Josh Lopez and his home church, Community Bible Church (CBC) in San Antonio, TX have recorded a very special live worship album entitled Broken Restored Loved, which was released on March 22nd through Maranatha Records/EMI CMG Distribution. It’s an album that not only offers inspiration and hope to those who listen, but it also shares inspiring stories, including Josh’s own personal journey, of brokenness, restoration, and love.
Kim Castro (Facebook)
Josh Lopez’ difficult youth forced him to grow up quickly. It was after he was away from his family for five years that the message of hope was shared with him-and weeks later Josh accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Now, with the hope of Christ in his heart and His love to share with others, Josh is spreading the gospel with Broken. Restored. Loved. – a live worship album from the Community Bible Church in San Antonio, Texas.
The album opens with Nothing is Impossible, an anthem that glorifies God with an upbeat tempo and dramatic chord progressions. Josh is singing with several other singers, and the effect is immediately joyful. The song speaks of God’s hope among obstacles. An excellent opening song with great energy.
I love the vibe of Glory To the One. Part Latin rhythm and brass; part dynamic electric guitar and gospel choir groove. This is a modern take on a traditional style. I love the way the energy of the brass section permeates the song. What a fun song to worship the Lord to!
The album’s eighth song, simply entitled, Jesus, starts out beautifully with piano and violin. Then Josh begins, “King of love…innocence…Lord of life…bright shining sun.” This piece is a heartfelt love song to the Lord of Lords. The violin blends flawlessly with the marching snare drum and creates an exquisite effect. This is a perfect selection for quiet worship, whether alone or with thousands others. The song builds dramatically as the choir joins in with simply, “Jesus….Jesus!” Josh does an excellent job combining a quiet introduction with a powerful, dynamic rise, then dropping back into a contemplative ending. Definitely a favorite for me.
In Come Holy Spirit, keyboards provide a nice pad effect while percussion keeps the rhythm interesting. The electric guitar plays a gentle melody behind Josh’s voice. He and the other vocalists implore, “Come Holy Spirit, fall fresh on me…” This song is another example of a slow, quiet introduction that builds dramatically, then falls back into a quiet repetition. Josh does a great job of manipulating dynamics and instruments to create a great atmosphere for worship.
Broken. Restored. Loved. is an excellent work – it has many strengths and few, if any, weaknesses. Josh Lopez is a gifted worship leader and his team is top notch. The production is very high quality, especially for a live album. This is one of the best albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. Listen and be ready to worship!
Kim Castro is a worship leader and songwriter hailing from central California. Her heart is to obey the Great Commission and to serve others as God leads.
Josh Lopez’s latest, Broken. Restored. Loved., is a rock solid live worship album. Mixing a few familiar worship songs with several great and memorable originals, the 13-track experience leads the listener in worship quite effectively: exalting God, singing about our need for Him, reminding about His mercy and grace, and ultimately prompting a response. I really appreciated the overall flow of the album, the solid vocals, as well as the between-song exhortations.
I love hearing where artists are coming from in their songwriting and watching Lopez’s video introduction to the album on the Broken. Restored. Loved. YouTube channel really put the album and the individual songs in perspective.
The arrangements of each song, as well as the overall feel of the album have a nice groove – from the classic, big worship service feel, to quiet worship, to a Latin beat. For the most part, each track can be easily added or adapted to a worship leader’s song list – the only challenge being Ye Alabo (I Will Praise You), but why not give it a try if possible!
I truly enjoyed the entire album – covers and original tracks. As I listened and was lead in worship, there were the standout songs for me:
- God, You Are God. OK, I’ll admit: on my first listen, when I heard the chorus I got choked up. Lyrics are huge for me and this song’s chorus is a very personal declaration and prayer. The verses are solid as well, but singing “God, You are God even when…” repeatedly is faith-empowered worship – and powerful.
- Great. Back to my lyrics comment – this one also delivers. As both a worship leader and, more importantly, a worshiper, I am a sucker for songs that speak of the greatness and approachability of God. Great is solidly one of those songs. It has a memorable melody that I found myself humming after listening to the album – thinking about the truth of the song. For worship set planning, I can see this song flowing to and from several others in a service.
- Jesus. Two words: Powerful chorus. Powerful in that it is simple and so completes the two verses. The arrangement is very cool how it builds. For me, I got chills as the chorus began. Powerful truth.
- Oh, The Blood. Great lyrics and tune. I love the link in this song between God’s love, my sin, His sacrifice, and shed blood. I immediately connected with this as a prayer song. From a planning standpoint, it is a great turnaround song for a set. I am considering using it during our Good Friday worship service.
Overall, Broken. Restored. Loved. is a great album to add to one’s collection and personal time of worship. For the worship leader, it is a great resource for different arrangements of familiar songs and some inspired and worshipful new ones. Thank you Josh and Community Bible Church, San Antonio!
Dennis works at an nonprofit research institute and is the worship leader at East Valley Church in San Jose, CA.
Justin Hitchborn (harmonylounge)
Broken. Restored. Loved. is a particularly interesting live worship album to be hearing today. Normally, I don’t like to make decade references when dealing with music, but it works so well here that I just can’t help myself. What makes this album so interesting from a musical standpoint is it’s ability to pull the very best elements from the common musical worship present in the 90s while retaining its modern edge. Such things as the inclusion of a brass section and the near-permanent presence of a large choir are very defining elements in this project.
Even though the songs included cover a lot of ground in terms of genre and mood, it is easiest for me to identify this album as a super-corporate, happy and joyful offering. There are powerful story elements to be had throughout, and it is refreshing to see these all come to a head with pure celebration. My favourite pair of songs come right at the end of the album, being Ye Alabo and Loved, both upbeat and funky selections that are just flat out fun praise songs.
Something that I find is absolutely fundamental to point out is that each song is birthed from something God did in the lives of His people. Several videos online can attest to the fact that this album is chock full of amazing testimonies and stories of God’s provision, grace and love.
Normally, personal stories and intimate moments in God don’t make the very best corporate song material. However, in this instance, these stories have been placed in the light of God’s goodness, and the end result is an amazing set of songs that reflect the sheer awesome power and love of God. It is impossible to stress how important this element is in a worship album today. Often, our perspectives on certain songs can change significantly when we hear the events that transpired in the writing process, and simple things like style and genre will melt away.
Overall, this album will be worth the price of admission. Josh Lopez does a phenomenal job in leading the congregation in praise and worship, and there is no shortage of talent, passion and encouragement awaiting you. I have been ministered to in powerful ways both by listening to these songs and by watching the accompanying videos online. After all, isn’t that the point?
Justin blogs about technology/gear, theology, team dynamics and technique as it applies to the field of the worship music artist at HarmonyLounge.