Stephen Jenks, whom you may remember from this recent interview, recently released his first album, and I was able to give it a listen so I could share my thoughts about it.
In Stephen’s words, here’s what led him to record Future Worship:
The biggest question I had to answer is “Why?” Why should I make a CD of my songs, what benefit or purpose will they serve. Lord knows we have a ton of great music already out in the world, and clearly my chops if compared to others could be considered less than professional. It was then that I realized my “why”. It wasn’t for fame or fortune, it wasn’t for celebrity it was because God had given me some gifts – songs that carried His word in a unique way. I remember how the best way for me to memorize anything is to create a song about it, and I thought about how many songs I had sung that helped me understand who I am, who God is, and what he wants me to do.
“Unique” is a good way to describe this album. It definitely doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter “worship sound” that all too often fills new releases. And sometimes, different is good.
Take the song “God Is Light” for instance. It opens with a choir singing in Latin. You don’t hear that kind of thing too often, and it’s a nice break from the typical dotted eighth notes played on guitar with delay (not that there’s anything wrong with dotted eighth notes played on guitar with delay).
And on “I Want You (More Than I Want),” a dirty blues song plays hide and seek with a CCM-style chorus to great effect.
The long synth-driven intro to the title track gives way to a song that really drives, and that features my favorite lyrics on the album: “When we worship, we change the atmosphere.”
The standout track for me, though, was “March On (Remix),” an unashamedly retro 80s synth pop worship anthem, which is a phrase I’ve never typed before. But the song is really a lot of fun.
And every single track benefits from the super clean mix that highlights Stephen’s formidable voice. Dude can sing.
Overall, Future Worship is a refreshing change from the “worship sound” status quo.