Matt Redman – Lamb Of God (Live)

Integrity Music

Release Date: February 17th 2023

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Matt Redman– Lamb Of God (Live) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. The Praise Is Yours (Live)
  2. Son of Suffering (Live)
  3. Lamb of God (Live)
  4. Amen (Total Praise) / Lamb of God (Reprise) (Live)
  5. Love is This (Live) (feat. May Angeles)
  6. Unconditional (Live) (feat. Matt Maher)
  7. Halfway Empty (Live)
  8. Hallelujah Holy (Live)
  9. King of Calvary (Live)
  10. Praise God (Live)
  11. Even Still and Even So (Live)
  12. Heart of Worship (Live)
  13. Son of Suffering (Single Version [Live])
  14. Son of Suffering (The Chosen Version [Live])

Matt Redman, one of today’s most respected and popular worship leaders and gifted songwriters, released Glory Song way back in September 2017- his first live album since 2013’s Your Grace Finds Me. With Matt already gracing us all with plenty of smash hits such as “Blessed Be Your Name”, “Let Everything That Has Breath”, “10 000 Reasons”, “Better Is One Day”, “Once Again”, “Mercy”, “Your Grace Finds Me”, “You Never Let Go” and many others, it’s plain to see that Matt has recorded another winner in his latest project. Yet though we never reviewed Glory Song (due to time constraints, general busyness, and the fact that other albums were just simply more enjoyable to review!); we did want to rectify the situation the next time around. Matt’s debut project on Integrity Music, released in 2020, and was yet another live album called Let There Be Wonder. We reviewed the album here, and the project does indeed resonate with me in terms of being a simple worship project, dedicated to Jesus, as we lift our hands up and praise His holy name. With these songs still long-ish in that the entire duration of songs is closer in length to 75 minutes; this fact still remains that the album doesn’t gets old quickly. In fact, I reckon that Let There Be Wonder is the freshest Matt has ever been, since his studio album Beautiful News from 2006! You can read that review to see what I thought about that album, and what made the live album above other Matt Redman live albums. I also dove in to see the power of Matt’s offering, and my opinion as to whether I reckon any of Matt’s new songs will be sung in churches on Sundays for weeks and months to come. But does Matt’s ‘sophomore’ Integrity Music release (Lamb Of God) suffer or is it just as good as 2020’s Let There Be Wonder?

Matt has always released long-ish albums in terms of duration. Most are live, and it’s fair to assume that only a few songs overall resonate and engage with me. Virtually all the songs from Blessed Be Your Name hit home (but that’s a live greatest hits project so that’s to be expected), and I generally liked the 2020 offering that Matt has released. However… there comes a point in an artist’s career where they release… not a ‘lemon’, but an album that isn’t as memorable as others. Lamb Of God, unfortunately, is that album. That’s not to say all of these songs are bad. But they all could be better, and it’s sad to say- that all of the songs melodically blur together. Is that to be expected as a worship album? Maybe, maybe not. But for me, I had high hopes for Matt Redman, and he didn’t meet them here. Perhaps I could attribute this album to a carbon copy of something from Passion of late (and that could make my enjoyability of this album heighten just a bit- but Matt’s calibre of singing and songwriting is high, and Lamb Of God didn’t make it.

Opening the track list is the emphatic and joyous “The Praise Is Yours”. It’s a standard song title, and as you’d expect, the song features heavy guitars and a rousing, celebratory chorus. It’s a run-of-the-mill Passion-like melody that praises God because of His infinite and unending qualities. But simple songs like “How Great Is Our God” and “Indescribable” have covered this lyrical and thematic ground before, and this melody doesn’t add to the growing number of already competent and engaging worship songs already recorded and released. The song is fine, but I didn’t ‘feel’ it. I usually do with Matt Redman, but this song was just… there.

The rest of the album meanders along, and the sum of the parts of the tracks is considerably lower than the individual tracks themselves. The lyrical content builds upon the eternal truths of the opener, yet never fails to meet the lofty heights lyrically, musically and thematically by its predecessor. “Son Of Suffering”, the lead single, is a solid and competent worship track but “How Can It Be?” (Lauren Daigle) and the hymn “In Christ Alone” cover the topic of the grave and resurrection in much greater emphasis and more of a punch than this melody; while Matt beautifully crafts a lyrical masterpiece in the creative and rather clever title track- but the meandering of this track lowers the potential excellence of this song into just above mediocrity- although this track is one of the better ones in this bloated track list. “Amen (Total Praise)”, a spontaneous free worship type of track, speaks abundantly to me, and is surprisingly an album highlight, while “Love Is This” is a strings led ballad where Matt vividly recounts the death of Jesus. It’s an album highlight, and a track that beautifully features a stirring duet with newcomer May Angeles. Yet the song length is absurd here- should I expect this from live albums?- and seems to unfortunately drag; and songs like “Love Like This” (Lauren Daigle) and “This Blood” (Carman) are equally as profound with the same or similar lyrical content. “Unconditional”, a vibrant duet with Matt Maher, suffers the same fate as the track before it, although it is pleasant enough to hear; while the rest of the track list, inclusive of the generic and nondescript melodies “Praise God” and “Even Still And So”, blurs together. It’s not any fault of Matt’s, but perhaps I’m already at the point of worship saturation. Maybe if the album released 5 years ago, I might have been captured and captivated. At this stage, I am very picky with my worship albums, and there’s only room for one worship album this year, and it’s the upcoming Phil Wickham album I Believe. It’s only when you come to the remix of “Heart Of Worship” and the studio version of “Son Of Suffering” then the album is given a tad of new life. Should Matt then record another studio album? I reckon so, what do you think?

With Lamb Of God ending with the single version and the Chosen version of the smash hit single “Son Of Suffering”; Lamb Of God isn’t that hard hitting and as engaging musically and lyrically from a technical and objective standpoint- other albums such as Your Grace Finds Me or Blessed Be Your Name are much more emphatic, joyous and celebratory. And Lamb Of God does drag a bit. But there’s no denying Matt’s heart, and if you love worship music along the veins of Chris Tomlin, Passion, Bethel Music and Jesus Culture, then Matt Redman’s Lamb Of God is exactly what you need at this time. It’s touching, heartfelt and pulling at all my emotions. Catchiness and complexity isn’t what Matt was going for, but rather a sense of unity, of camaraderie as we join together and worship out Lord and Saviour. As for everyone else who listens to this new project; I hope and pray that you are blessed and inspired also, even if it takes a while to get into these songs! And I hope that if you don’t know Matt’s music by now, that Lamb Of God will encourage you to check out his entire discography. Though not perfect, there are still solid songs here, and at this point, that’s all that matters. And with that, let us remember that Matt still is a skilful song-writer- and that Blessed Be Your Name will still forever be his magnum opus.

3 songs to listen to: Son of Suffering, Lamb of God, Love is This

Score: 3.5/5

RIYL: Crowder, Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes, Soul Survivor, Hillsong UNITED

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