lyrics are still simple, and some might say unimaginative; they do still strike a chord with me, reminding me that God is with us, by our side, and always working for our good.
The more subdued and reflective piano pop worship anthem “Name Of Jesus”, which transforms later on via epic crescendo to an all-out worship anthem, is next, and as the band fervently cry out that Jesus is glorious, beautiful and worthy of all praise for all eternity, ardently reminding us that ‘…my sin is dead and gone, my stains now clean, I’m giving You my life, I’ve been set free, Jesus You are reigning over me, I’ll never be the same, covered in the name of Jesus…’; while the last original song is the personal, honest and emotional piano led melody “Jesus Is Alive”. Driven by keys, this is my favourite song from Fellowship Creative ever, as were are given a vivid account and depiction of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and the reason why we can live in relationship with Him, praising Him forever because He ‘…died upon the cross, rose up from the grave, seated in the heavens King of all You reign I’m captured by Your love That You would give Your life Oh I stand amazed that Jesus is alive…’. Jesus is alive, and that fact should make us fall more and more in love with Him and be more and more grateful and thankful that we are alive in Him. Well done Fellowship Creative for these 4 songs of God’s eternal truth!
With such variety musically, vocally and lyrically (how many vocalists are present here? More than two, that’s for sure, and they are talented!), Fellowship Creative have recorded a fantastic mini-follow up to their follow up to their label debut, with the last 2 tracks being acoustic versions of “With Us” and “Jesus Is Alive”, which are just as poignant, captivating and mesmerising as their original and full band counterparts! While their anonymity in personnel and members, as they have a revolving door of musicians, staff and singers attached to this project and previous independent albums, could mean that the band doesn’t individually receive recognition for their God breathed anthems that they so deserve; this notion of not knowing the band members has led me to listen to the song lyrics a bit more and soak in the presence of God, something which was probably one of the intended goals of Fellowship Creative. As this new EP continues to further tighten the group’s refreshing sound, and also has me applaud Fair Trade Services for signing the group in the first place (even though this EP is released independently); I definitely look forward to new material from this musically diverse and genre diverse band of sisters and brothers in Christ! Well done Fellowship Creative for matching the bar that was set high, let’s hope they can match it on their full length sophomore album, or even beat it!
3 songs to listen to: Grace On Top Of Grace, Name Of Jesus, Jesus Is Alive
RIYL: Abandon, Audio Adrenaline, Sanctus Real, Planetshakers, Hillsong Young And Free