On my lap was the new album by Jesus Culture ‘Awakening – Live in Chicago’… a Live worship album in a sea of Live worship albums, can this album stand up against Live albums from Hillsong, Planetshakers even Matt Redman weighed into the live worship album battle.
So what makes this album different?
Well… for a start this is Jesus Culture, and this is a Jesus Culture album… and live is where they are at their best. They’ve never been a band that has played by the rules… in fact they seem to have stumbled to their own style as they’ve come on this ‘worship’ journey… and they view their world differently.
Jesus Culture call themselves ‘a new breed of emerging revivalists’ so what does that mean? Mainly they are wanting to help ignite revival through connecting people in worship, ‘reawakening’ Christian values and commitment to God and God’s word…
Sonically the music is very much in line with indie based worship that you would hear from groups like ‘Hillsong United’ – but not as polished (which isn’t a bad thing) – but the lyrics are very much walking you through the Gospel message… but the thing that’s interesting is that this is an album to re-awaken the hearts of those who have believed, and so it’s an album full of reaffirmation… rather than new conversion or just praising God because he’s God. Now don’t get me wrong all that stuff is in their too… but if you were to stand back and view the album obectively as a theme… Awakening is most apt… so a two thumbs up from Jesus Culture from the outset.
The album starts of with the indie sounding keyboard that you would expect hear on a a David Crowder Band album… and from the start the band are showing they’re not hiding anything… there is nothing up their sleeve… this is about good honest music and being honest to God “Eyes to see and ears to hear your calling, our hearts respond to your Spirit falling” – now I’m not going to get into the theological aspect of the songs on this album as I am yet to hear one whole album that would line up with everyone’s theological view perfectly – this is not about theology this is about honest praise to God.
I like the reoccurring theme of repentance that comes up throughout the album… there is a real sense of never being the same after this moment, you will see the world in new light, and I like that… it’s a turning away of your old life.
The more I listen to the album the more I’m reminded about how church music used to be… when we would be able to go into ‘free worship’ and that meant something different to just a ‘instrumental’ or ‘guitar solo’
Jesus Culture’s aim seems to be giving people the promises of God in nice bite sized chunks… and they are more than happy to let you sit on the same phrase from phrases like “There is power in the name of Jesus… Break every chain, Break every chain” and to “Have Your way, Have Your way, Have Your way’,
A couple of things make this album work as a worship album… one of which is Kim Walker Smith’s voice… holy smoke Batman, what a powerful yet tender instrument…
The other is the focus… it’s all on God and it’s all about reminding Gods people, that they are part of this might army and that we are to stand on the promises of God…
This is a long album… filled with every aspect of the event… this is great if you’re needing something to help with freed worship at home… however I’m unsure if you would want to listen to the free worship EVERY time you listened to the album…
This album is release 29/11/11
- Album Review: Matt Redman ‘10,000 Reasons’ (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)
- Album Review: Newsboys ‘Gods Not Dead’ (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)
- David Crowder Band “Let me feel you Shine” (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)
- Album Review: Planetshakers ‘Nothing is Impossible’ (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)
- Album Review: Hillsong ‘God is Able’ (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)