Release Date: July 14th 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- We Speak Life
- You Call Me Beautiful
One of Australia’s most popular, passionate, creative and inventive youth and praise and worship bands, Planetshakers have created many stellar and poignant live and studio albums since the early 2000’s. In the same vein as Hillsong, these Aussies release at least 1, most likely 2 albums every year. And though I previously hadn’t been as fully immersed in the band’s discography than I reckon I could have been (except for a full appreciation of earlier albums Rain Down and All that I Want), it is later albums, namely This Is Our Time, Momentum EP, Overflow and The Outback Sessions that have greatly impressed me, and piqued my interest for future projects of the band. What I did learn from listening to and reviewing Planetshakers’ recent albums (view the reviews here) was that a few albums of less cohesion (in my opinion Heal This Land, Limitless and Endless Praise), doesn’t mean the next album is going to fall flat.
Which brings me to this year, where the young men and women of God have unveiled their latest live projects Legacy, celebrating 20 years of the band creating music. Separated into 2 EP’s, with the first EP titled Legacy Pt. 1: Alive Again (you can read the review here!), it is the second EP titled Legacy Pt. 2: Passion which released this month, that I really want to delve into- as I reckon these 4 songs are some of the best songs Planetshakers have ever recorded. Yep, I reckon the band have recorded a near-flawless project, and hopefully future albums from the band are equally as impressive. Legacy (both parts!) definitely seems to be right now the band’s crowning achievement so far.
Opening the album with the guitar led thoroughly engaging and toe tapping pop melody “Passion”, the title track, lead singer Joth Hunt ardently recounts the fact that because of everything Jesus has done, we can give all of ourselves over to God, and can truly mean the sentiment that ‘…I give You, my passion, my praises, always…’; while the track list segues into the in-your-face spiritual warfar rock anthem “Prophesy”, which sings directly to the devil, saying that he has no power over us anymore, and instead Jesus is the only One who can speak into our lives, and because of that, we can prophesy to the devil that he is defeated and Jesus has won.
The final two tracks are inspiring slower tempo ballads, and they are truly magical and out of this world- there some of the most inspiring melodies from the band I have ever heard. “We Speak Life”, led by haunting and mysterious electric guitar, has Joth emphatically declaring the ever true statement that ‘…our God, is more than able, our God, will never fail, He is always with us, He is faithful ’til the end, our God is full of power, our God, the strongest tower, He is always with us, He is faithful ’til the end…’, as the song gradually crescendos to an epic orchestral God-moment and we hear a track certain to be sung in churches everywhere very soon in the future; yet it is the Sam Evans led “You Call Me Beautiful” that is the track to listen to if you would only have to pick one song. There isn’t really anything I can say to describe this song, because it is indescribable. Clocking in at just under 10 minutes, you’d probably think half of the song is filler, but it isn’t. Sam leads this song to perfection, and the topic of Jesus calling us beautiful and calling us His children and His own, is quite relevant in this day and age where people are looking to different places for acceptance and to find their own identity. As Sam fervently cries out that ‘…I am amazed, caught in the wonder of Your love, cleansed by the power of Your touch, Father, You call me beautiful, I stand in awe, lost in the depths of Your mercy, Your heart beats like thunder around me, Father, You call me beautiful…’, there’s a sense of urgency here, as we cry out and reassure ourselves that we are beautiful in His eyes. Well done guys for creating a potential timeless classic that will definitely be in my best of 2017 list for songs come the end of the year!
Overall an enjoyable EP that has definitely continues my reinvigorated interest for Planetshakers a bit more; this track list has certainly created momentum (no pun intended!), and given me new songs to sing out to Jesus during times of joy and hardship. Still not as impacting or rousing as albums from Passion, Jesus Culture, and Hillsong, Planetshakers have done Australia proud with their latest live 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!
3 songs to listen to: Passion, We Speak Life, You Call Me Beautiful
RIYL: Hillsong Worship, Jesus Culture, C3, Elevation Worship, One Sonic Society, Soulfire Revolution