Capitol Christian Music Group
Release Date: January 1st 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Breakthrough Miracle Power (feat. Kristian Stanfill)
- You Are The Lord (feat. Brett Younker & Naomi Raine)
Another year, another Passion album. That’s probably one of the only things you can count on in life- death, taxes, as Passion albums every year. In the past though, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall and Christy Nockels were a part of this massive global worship movement (and now they’re not for some unknown reason!), and now the group is helmed by Kristian Stanfill, Brett Younker, Sean Curran (formerly of Bellarive) and Melodie Malone, with special guest appearances from Crowder. Yet their mission has always remained the same. While you can read about all things Passion in all of the articles here; let me give you all a quick refresher of what the group is all about- and mind you this is quoted verbatim from my Whole Heart review from 2 years ago…simply because I’ve conveyed my thoughts most cohesively there, and there’s no reason to repeat myself. Well, here goes!
Passion Conferences are held every year, and mostly comprise of many Sixsteps Records artists and others, inclusive of artists like Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Crowder, Melodie Malone, Brett Younker and Jimi Cravity to name a few. Every year these men and women of God come together to worship God in January and February every year at key and prominent U.S. cities, with the conferences directed at university students, and every year they invite guests as well. Over the years, Carrie Underwood, Lecrae, Tedashii, Hillsong UNITED, Rend Collective and Tenth Avenue North have all performed at what is still one of today’s prestigious yearly Christian events. With the annual event launched in 1997 by Louie Giglio, now one of the key pastors of the conference each year, the band now performs in conferences in Atlanta Georgia around New Year for their recording of their annual albums released in March; and these guys tour around the world as well! With the movement keeping their heart for students and their related ministry rooted in Isaiah 26:8; I have always loved the annual Passion albums.
In 2018, Whole Heart released- and though I say this every year, I truly believed that Passion’s album from 2018 was as good as any they’ve ever recorded, with songs like “God You’re So Good”, “Ever Almighty”, “Almighty God”, “Hallelujah Our God Reigns”, “Ghost” and “All My Hope” all being some of my favourite Passion songs I’ve heard in a very long time (although nothing can really top the album Worthy Of Your Name). And while Follow You Anywhere released in January last year (as opposed to March!) and overall wasn’t as compelling nor engaging as previous Passion albums; and Roar was unveiled in March this year (of which you can view my thoughts here!); what does this mean for the latest release from Passion– a double single released in preparation for Passion 2021?
“Breakthrough Miracle Power”, led by Kristian Stanfill, and “You Are The Lord”, featuring Brett Younker and Naomi Raine; are worshipful songs… but how do they stack up against other recent hits like “The Blessing”, “Way Maker”, “Run To The Father”, “Graves Into Gardens”, “The Father’s House”, “Never Lost” and “Rattle”? Though Passion could conceivably go on and on and on, and release countless albums to the point where each one afterwards sounds the same as the one before it; there has to be some unique features present in each release to keep all of us still interested. And the undoubted answer after numerous listens is that while musically there’s nothing much here that is different from previous Passion albums (I am certainly having Passion fatigue at the moment! Maybe I’m longing for the Passion of old, with Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and Christy Nockels!), it’s the passion (no pun intended!) of each of the worship leaders of Kristian, Brett, Sean and Melodie, that still keep us excited and intrigued- and hopefully more so as the years progress. There may come a point where I am completely bored with Passion, and there certainly is enough here to keep me shaking my head at the clichés of some of the worshipful moments here; but both “Breakthrough Miracle Power” and “You Are The Lord” nonetheless have enough of its moments for me to keep me interested and quietly confident of the band’s future!
Led by Kristian, “Breakthrough Miracle Power” is a typical Passion song, with simple chords, simple lyrics, and a worshipful yet ‘cliché’ message- and a song that’s catchy, but not real deep. I mean, it’s not as controversial or ground-breaking as Cory Asbury’s “Reckless Love”… but this is what Passion do best. I mean they do albums almost every year, so I guess one song is bound to sound mediocre, right? And it is this song. Don’t get me wrong, I still will listen to every Passion album…unless they have something theologically wrong with their lyrics; but from this lead single, I’m not as excited as the 2021 Passion album to be released later this year. Especially with a chorus like ‘…let that breakthrough miracle power pour out, I need a breakthrough miracle moment right now, only in You and with You, my victory is found, bring that breakthrough miracle power, let it rain down…’; I mean how repetitive and cliché do you want to get? Thankfully, the Leeland penned “You Are The Lord” (how original is this title, am I right?) is near-flawless, and is beautifully led by Brett Younker and newcomer Naomi Raine. A radio friendly piano led ballad, we are met with a worship song that should be sung everywhere in churches on Sunday mornings, with the lyrics relaying to us that Jesus is sovereign, that He reigns on high, that He is holy and is worthy to be praised. Yes, this song is cliché too… but there’s something about it that stands out here. I’m not sure what it is, but when you listen to “Breakthrough Miracle Power” and then also to “You Are The Lord”… well, you’ll hear the stark difference.
After the relative underwhelming nature of Follow You Anywhere, Roar was a great step in the right direction- as I once again was reminded that Passion’s heart is still the same- to bring glory to God in whatever setting they’re in, and to spread the gospel in whatever way they can. In that sense, as I am reminded that this is a movement that does what works for them, and will continue to give God the glory for however long God continues to put the calling on Louie and Shelly Giglio (after all, Passion is Louie’s brain-child and what God called and is still calling for him to do and be a part of!); I can give these two singles some leeway- as their ministry is to fellow believers. Given that these songs are to promote their first annual online conference (because of COVID-19!)… it’s pretty admirable. It isn’t known what will happen with Passion in the long-term (given that the COVID-19 virus has swept the globe and shows no signs of slowing down!), however now’s not the time to have philosophical questions. Now’s the time to sit back and listen to the lyrical and musical and vocal prowess of the Passion team- and sing along with Crowder, Melodie, Sean, Brett and Kristian. Need any more reasons to allow God to roar like a lion over our lives with favour and providence?
RIYL: Vertical Worship, The City Harmonic, Jesus Culture, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Newsboys, We The Kingdom, London Gatch