Release Date: July 22nd 2014
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Time’s Not Waiting
- Million Miles
- All In Thee
- Faithful And True (Hallelujah)
Recording Live Worship From Vertical Church in July 2012; The Rock Won’t Move in October 2013 and Church Songs about a month ago; Vertical Church Band, the worship part of the Harvest Bible Chapel ministry based in Chicago, have given us worship anthems and gems that are destined to be popular many years in the future. With worship leaders like Meredith Andrews, Andi Rozier, Kylee Friedricks, Seth McConkey, and Jacob Sooter showcasing their talents; many songs such as “Open up the Heavens”, “Not For a Moment (After All)”, “Spirit Of The Living God”, “Do What You Want To”, “It’s Who You Are”, “Restore My Soul”, “How Great Is The Love”, “Word Of God”, “Strong God”, “The Rock Won’t Move” and “I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)” have caught the attention of many, with Vertical Church’s third offering being 12 tracks of brutal honesty, raw emotion, and total devotion to our Lord and Saviour!
Bringing many different worship leaders all serving the same God into a space that doesn’t discriminate, a space that serves the one purpose of making Jesus famous; with the most recent result once again nothing short of sheer brilliance. Now, one of the worship leaders in Vertical Church Band, Tyler Miller, released his debut 5 song EP last year, titled Vertical Church Band Presents: Tyler Miller – EP (the title’s not that original, but anyway…). A familiar tune, “Time’s Not Waiting”, previously recorded by pop/punk band Stellar Kart, anchors the album; and Tyler shows us why he is one of todays’ up and coming worship artists! Similar vocally to Josh Wilson and Matthew West, as well as musically to artists like Chris Tomlin and Crowder; Vertical Church Band Presents: Tyler Miller – EP is a release you won’t want to miss, and have you itching and anticipating for Tyler’s debut full length album, whenever that is!
The slower-tempoed “Time’s Not Waiting” starts the album, and is just as powerful and impacting than the original version led by Stellar Kart frontman Adam Agee! A poignant and moving piano led ballad; while the song does not focus heavily on God or Jesus, it probably does have the most to say for Christians and non-Christians alike. Thematically about how time goes by in the blink of an eye, this revelatory melody is about not wasting the moments that may pass us by, and instead doing things in life that do matter. Confronting and equally as hopefully, Tyler reminds us that time is not waiting for us to do anything on our terms, in fact, the years go by and just feel quicker when we are older, so anything God has placed on our hearts that he has called us to do now, we must follow in God’s timing as we sometimes may ‘miss the boat’ by procrastinating. As Tyler sings that ‘…there’s too much to see to live life behind the scenes…’ I feel encouraged to take risks for Jesus, and I’m sure you will all feel that too.
The piano led “Million Miles” follows, and this sombre reflective melody speaks about overcoming adversity, and being a million miles away from our current situation, as Tyler emphatically sings to God, asking Him to carry us and lead us home to where He wants us to be. Earnest and honest, emotional and personal; the track is led light acoustic guitar, pulsating drums and a heart passionate for Jesus, evident by Tyler’s admission that ‘…I need to see You, You’re beautiful, I need to feel truth deep in my soul, I need an embrace that I can’t escape to carry me home…’. Expecting the next song to be a Desperation Band cover, “Overcome” is instead a synth prominent hymn like mid tempo worship ballad previously recorded by indie worship duo Brad And Rebekah. One of the songs that just grabs me from the opening notes and words, there’s something special about the song, that calls for it to be classified as a modern hymn, just like Matt Redman’s “10 000 Reasons” and “In Christ Alone” from Keith and Kirsten Getty. Tyler delivers this cover to perfection though, and does the original version justice, proclaiming that ‘…You have overcome, You have overcome…I have overcome, I have overcome…’.
The penultimate song of the EP, “All In Thee”, is led by the acoustic guitar, and is a slower paced ballad where Tyler ardently cries out to God and sings about grace and how we are set free from sin because of God’s grace, and about how ‘…I might find my all in Thee…’, while the short but sweet EP wraps up with the longest song on the EP. “Faithful And True (Hallelujah)”, a subdued, reflective piano ballad, speaks about God’s faithfulness through the ages, with Tyler delving into famous Bible heroes and how they reacted to the promises of God’s faithfulness when circumstances told them otherwise. As Christians, we must be steadfast to the promises of God and not be swayed by everything around us, therefore this heartfelt track serves as a gentle reminder to hold fast to God and His Word, as He is holy, worthy, and the same yesterday, today and forever. Well done Tyler for an enjoyable and moving EP that has me excited for a full length album, whenever that is.
As Tyler Miller has executed his debut EP almost flawlessly; his worship leading is something to behold. With shades of Matthew West, Steve Fee and Josh Wilson in his pristine voice; Tyler Miller’s self-titled 5 song EP is sure to be treasured, appreciated and admired by many. A fine effort, and one that has me eager for the next new album; Tyler has showed us a taste of his talents, and has glorified God greatly as well. A very outstanding job well done, I think this version of “Time’s Not Waiting” is just as good as Stellar Kart’s version!
3 songs to listen to: Time’s Not Waiting, Overcome, Faithful And True (Hallelujah)
RIYL: Matthew West, Josh Wilson, Chris Tomlin, Crowder