Jesus Culture releases their newest Album this week, Live From New York featuring Martin Smith. The album actually seems more like a Martin Smith album featuring Jesus Culture. This 16 song 2-Disc album includes a large selection of Martin Smith’s music, a few covers, and a couple new originals from Jesus Culture.
“We had the absolute honor and privilege to partner with Martin Smith, former lead singer for Delirious? and someone who has fathered the worship movement of this generation with great impact,” says Banning Liebscher, Jesus Culture director. “For the past few years, the Lord has brought our two paths together and we were thrilled to have him at our conference in New York. Our own Chris Quilala and Kim Walker-Smith led the main worship sessions with Martin. The passion and hunger that came forth in those sets was indescribable and we are excited to be releasing this album that captured many of those moments.”
“I have been personally moved by the music of Jesus Culture for a few years now,” says Smith. “To get the chance of actually playing on the same stage as them in New York was an honor. I’m very excited about this music touching the world.”
Some highlights from the first disc include, Pursuit which Kim Walker-Smith originally sang with Daniel Bashta. The Harmony between Martin and Kim is just fantastic, and this passionate song shines because of it.
Waiting Here For You is a Martin Smith song that has been recorded by others including Christy Nockels, but this version has all the energy and passion of Jesus Culture blended with the seasoned vocals of Martin Smith. This is a great song and will fit in almost any church service.
The stand out song of the disc Song of Solomon is the standout song of the whole album. It is another Martin Smith tune, and it’s deeply passionate, intimate, and shows a side of Martin Smith we haven’t seen much in the past. There is a connection between God and man made in this song that just tears the worshiper apart.
The disc ends with two from Chris Quilala, first a cover of Will Regan’s Set a Fire. Lead with a strong electric vibe that sets it apart from the original recording. Most people are familiar with this song already but this version is different enough to make the song fresh and new again.
Chris follows this up with one of the few originals Alleluia. This song was really refreshing. The Jesus Culture team has some amazing writers, and this album doesn’t give them a lot of chances to shine. Alleluia has a simple mid-tempo pace that inspires intimate worship without becoming a worship lullaby. The chorus is very simple which allows congregational engagement.
The Second disc begins with I Am in Love With You, a classic from Darrell Evans, and one of the songs that I absolutely fell in love with in my childhood. Chris Quilala leads this with a lot of passion and the theme of a passionate intimate love comes forth in a fresh way. I think this album will reintroduce the song to a new generation of worshipers. If you haven’t done the song, its time to add it to your worship sets, and if you have done it, pull it out of the archives.
Martin Smith and Kim Walker come together again for a duet medley of Show Me Your Glory / Majesty. This is a great medley that takes a classic worship song that has been sung all over the world and pairs it with a simple passionate Jesus Culture chorus. The vocal harmonies on this track help to make it stand out.
The album closes with the delirious classic Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble. Not much needed to say here, but this classic still stands out in a night of worship even a decade after its original release.
Overall the album is solid, but doesn’t introduce much in the way of new music. However the songs that were chosen are fantastic and arranged very well. This album is definitely one that will get regular play in your stereo, and contains many arrangements that will become regulars in your worship services.
For more information on the new album and to hear clips of each song, see a compelling promotional video, download background photos for your computer, smartphone and tablet, and more, go to http://www.jesusculture.com/ny/.
Thanks to Mat Reames for sharing this review with The Worship Community. Mat Reames is a worship leader at Eagle Rock Church in Lawrence, Kansas and blogs at www.matreames.tk.