Release Date: February 3rd 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Open The Sky
- It Is Done [feat. Darlene Zschech]
- Jesus It Is You
- Doxology (Come And Worship)
- Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher) [feat. Israel Houghton]
“…Words cannot describe how thrilled and honored I am to be a part of the Integrity Music family. My primary desire has always been to simply live in His presence, and live out this grace He has given me, whether in my leading worship or in writing worship songs for churches to sing in our nation of Indonesia. I believe worship transcends cultures, geographical and language barriers, and I am grateful for Integrity Music for welcoming me to be a part of what God is doing globally…” Signed to Integrity Music late last year, Indonesian worship leader Sidney Mohede has unveiled his debut EP The Rescue, a U.S. release comprising of 6 songs from his full length English album of the same name which released in 2014 in Asia. Immigrating to the U.S. at a young age, Sidney’s acceptance of Christ in his teenage years ultimately drew him back to Indonesia, where he is now the Network Pastor for JPCC (Jakarta Praise Community Church); and Sidney also serves as a teacher and guest speaker at various conferences and events across the world. Having written over 200 songs, what does this EP bring out of this talented, seasoned worship leader? Are these 6 songs compelling enough for me to check out future albums from Sidney? The answer is yes, as these 6 melodies are poignant, emotional, honest, and feature guest vocalists from some of today’s popular worship artists!
A quick listen to the album, and you find the influence of Michael W. Smith all over, from heartfelt strings and explosive epic orchestral instrumentation, as Sidney shows us his stellar musicianship as well as his simple yet effect honest lyrics. “Open The Sky” is a poignant, inspiring mid tempo worship anthem, that musically and lyrically sets the tone for the rest of the album. Sidney emphatically proclaims God’s goodness, asking Him to send His presence to us, and to ‘…open the sky, the heavens shine through, light up Your fire upon our city, break every chain, You are our freedom, reign over us as we come, touch our spirits now…’. Though the lyrics are simple, the passion and enthusiasm oozes out of Sidney’s distinct and captivating voice, is more than enough for me to sing along and thoroughly enjoy these God breathed, Holy Spirit anointed gems and treasures, starting with this melody that praises God’s name no matter what the circumstance!
Following on from the album opener, “Jesus It Is You” and “Amazing” follow a similar musical structure, with strings and synth prominent instruments. “Jesus It Is You” sounds like the song could be played on a full scale epic orchestra or theatre production- the mixing it that good, kudos to Sidney’s eloquent and majestic voice that carries the song to dizzy epic heights, and has me asserting that this song is clearly the best on the mini-album! The chorus is the part where I can just feel the Holy Spirit dwelling in this place, and is where Sidney shines as a worshipper and singer. Just read these words, where we sing along ‘…and I lift my hands, I bring my song, and all of my days, all of my rights, all of my wrongs, I offer my life, here and beyond, to the One thing true, Jesus it is You…’, and be blessed by Sidney’s out-of-this-world worship leading! “Amazing” continues the near flawless effort from Sidney, as strings and synth once again form the backbone of an amazing worship tune, as Sidney sings about God’s amazing qualities, that ‘…You’re amazing, never changing, always with me, enthroned within my soul, overflowing, my heart offers the deepest of honor and worship, You’re amazing…’. Another song that highlights Sidney’s worship leading gift, from these two songs alone I can’t sing Sidney’s praises and champion his EP enough!
The piano and acoustic guitar led hymn “Doxology” is a surprise inclusion, as Sidney has been blessing us with his original songs, then all of a sudden re-records a cover that at first impressions doesn’t stray too much from other versions. However a simple yet effective and inspiring chorus that reminds us that we can come and worship God whenever we want to is followed by an inspiring crescendo that swells to a God moment that can only be described as magical. A well recorded and sung version a much beloved hymn that we all know and love, Sidney’s brilliance is also shown on the two duets, the remaining tracks on the album!
“It Is Done” is sung with Darlene Zschech and co-written with Mia Fieldes, and is a mid tempo ballad led by strings and synth, outlining that the price for our sin has been paid by Jesus on the cross. With Sidney and Darlene singing in perfect harmony, they powerfully declare that ‘…it is done, It is done by your blood, It is done, You have overcome the world…’, a truth that we cannot hear enough of, as we sing along in unison and praise God for raising from the dead. With orchestral sounds being the centrepiece musically in many of the songs, the album closer “Hosanna”, co-written and sung with Israel Houghton, is the perfect way to end the album, as we are glimpsed into a 6 minute moment of unbridled, unashamed and passionate worship to God. As Sidney and Israel both sing to God, and cry out ‘…hosanna in the highest, let our King be lifted up, hosanna…’, there’s a moment of deep, poignant surrender to God, as the most simplest of lyrics create the deepest effect of worship to God. Well done Sidney for the fantastic album closer and thoroughly enjoyable EP overall!
What can I say about this EP that I haven’t mentioned already? Sidney Mohede is a brilliant artist that has a passion for Jesus that is evident in his honest and motivational worship songs. The only downside to this label debut is that it’s too short, and personally, I will definitely buy Sidney’s full length debut album! So there you have it… buy Sidney’s EP, you won’t regret it! Well done Sidney for this surprising EP (in a good way!) and I can’t wait to see what’s in store in the future!
3 songs to listen to: Open The Sky, Jesus It Is You, Hosanna
RIYL: Michael W. Smith, Israel Houghton, Hillsong, Chris Tomlin