With his latest album, Liberating King, Stephen Miller has delivered another collection of excellent worship songs for the gathered church. A lot of worship albums that I’m asked to review are very personal, without a lot of songs that I can picture a church singing on Sunday morning. But Liberating King has some great songs for corporate worship.
The opening title track launches the listener into the album with a guitar line that brought back some of the best guitar work of the 80s (I’m old, so that’s a compliment). The chorus is singable and catchy, and it’s easy to imagine a congregation belting this song out.
After that, “Only Sinless One” continues the sound with a bluesy opening and a dark, gritty feel that somehow still sounds uplifting. It also features one of my favorite lyrics from the album: “Our God, He isn’t safe but He is good.” No rose-colored glasses here.
Later in the album, there’s a version of “It Is Well.” Now, that hymn is one of my favorite songs of all time. I’ve heard versions of it that nearly wrecked it (sorry, Jars of Clay – as much as I love you, that one just didn’t work) and versions that were transcendent (can’t find a link, but I saw Sarah Masen do this song once and it nearly brought me to tears). I’m happy to report that this is one of the good ones. In fact, this is one of the best covers of “It Is Well” that I’ve heard.
The mid-section of the album features a massive worship trilogy, made up of three songs that move seamlessly from one to the other.
But the song I most want to lead a congregation in is “Our Father.” With a driving beat and an awesome guitar intro, it’s just an epic congregational song. See for yourself:
“The Love Of God” is another good congregational song. It builds in intensity until it reaches a quiet, subdued ending. I could easily see churches going a cappella to close this one out.
Liberating King ends with a beautiful duet of “Speak To Me” featuring Lauren Chandler. It’s a lovely way to close out the album.
Too many modern worship songs are overly complicated and rhythmically weird, which makes them hard for non-musicians to sing. These songs are easy to follow and sing along with, making them good choices for congregations.
Now for the really cool part. Stephen has offered a free copy of Liberating King to three of our readers. Just leave a comment on this review and I’ll choose three random winners on May 25.