Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Came to My Rescue (Live) [feat. Montell Jordan]
- With Everything (Live) [feat. Montell Jordan & Falawna Barton]
- God I Look to You (Live) [feat. Kyle Cruz]
- Holy Spirit (Live) [feat. Greggory David & Rebecca Iraheta]
- Holy Wedding Day (Live) [feat. Kurt Scobie]
- Beautiful Exchange (Live) [feat. Todd MC Vicker & Danielle Cruz]
- I Surrender (Live) [feat. James Goddard]
- I’m a Lover of Your Presence (Live) [feat. Sara “Femme” Davis]
- The Great I Am (Live) [feat. Montell Jordan]
- Break Every Chain (Live) [feat. Montell Jordan]
When does a song become greater than the artist? Can you really enjoy a song without hearing it from the original artist it was recorded with? Is “Our God” really “Our God” if Chris Tomlin doesn’t sing it? The new album from Victory World Church Worship attempts to answer the questions in their new worship album, full of popular worship covers. With the church headed by Montell Jordan, former pop/R&B mainstream singer turned worship leader, what we have is 10 great songs full of encouragement and hope. Even though all the songs are in fact covers, we are still blessed, and know that by this experience, that songs ought to be tools for worship and enjoyed regardless who is at the front singing it.
One look at the 10 song tracklist and you see songs that have possibly been some of the most well-known melodies over the past few years. Leading 4 out of the 10 tracks, Montell brings to us a vocal performance equivalent to someone like Israel Houghton or Chris Tomlin as he brings to us some of the best choreographed versions of the songs- from Hillsong cover “Came to My Rescue” and Jared Anderson fan favourite “Great I Am”, to Hillsong UNITED familiar melody “With Everything” and the Digital Age famous Will Reagan (United Pursuit) written “Break Every Chain”. While there is hardly anything new in the recordings- no new verses, no unique guitar solos, what the songs does have is passion and the ability to bring the listener into a space to just enjoy the song because it is good- rather than enjoy the song partly because a certain artist is singing it (be honest it is true- would we listen to “Our God” if Chris Tomlin didn’t sing it, or “Hero” if we didn’t hear John Cooper’s voice?).
“God I Look to You”, a song we know through Jenn Johnson of Bethel Music singing with her powerful voice, is now sung by worship leader Kyle Cruz, and while it may be a little different to hear a male voice singing instead of female (what we’ve all been accustomed to all these years), the song is nevertheless a good rendition of a song that’s one of the most underrated worship songs- I reckon- of the last few years. “Beautiful Exchange”, “I’m A Lover of Your Presence”, “I Surrender” and “Holy Spirit” all show us how much Victory World Church are fans of both Hillsong and Bethel- but the song that came from left field was “Holy (Wedding Day)”- originally by Canadian band The City Harmonic (and a band where the lead singer Elias Dummer, has had many similarities and parallels drawn, vocally, to Chris Martin of Coldplay). With the song being relatively not well known against the other popular melodies, it’s nice to hear a cover of “Holy (Wedding Day)”, a song reminding us of the union between Christ and the church, and quite frankly one of The City Harmonic’s best songs ever.
Victory World Church Worship have unveiled a 10 song set worthy enough to be enjoyed by anyone who loves worship music, and by anyone who wants to enjoy a song without having to feel like they have to enjoy a song because of an artist’s association to it. Despite no big names of Chris Tomlin, Hillsong or Phil Wickham, Montell and the team of worship leaders have done a great job at bringing us an album full of songs to listen to if you want to relive moments from church. While not your most unique or interesting worship album of 2014; it does bring us into a moment of worship and praise- and I guess if this is accomplished when people hear it, then Montell and the team have succeeded at their album. A fan of Hillsong, Passion and the other worship movements will love this offering from Victory World Church.
3 songs to listen to: God I Look to You, Great I Am, Holy (Wedding Day)
RIYL: Passion, Hillsong, Hillsong UNITED, Bethel Music