I’m a sucker for a good live album. There’s just something about the feel that gets to me when it’s well produced. You know it’s hit the mark when you feel like you’re in the room singing along with the everyone else.
Daniel Bashta’s latest My Resurrection (Live) is one such album.
I could go on about Bashta’s accolades, most notably having written “God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion)” to much critical acclaim & popularity church-wide. His works are played all over the planet by artists like the Newsboys, Third Day, David Crowder, Passion, Jesus Culture, Bethel Music, & more. But what I LOVE is that he seems unaffected by all the supposed “trinkets” of the Christian & worship music genres. Listening to his music & hearing his story, I sense Bashta has no concern for such things. Instead, he seeks a higher calling which is evident on this release.
Recorded live at Atlanta’s RiverStone Church, My Resurrection features eight tracks all co-written and produced by Bashta. Starting off with “Thank You Jesus” (featuring Matt Jackson), the tone is set: a stripped down feel with acoustic guitar & accordion accompaniment. There’s something about the simplicity & directness of the lyrics which gets my heart ready for worship (“Thank you, Jesus, for loving me…”). Let’s go to church!
The next two, “Bellows of Praise” & “Drenched in Love” were inspired by old hymns. A love for timeless truths & melodies motivated Daniel to incorporate such tracks onto the album: “The way hymns are crafted…the verses are so strong and poetic, they take you on a journey, and the chorus gets everybody singing together and proclaiming.” “Bellows of Praise” is a 6/8 meter anthem which would fit well in either a traditional or modern service. It’s memorable chorus of “Let it be Jesus, only Jesus – All that I am, & all that’s within – Let it be Jesus” works well with Bashta’s passionate, fervent lead vocals.
“Drenched in Love” is just plain fun! The strong lyric & melody incorporates that hand-clapping, foot-stomping Mumford-feel replete with the “whoa-oh.” Churches that sing All Sons & Daughters or John Mark McMillan gravitate toward this song – the arrangement is accessible & less is more as far as production value is concerned.
Slowing the pace down, “Praise The Lord-Rejoice” is up next and features EB Cole on co-vocals. Contemplative with a piano intro alongside violin, the focus is clearly on God for all that is good and true: “Praise the Lord oh my soul rejoice, for His love is strong, and His mercies are never-ending.” Clocking in at just over 8 minutes, the song takes a soft bridge led by Cole & rises, falls, then rises again. It’s probably one of the most congregational-friendly tracks on a project already full of great ideas for worship leaders.
“Praise The Invisible” transitions nicely – hymn-like & singable. It’s the kind of song you hear once or twice & it sticks. The songwriter part of me is always looking for that seemingly perfect mix of unique idea alongside a heartfelt melody. Daniel does this with precision & clarity that comes through amazingly well on this song.
Spontaneous moments always make a live album seem more real. There are a few of those moments, & whether fully planned or not, it feels genuine and authentic. To the worshipper, it’s a moment to linger.
The last two tracks, “Costly” & “Seas Of Crimson” round out the album, bringing closure as moving, expansive pieces. Harvest Parker – Daniel’s sister – leads “Costly.” Her is reminiscent of St. Vincent & Lauren Dangle and is full & moving. “Seas Of Crimson” (written by Bashta, Brian Johnson, Joel Taylor, and Bobby Strand) is a powerful closing track. It fits a modern hymn-structure in lift and fall & would be an excellent choice for a Resurrection Sunday service (“Hallelujah death is beaten – Christ has risen from the grave – Hallelujah it is finished – all to You the highest praise!”).
When I listened to My Resurrection for the first time and the last track ended, my thought was “It’s over already?!” It has such a connectedness between songs & flows as one continuous piece of music and worship. Daniel Bashta comes across not just as a worship artist but as a worshipper and an artist, painting pictures with songs – not settling for the easy lyric or melody just to make a cut.
Thanks Daniel for leading by example and creating a memorable worship experience with many inspiring moments for the local church.