Provident Label Group
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- I Will Follow
- Stained Glass
- Wherever You Are
- Enough For Me
- I Will Follow (Acoustic)
Recording Live Worship From Vertical Church in July 2012 and The Rock Won’t Move in October 2013; Vertical Church Band, the worship part of the Harvest Bible Chapel ministry based in Chicago, have given us worship anthems and gems that are destined to be popular many years in the future. With worship leaders like Meredith Andrews, Andi Rozier, Kylee Friedricks, Seth McConkey, and Jacob Sooter showcasing their talents; many songs such as “Open up the Heavens”, “Not For a Moment (After All)”, “How Great Is The Love”, “Word Of God”, “Strong God”, “The Rock Won’t Move” and “I’m Going Free Jailbreak)” have caught the attention of many, with Vertical Church’s second offering being 10 tracks of brutal honesty, raw emotion, and total devotion to our Lord and Saviour! Bringing many different worship leaders all serving the same God into a space that doesn’t discriminate, a space that serves the one purpose of making Jesus famous; with the most recent result once again nothing short of sheer brilliance. Now, one of the worship leaders in Vertical Church Band, Jon Guerra, has released his label debut EP this week, titled Glass. A familiar tune, “I Will Follow” anchors the mini-album, and Jon shows us why h is one of todays’ up and coming worship artists! Similar vocally to Bellarive and Josh Wilson; Glass is a release you won’t want to miss, and I guarantee that you’ll be eager for a full release from Jon soon!
“I Will Follow” bookends the album, firstly as a radio single, and lastly as an acoustic guitar only track. In the album opener, the electric guitar is gently introduced, and builds the piece into a fervent and passionate all-out worship anthem as the song progresses, and the album ender is slowed down as Jon turns the song into a humble and solemn prayer. But in both versions, there is a reflective acoustic guitar driving the worship anthem. Giving us pause for thought, Jon eloquently expresses that following God despite suffering in the world, and despite the sometimes difficulties in our circumstances or situations, takes guts and courage. Lyrically reminding me of something Job would sing, as Jon belts out the chorus, that ‘…I believe everything that You say You are, I believe and I’ve seen Your unchanging heart, in the good things, and in the hardest part, I believe and I will follow You…’; we realize that following God when we don’t feel like it, and trusting Him because He is faithful, can only enhance the way people view us.
The rest of the tracks pale in comparison to the fantastic and God breathed first track, yet are still poignant and moving. The piano led acoustic melody “Stained Glass”, similar in theme to Casting Crowns’ “Stained Glass Masquerade”, depicts how God sees us as beautiful treasures and that He can make us new and afresh, wiping away our mistakes and failures. As Jon prayerfully sings out to God ‘…show me what you see when you look at me, show me what is real within what I feel, we’re all stained, it’s true, when Your light shines through, we all look like stained glass windows to You…’, the realisation that our worth transcends our viewpoints and is based on Jesus, is evident, as we are given affirmation that we are priceless in God’s eyes, a notion that should make us proud.
The final two tracks are “Wherever You Are” and “Enough For Me”. While the acoustic guitar led slow tempo “Wherever You Are” gently reminds us that God is here with us and will never leave us, and that He will come and met us where we are at, no matter how ashamed or guilty we may feel, as Jon paraphrases Romans 8:39 in the explosive and poignant bridge; it is “Enough For Me”, a moment of unbridled and unreserved free, honest and real worship against a backdrop of light synth and acoustics, that is the pinnacle of the album. Epitomising the theme of glass- being transparent for God, and coming straight from our hearts, the invitation is given as we declare ‘…I have everything, all I ever need, cause Your love for me is enough, You gave everything, somehow I can sing that Your love for me is enough…’. This song is truly a special song, as we are lost in the worship of Jon to God, and once again I am marvelled at the exquisite lyrical prowess of Jon, which is only going to increase. Well don Jon for these five songs that minister and speak to our souls.
As Jon Guerra has executed his debut EP exquisitely and almost flawlessly; his worship leading is something to behold. With pristine voice reminding me of singer-songwriters such as Brenton Brown, Jason Castro, Charlie Hall and Jadon Lavik; Glass EP is sure to be treasured, appreciated and admired by many. A fine effort, and one that has me eager for the next EP or a full album; Jon has showed us a taste of his talents, and has glorified God greatly as well. A very outstanding job wll done, I’ll definitely be intrigued for the next project!
3 songs to listen to: I Will Follow, Wherever You Are, Enough For Me
RIYL: Bellarive, Leeland, Phil Wickham, Josh Wilson, Jason Castro