Release Date: November 11th 2016
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Night Of Wonder
- God With Us
- Heaven’s Hallelujah
- Hark The Herald Angels Sing
- Christmas All The Time
Known for his catchy yet personal hit song “You Found Me”; independent singer/songwriter and worship leader Jason Bare has been charming us and wowing us all with his eclectic and vibrant music, eloquent and honest lyrics, and unbridled passion for Jesus over many years. Though originally playing and touring as a member of the Lee Singers in the 90’s, it is Jason’s solo work recently that has impressed me quite a bit. One of my favourite worship artists of late, his 2011 debut album Beautiful Design contains some of the most powerful and emotional tracks that I’ve ever heard from an independent artist, as tracks such as the rousing and musically epic title track to the emphatic spine tingling “Story Of Grace (Amanda’s Song)”, the bouncy and danceable first single “You Found Me”, and the Christmas themed bonus song “For The First Time” have rendered me speechless as I marvel at his exquisite prowess at songwriting; probably in the same league as Jason Gray, Andrew Peterson, Nichole Nordeman and Bebo Norman.
With a joyful personality and a warm heart for Jesus, Jason unveiled his full length sophomore album Love Is Alive in 2014, and has now dropped a Christmas EP, titled Night Of Wonder featuring original Christmas melodies and carols. As Jason ardently gives Jesus praise and enthusiastically proclaims His name on High during this holiday season, we are reminded that He who came to earth in a manger did so on a night of wonder, hence making the season special for us considering the gravity of Jesus fully embodying man because of His infinite love for each on of us. In a world where mainstream pop music floods the radio waves, and in a time where independent Christian artists don’t really receive that much recognition for their work; Jason’s new Christmas EP album is sure to change that fact- in fact, Jason’s EP is a must for fans of worship/contemporary pop/original Christmas music, and listeners wanting to listen to something different than the signed artists.
Opening the track list is the inspiring and powerful title track. Exquisitely driven by stirring electronics, Christmas bells and soaring synth, we are met with an original inspiring melody and epic orchestral like worship anthem, with Jason ardently proclaiming that Jesus is born, therefore we can praise Him on this night of wonder, because of everything He’s done for us. Declaring that ‘…this is the night of joy and wonder, that wakes the world from dark and slumber, heaven cover the earth, with the glory of His birth on this night, oh the night of wonder…’, we are transported to a magical melody fitting to be an opener, as we praise Jesus with passion and gratefulness. Sure to be sung by listeners and played heavily on the radio this Christmas, Jason has written a winner, a song that is sure to catapult him into stardom and maybe signing to a label…
The rest of the track list further cement the view that Jason is one of today’s most underrated worship artists, and why he won’t be underrated in the near future. “God With Us”, hymn like in structure, is probably one of the most un-Christmas songs ever recorded, but still feels home here, as Jason fervently reminds us all that Jesus is indeed with us in every circumstance, so we can ‘…rejoice and sing in the presence of Almighty, God with us, our saviour King, You are the promise forever…’; while the remix-like, electronics and synth led “Heaven’s Hallelujah” vividly depicts a song that the angels could sing when Jesus was born, as Jason encourages us all to ‘…rejoice, rejoice, Christ has come to save us, rejoice, rejoice, with angels in one chorus, let us join and sing in heaven’s hallelujah, hallelujah…’.
And while there is only one carol represented here (the piano led ballad “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”- which is updated musically with a strikingly different melody and an added bridge!), it is the EP ender “Christmas All The Time” that tugs at my emotions the most. Depicting an ideal world where everyone is kind to everyone else, we are encouraged to go out of our comfort zone, as Jason powerfully declares that ‘…I wanna love everywhere I go, I wanna touch a heart that needs hope, let the saviour of this broken world live through my life, let me love, let me love like it’s Christmas all the time…’. A declaration we ought to claim for our own during all times of the year, the EP ender inspires us all to be better Christians, and better people in general, as we show people the love of Jesus through our actions, at all times during the year, not just during Christmas.
Ending the EP at 5 tracks long (it’s way too short! Why not a few more tracks?), Jason Bare’s holiday effort is sure to inspire us to actively live for Jesus at all times of the year. A must listen to when you all put up your Christmas tree or wrap/unwrap presents; this EP is a standout this year, alongside Christmas albums from Christy Nockels, Matt Redman, Newsong, JJ Heller and Matthew West. So what are you all waiting for? Jason is a prolific songwriter and a thoroughly engaging singer, and his prowess is on display here in full force!
3 songs to listen to: Night Of Wonder, God With Us, Christmas All The Time
RIYL: Danny Gokey, Matthew West, Phil Stacey, Building 429, Tenth Avenue North