Release Date: November 10th 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- Greater Is He (Jonathan Lee)
- Consume Us (Corey Voss)
- Come Alive (Dry Bones) (Lauren Daigle)
- Come Lord Jesus (Henry Seeley)
- You Have My Surrender (Lauren Daigle)
- More And More (BJ Putnam)
- Worthy Is The Lamb (Corey Voss)
This year, a new worship label formed and made its way into our home and hearts, and our iTunes playlist, as CentricWorship was formed, and released its first EP All The Saints: Live From The CentricWorship Retreat Vol. 1. Already having reviewed this EP for the site, we came to the conclusion that though we have been blessed with many worship bands over the past decade, with movements like Bethel Live, Jesus Culture, Passion, Desperation Band, Hillsong, Planetshakers and Vertical Church Band, that there can never have enough new additions to the roster.
As the story of how these group of friends came together to record the first album is so extraordinary, and reason enough to get excited (Steve Rice, the Vice President of Centricity Publishing, founded the new label); the backstory of many worship leaders writing, singing and recording in an authentic and Holy Spirit filled week long retreat in the Cascade Mountains for the first album sets the stage perfectly for album number 2- Come Alive: Live From The CentricWorship Retreat Vol. 2. Artists like Mia Fieldes, Henry Seeley, Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren, Riley Erin, Anthony Skinner, Corey Voss, Jared Anderson, BJ Putnam and a host of others (some newer artists and some seasoned veterans) all gave us their time and efforts as they each happily delivered a worthy follow-up to the powerful and impacting first EP. The result of this EP is also nothing short of amazing. Acoustic in its nature, you cannot go wrong with this album, and the band are sure to minster to all and touch lives. So let’s commune, and come into the presence of God, and see what this talented bunch of singers and songwriters impart to us once more.
One of my favourite female vocalists of late, Lauren Daigle, is featured on this album with 2 songs, and anchors the worship collection lyrically and thematically. One of the songs here is “Come Alive (Dry Bones)”, which is based on the story of Ezekiel in the Old Testament, and God calling out to the dry bones come alive. In the same way, this stirring melody reminds us of the fact that we are now alive in Christ, when we were once dead, and that God has the power to breathe new life into everyone. A piano led mid tempo ballad turned worship anthem, that declares ‘…up out of the ashes let us see an army rise, we call out to dry bones come alive…’; we are met with a worship moment of pure abandon, vulnerability and utter devotion to our Lord and Saviour as Lauren fervently reveals her heart and immense faith for Jesus. One of the most impacting worship songs of 2014, this song is a brilliant inclusion on an eclectic EP that hits all the right notes!
The other song led by Lauren is the CCM like acoustic guitar driven “You Are My Surrender”. A straight up explosive worship anthem that declares ‘…I will take You at Your unfailing word, more than all I want I will seek You first, I will bless Your name, when the night is long, God You have my surrender…’, the simple yet effective melody reminds us of God’s faithfulness and the fact that He always keeps His promises and therefore we can sing to Him forever and worship Him because of who He is. We can truly cast our cares on Jesus, as the repetitive but inspiring bridge relays. Well done Lauren for these two album highlights!
“Greater Is He” by Jonathan Lee opens up the tracklist. Sounding like a modern hymn, and sure to be as popular as recent songs like “Oceans” and “10,000 Reasons”, the piano and moving electric guitar led inspiring ballad reminds us of the ever true inspiring message of our victory in Jesus, that we’re ‘…no longer defeated, for the power of Jesus, has risen, has conquered, now living in me…’, reassuring us that our lives are no longer controlled by sin. Rather, Jesus Christ has unveiled his power and has given it freely to us so that we can live life to the fullest telling everyone of all He has done. Jesus really is indeed greater than anything in the world, and Jonathan’s worship anthem, perfectly designed for us to worship corporately, is a great way to start the album! Henry Seeley leads the piano led hopeful and contemplative acoustic ballad “Come Lord Jesus” to perfection (oh how have I missed his stellar voice and songwriting at Planetshakers!), as his passion for Jesus overflows and is evident in the 4 minute God breathed track. While BJ Putnam (sounding awfully like Dave Frey from Sidewalk Prophets and Israel Houghton) brilliantly sings his smash hit “More And More Of You”, a 7 minute piano led reflective turned majestic, epic and vibrant worship anthem (complete with a stirring spontaneous free worship segment), which basically proclaims that Jesus is all we need, and only He is who we want more of.
The final two tracks are sung by Corey Voss, and his offerings show us that this band/movement have a very bright future, and so does Corey if he records a solo album! Led by emphatic electric guitars, Corey, whose voice is similar in style to Leeland, passionately asks God in “Consume Us” to send revival, to ‘…consume us now, living fire, come and be our one desire, fan the flame to burn within, we burn for You…’, and though the music is simple, the lyrics and vocals are effective in creating a worship space that is safe and a space that we can let go and worship God with all of our hearts. The final song “Worthy Is The Lamb”, sums up the heart of CentricWorship, and is one of my favourite tracks on the album. Musically very simple, with only the piano and light guitar leading the track, and violin added in the bridge, we are met with a moment of surrender, as Corey calls us all into communion with our Lord and Saviour proclaiming ‘…worthy is the Lamb, angels bow, we cry out, worthy is the Lamb…’, and humbly expresses thankfulness, gratitude and love for our God and King. Well done Corey and the rest of the team for unveiling a joyful and celebratory EP that should be listened to over and over again- you definitely won’t regret it and you’ll definitely be changed by the experience!
With plenty of God moments, and with many strong and passionate vocalists leading each track; CentricWorship’s sophomore project is a great find, and if you love artists like All Sons And Daughters, Leeland, Phil Wickham, Meredith Andrews or Kari Jobe; then this album is for you. Showcasing world-class musicians in a room praising God together, from start to finish, while still giving us easy words to sing if we choose to on a Sunday morning at church; that’s what makes this album masterful like its predecessor. Sure, it may not be as flashy as albums from Tenth Avenue North or Citizens and Saints releasing around a similar time too; but the passion and sheer emotion from these guys makes me eager and excited for future projects from this talented ggroup of young and seasoned musicians. Well done Lauren, BJ, Corey, Henry, Jonathan and the team, may God bless you all abundantly in the future and may people be blessed by this new EP!
3 songs to listen to: Greater Is He, Come Alive, More And More
RIYL: Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Desperation Band, Crowder, Matt Redman