Review: Come Alive – Bethel Music Kids

Bethel Music is known for their passionate worship songs filled with talented vocals and powerful lyrics. Recently, Bethel released a kid’s worship album called Come Alive. Come Alive contains popular songs such as: “One Thing,” “You Make Me Brave,” and “This Is Amazing Grace.”

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Bethel Music Kids offers listeners an energetic renditions of worship songs that are known and loved by many Bethel Music fans. If you’re a fan of traditional Bethel Music and you have kids, this CD would be perfect for you. It allows your kids to listen to good, wholesome worship songs but in a tempo and feel that they would enjoy. The songs are remixed with an exciting techno sound.

The positive message in each song along with the more upbeat and modern vibe to each song allows for kids to want to sing and dance along. Bethel Music Kids version of “One Thing” offers an exciting and fun feel to it with a child voice singing the lyrics of the well-known Bethel Music song.

Talented children sing the vocals whether it is a lead part of an adjoining chorus of kids singing praises to the Lord. The Bethel Music Kids’ vocals are no less impressive than the regular worship leaders that sing with Bethel Music.

If you are looking for quality, fun worship music for your family to listen to, then this would be a great CD for you. Videos of the songs are available to watch on Bethel Music YouTube page.

Come Alive is available at Amazon and iTunes.

Hilary ParrAuthor: Hilary Parr.
You can follow Hilary on Twitter at @hilary_parr.

Review: The Union, Vol. II – Mat & Nicole Crisp

On January 1st, Mat and Nicole Crisp released their sophomore album The Union, Vol. II. If you are looking for beautiful, well written worship songs that have depth and meaning to them look no further: Mat and Nicole Crisp’s latest album is a stunning work that you will fall in love with from the first song you hear.

Mat Crisp is the Worship Director at LifeCentre in Canada and his wife, Nicole Crisp, is a music teacher and also a worship leader at LifeCentre; they have committed their lives to the local church. The Crisps recorded their first album in fall of 2012.

unionvoliiThis EP, The Union, Vol. II, offers listeners four original songs and one rendition of the beloved hymn, “I Stand Amazed.” The original songs are easy to learn and wonderfully written congregational worship songs with a heart and a story for Christ and what He is to us.

Musically speaking, Mat and Nicole Crisp’s are incredibly talented vocalists and offer beautiful harmony throughout their songs. Each song has a beat and a feel that does not overpower the lyrics. The voices and the meaning of the lyrics are center stage in each song.

Lyrically speaking, these songs are songs that the church could be singing in no time. They are beautiful anthems to God expressing to Him how we feel. “Unto You” is about what we do in His presence. It’s a great reminder to all worshipers that we should be gazing at Christ at all times. This is a worship song that has the potential to become a popular congregational song, you do not want to miss hearing this song or the whole album.

The track “All I Need To Know” is another great anthem for worshipers. This song is all about the things we need to know about God. It is a wonderful reminder that God, who knows all things, has a plan for His glory. We as humans do not always know all the things about the situation but God always has a plan and a purpose. The bridge sings out, “for Your glory God,” a simple but powerful message.

If you are looking for powerful worship songs with great vocals, be sure to check out Mat and Nicole’s sophomore album. They mix a classic hymn and several new songs to compose a great album every Christian will want to listen to. These songs have been on replay lately and you will be blessed by their work on this album.

The Union, Vol. II is available at Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.

Hilary ParrAuthor: Hilary Parr.
You can follow Hilary on Twitter at @hilary_parr.

Review: Majestic (Revisited) – Kari Jobe

If you are familiar with worship music at all, you will most likely be familiar with Kari Jobe. She is one of the most well-known worship leaders of our generation. Kari Jobe recently released her hit album Majestic but with a different twist—Majestic (Revisited) is all the same songs that the original Majestic album had but these songs are amped up and bring us a whole new feel.

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One thing that is for sure about Kari Jobe: her lyrics are always full of truth and realness. Majestic (Revisited) brings us the incredibly powerful worship songs we may have known and loved from Majestic, but with a fun synthesizer and almost techno feel. The arrangements of these songs give them a new modern feel.

While the songs are remixed, the one highlight through every song is Kari Jobe’s strong and beautiful voice. The songs do offer music breaks that hold a very modern and synthesized feel, but center stage in every song is Jobe’s voice and the lyrics that are the true heart of the song.

This album is great for people searching for modern sounding worship music or worship music that is a little more exciting for daily listening throughout the day. While they hold the same lyrics that make these songs such popular worship songs, this album is much more “car dancing friendly” than some worship music.

“Only Your Love” offers listeners a fun upbeat song that could result in some dancing. This song is a great work out, driving around, or dancing in the joy of the Lord. The excitement and beat builds all through the song.

When you are searching for a solemn and heartfelt worship song, Majestic (Revisited) has songs for you. Songs “Forever” and “I Am Not Alone” offer melodic harmonies and a soft new twist to the original songs.

The greatest thing about this album is that it incorporates Kari Jobe’s strong voice, heartfelt lyrics, and new, exciting versions of songs many have grown to love. Majestic (Revisited) is a reminder that worship music does not have to be just slow guitar and piano music. Worship music is about the lyrics and the heart of the song. This album is an example of worship music that can be exciting and different but still completely centered on what worship is all about.

Kari Jobe’s album is available on her website, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Hilary ParrAuthor: Hilary Parr.
You can follow Hilary on Twitter at @hilary_parr.

Review: Ancient Of Days – Alexon Music

Alexon Enfiedjian recently released his first worship album in over six years, titled Ancient of Days, with seven incredible worship songs. According to Alexon’s website, these seven songs are about God’s sovereignty in the middle of chaos and trials. This description stands true and is noticeable through the real and raw lyrics on the songs on Ancient of Days. In the midst of many worship songs that aim to sound upbeat and light hearted, Alexon Music brings worshipers a CD full of songs that are honest and that dare to ask the questions many Christians think.

While these songs are raw and real, they also speak life into those troubled times by reminding listeners that God is constant and here for them. The song “Wait for You Here” is the perfect example of this honest lyric writing that Alexon has brought. The chorus says, “in the middle of my mess, I will wait for you here. I don’t want to be alone, I want to know you are near.” These lyrics echo feelings that most Christians have prayed at some point in their journey.

The whole of Ancient of Days is a wonderful diverse album that contains softer, slower worship songs that are more upbeat. Each some has a different feel than the one before. This album shows the diversity Christian worship music can offer. With great vocals, nice guitar parts, and lyrics that are just repetitive enough for a listener to catch on, these songs could quickly become songs that the church could be singing.

The song “Guide Us On” has a feel that is reminiscent of an All Sons and Daughters song. “Guide Us On” has a great message coupled with a great beat that leaves the listener wanting to hear more. The message of this song is asking God to lead the way and show us the path.

“We Know Your Love” is a song that is easily remembered by its beautiful piano part that plays during the chorus. While some instrument parts often seem to overpower the vocals, “We Know Your Love” is a great example of musical parts that really enhance the song overall. But while the music of this song is great, the lyrics are just as good: “We know Your love is an anchor for our soul,” should be the cry of every Christian’s heart.

The track “Come Restore Me” shows a message of asking God for forgiveness and asking Him to restore the hearts of His people. Each song on this album is wonderfully written both musically and lyrically. Alexon’s honesty and heart for Christ is apparent through these seven songs. They are offerings and proclamations to God. Check out Alexon’s website here. Buy Ancient of Days on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon!

Review: Creative Sheep Podcast Interview With Andy Chrisman

Creative Sheep Podcast sat down with Andy Chrisman to talk about seven disciplines a good worship leader or any leader should possess. Chrisman was most known for his days in the Christian band 4Him but is now serving as Worship Pastor at Church on the Move in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He discussed seven principles to becoming a better leader with Creative Sheep’s Jared Hogue that Chrisman had recently blogged about on his blog . To review the podcast, let’s first begin with a brief summary of what the interview said; here is a quick overview of the seven disciplines:

Chrisman has spent many years in both worship and the music industry and used his knowledge to help break down seven simple steps that will help anyone become a better leader; he speaks directly about worship leading, but the disciplines can be used to better any leader.

The seven disciplines are pray, read, talk, listen, struggle, serve, and rest. Some of these principles might seem a little obvious, but Chrisman encouraged any leader to remember that while they might seem obvious they are still important disciplines.

While discussing the important discipline of prayer, Chrisman reminded listeners that worship leaders must be ready musically for a service but also spiritually ready which can be achieved by talking to God and setting the heart right. Worship leaders should be in constant conversation with Christ, and prayer should be an important discipline in their lives.

The discipline of reading was not only to dig into the Bible and know God’s word but also to read other books such as books written by pastors or teachers, inspirational biographies, and any other books that might spark ones creativity or teach them spiritually. Talk and listen go hand in hand for any good leader. Chrisman urged leaders to not only talk critically but to listen well when receiving any criticism. He explained that his worship team uses the idea of a critique sandwich— in which one begins by giving praise, offering the critique, and then ending with praise. As a leader, one must not be solely discussing things in a critical and negative manner; leaders must be able to talk praises and positive aspects as well.

Struggle might stick out as a rather odd discipline to have as a worship leader, but Chrisman said that struggling is part of the process. “The way we grow is by struggling,” Chrisman explained. Struggling, and most importantly being open with ones struggling, was a way for the audience to see the real nature of the leader. Chrisman encouraged that people want to see real leaders’ not perfect leaders. He then explained that sometimes for worship leaders the struggle is leaving it all on the stage every time one leads worship. The last disciplines were serve and rest. Serving keep the leaders heart in the right place—on others not themselves. And rest is needed so that they do not get burned out. All leaders must rest and renew to start again.

All of these disciplines were great reminders for worship leaders—this podcast is full of encouraging advice from Chrisman. His years of wisdom allowed for great insight into the life of a worship leader and what that life should look like. While some of the disciplines may see obvious, many forget to integrate them into their daily life, and this is a great refresher for any leader. A worship leader’s heart should be focused on Christ; we should want to pray, read, and serve so that our talk and our listening ears reflect Christ himself. Most importantly, worship leaders need to remember that in the struggle there is growth and that every great leader struggles at times. It’s through those struggles that Christ moves and the leader grows.

Make sure to check out Creative Sheep’s podcast of their interview with Andy Chrisman for more good nuggets of wisdom and advice for becoming a better person—which then leads to better worship. Each listener will be encouraged by different parts of the interview because each leader is in a different place in their walk with Christ and their role as leader. While it is around 45 minutes long, the interview is worth every minute; soak up all the information that Chrisman shared during the interview. Chrisman did a great job helping leaders understand what might make them continue to grow and to be better. By giving the listeners seven practical steps or disciplines, it enabled the listeners to not just listen but put into action the advice he suggests. His blend of advice and examples from his own life serves as a engaging and personable voice to listen to. Share this podcast with any friend or leader – together we can better ourselves to then better our worship. Also, check out Creative Sheep’s other podcasts here.

Review: City Bridge Worship

City Bridge Worship is a modern worship band whose members are representatives of various ministries throughout New York City. City Bridge Worship has recently debuted their first EP, City Bridge Worship, which is comprised of five original songs.

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The original songs by the band offer listeners a mix of different music styles from songs that have a rock feel to songs with a more contemporary worship feel. The variety of songs show the band’s talent and ability to mesh Christian worship lyrics with a more modern music style.

The band’s song, “Made to Worship”, is a nice collaboration of “rockier” music with lyrics that have a deep Christian message. The song’s faster tempo creates an atmosphere that will most likely make the listener want to get up and dance for the Lord; the beat drives the excitement and the lyrics are a great proclamation to Christ.

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All five songs contain great guitar riffs, strong beats, and lyrics that go far beyond the surface. The song, “We Long For”, is a powerful song that declares that we long for God. The bridge – “We are a city on our knees, crying out to God almighty” – is a phrase that the church can easily sing out and declare over their city and church.

If you or your church is looking for worship songs with a modern edge that still contain lyrics that are deep and powerful, City Bridge Worship is a band to listen to. Their debut EP City Bridge Worship is available on Spotify for streaming and for purchase on Amazon. The band is also on Facebook and YouTube.

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