Release Date: November 23rd 2018
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- The First Noel
- O Holy Night
- Light Of The World
One of Australia’s most popular, passionate, creative and inventive youth and praise and worship bands, Planetshakers have been around for a while (since the early 2000’s I reckon!). With the band’s signature sound being worship EDM, and the movement without fail releasing multiple live and studio albums per year; I guess you’d be inclined to say that the band is in the same vein as Hillsong- many, many albums in their discography; with my personal favourites being Rain Down, All That I Want, This Is Our Time, Overflow and The Outback Sessions, not to mention Legacy and their most recent live/studio hybrid album Heaven On Earth (even though some projects throughout their discography have fallen flat- namely Heal Our Land and Endless Praise). Throughout all that time, though, there is just one project the guys have recorded of Christmas music. Last year Planetshakers released Christmas Vol. 1– short at only 4 tracks, and with a couple of stand outs and one track that didn’t really resonate with me. Though a times a bit too electronic, Christmas Vol 1 nonetheless had me engaged for the most part, which brings me to the group’s next holiday effort. Christmas Vol. 2 recently was released, and overall; it was certainly a step up musically, lyrically and production-wise from Christmas Vol. 2. So… why don’t we just take a look and see how this EP ranks in terms of Christmas releases from this year, shall we?
“O Come All Ye Faithful” starts proceedings and is reimagined as an EDM melody fit for the dance floor, as we move about and echo praises to Jesus, as we authoritatively cry out ‘…o come let us adore Him…’– and is a fresh, reinvigorating take on a timeless classic; while “The First Noel” sadly pales in comparison to the opener- it falls flat and I can’t help but be reminded of the much superior “Noel” from Hillsong Young & Free. On the other hand, “O Holy Night”, exquisitely led by earnest keys and passionate vocals from Joth Hunt is by far the best track on the short but punchy mini-album- as my favourite carol of all isn’t ‘wrecked’ but rather enhanced and delivered in a different light. The EP then ends as quickly as it began, with the original melody “Light Of The World”, which is a solid entry outlining that we are met with the promise that Jesus is the light of the world and the hope for all of our salvation. It’s not as profound as other original Christmas tunes from artists such as “The Heart Of Christmas” (Matthew West), “Saving Christmas” (Building 429) or “This Christmas (Father Of The Fatherless)” (TobyMac), yet it is nonetheless impactful and still a highlight on this brief release.
Overall an enjoyable EP that continues my reinvigorated interest for Planetshakers a bit more; this track list has certainly taken me by surprise, well musically at least, of what the band is capable of. Even though the album still is more electronic than it needs to be; Planetshakers have nonetheless done Australia proud with their latest Christmas anthems and dance melodies, full of inspiring messages and uplifting lyrics about Jesus! Well done Planetshakers for creating a short but impactful set of songs that are sure to be repeated on many iTunes playlists! I can’t wait for Christmas Vol. 3… or a full-length Christmas album- whichever comes first!
3 songs to listen to: O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, Light Of The World
RIYL: Hillsong Y&F, TobyMac, Jamie Grace, Group 1 Crew, Manic Drive, Salvador, Unspoken