Release Date: August 30th 2019
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Abundantly More (feat. Seth Condrey)
- Here I Am (feat. Kaycee Hines)
- Anchor Of Peace (feat. Desi Raines)
- The Best Is Yet To Come (feat. Clay Finnesand)
- Safest Place (feat. Emily Harrison)
There’s an inescapable fact that I have found that has occurred throughout the years. And it is this. That over time, music worship movements come and go. It’s a fact that always stays constant- the notion that new bands come in and old ones leave. Or in a very rare case- new bands come in, and then the same new band leaves again. And in any given year though, the number of worship albums is plenty, and an example is already this year of 2020 alone. Cody Carnes, Matt Maher, Planetshakers, Tauren Wells, Jordan and Jessa, Rend Collective, Matt Redman, Avalon, JJ Weeks, NewSong, David & Nicole Binion, Paul Baloche, Elle Limebear, Shane & Shane, The Worship Initiative, CAIN, Passion, Bethel Music, Martin Smith, Seth & Nirva, We The Kingdom, Elevation Worship, Vertical Worship, Charles Billingsley, Citizens, Corey Voss, Kierra Sheard… this list goes on! Though some of these worship albums are possibly a tad cliché, others are unique and brilliantly recorded and produced.
Enter in North Point Worship (previously known as North Point Inside Out), the youth worship team from NorthPoint Community Church, based in Georgia. Having signed to Centricity Music a few years ago, and unveiling their debut studio project Nothing Ordinary in 2017, as well as their first couple of live projects on Centricity Music (Nothing Ordinary Pt 1 (Live) EP and Nothing Ordinary Pt 2 (Live) EP); the team led by Seth Condrey are capitalising on their already unprecedented success by dropping their new EP Abundantly More recently- their first EP since the band name change, though this release was in 2019 and not in 2020. With this recent release containing 5 tracks which are very accessible to the church, and are worth more than just a passing listen; the duration of these 5 tracks are only around 20 minutes. And even though I’ve found this EP to be ministering to my soul, this emphatic and vibrant worship experience could be seen as another conglomerate of songs thrown on the ‘worship fire’…but don’t dismiss this album too quickly- some songs may indeed surprise and grow on you (especially the title track and “Here I Am”)! In fact, this project is probably one of my favourite worship EP’s of 2019, alongside all of Matt Maher’s Alive And Breathing EP’s!
The title track opens up the short but punchy EP, as we are introduced to a solid worship anthem led by Seth, and driven by stirring keys and guitar, relaying that God always exceeds our wildest expectations, that God always goes above and beyond what we think, which is always a good thing; while “Here I Am” follows, a poignant, contemplative piano led ballad led by Kaycee Hines (vocally similar to Kari Jobe), which is essentially a song of total surrender and devotion to our Lord and Saviour, as we declare that ‘…here I am, all I have is in Your hands, where I’m meant to be, as I surrender, I can see, when I let go, You carry me, here I am…’. Thematically and musically, these two tracks serve as the backbone for this EP, and are some of my favourite songs from North Point Worship. “Anchor Of Peace” brings the tempo back a bit, into the gospel/reggae territory, as this jazzy piano led tune led by Desi Raines gives off some Cochren and Co. vibes, and emphatically highlights that Jesus Christ is our anchor and the One who can help us in any and every storm; while the penultimate track on this EP is the most upbeat and energetic on this EP- “The Best Is Yet To Come” is led by Clay Finnesand and just plain encourages us that our best days are ahead of us, so we shouldn’t lose heart and we should be excited for our future, no matter how unknown we may think it is. Abundantly More ends with the beautifully crafted and hopeful piano led ballad “Safest Place”. Exquisitely led by Emily Harrison, this track wouldn’t look that out of place on a Hillsong Worship or Passion album, as Emily sings with pure exaltation and raw emotion, imparting to us that all she wants to do is to lean into God, and dwell in His presence because it’s ‘…my safest place, I need You, I want more of You…’. Perhaps this track will be covered by one of the more popular worship movements in the coming weeks, months or years?
At first glance, Abundantly More may seem like a somewhat ‘rehash’ of the band’s debut studio album in terms of theme, and maybe on the surface a hasty and not that thought out decision. Perhaps a full length album may have been better. However, in my opinion Abundantly More EP is filled with God-inspired moments, led by many worshippers that will be prominent and in the spotlight in the many years to come (each of Emily Harrison, Clay Finnesand, and Kaycee Hines will have long lasting musical careers, either as part of North Point Worship or as solo artists- I can at least guarantee that!). Even though compared with other big name worship leaders and artists, this movement of church worshippers will probably not reach many sales in their first week; I reckon that these worship leaders care not about sales, but rather reaching listeners with the love of Jesus, as this is definitely one of the underrated projects to be released in 2019. Hopefully as time progresses, North Point Worship receives the recognition that the church and its ministry deserve! Well done guys for a thoroughly enjoyable EP; and God bless your ministry in the future.
3 songs to listen to: Here I Am, Anchor Of Peace, Safest Place
RIYL: Eddie Kirkland, Casey Darnell, Kari Jobe, Meredith Andrews, Michael W. Smith