Finally, after a five-year drought, Leeland returns with Invisible, their brand new studio album.
As a worship leader, I am always looking for the most sing-able songs to introduce to my church. While this album has a few I can use, this is not your normal, four-on-the-floor, “oh-oh woah”, verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus style worship album. Think of Invisible as a concept album packed with surprises!
The first thing that struck me is how sonically beautiful everything is. Every song is like being hit with rays of sunshine – it’s gorgeous! The thing I love about Leeland, is they always surprise me with their melodies and their unique songwriting. Being a life-long worship music listener, worship leader, and songwriter, I feel I can typically predict where a song is going to go on the first listen. Not so with Leeland!
I would describe the sound as electronic, but is not as poppy and EDM as Hillsong Young & Free, nor as mellow as United. That said, there are still plenty of shimmery guitar parts to make my guitar-shaped-soul smile.
The album starts off with the “Bells of Notre Dame“, in which they creatively turn the ringing bells of Paris’s famous Notre Dame cathedral into an original song declaring the nearness of God: “I know You’re with me in the night.” No matter where you are in the city of Paris, you can always hear them when they ring, like a constant reminder of God’s nearness in every circumstance. This could be the theme of the entire album.
Next is the title track, “Invisible“, which is probably my favorite. The lyrics of the chorus are incredible. “I see you standing in the wind and waves. I’m never alone. You’re not invisible. I see you walking from an empty grave. I’m never alone. You’re not invisible.”
“Perfect Love” might be the most church-accessible song on the album, aside from “Lion and the Lamb.” The co-writing influence of Bethel’s Steffany Gretzinger comes out in the chorus and bridge of this excellent song about God’s perfect love casting out all fear (1 John 4:18).
Speaking of “Lion and the Lamb,” I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH! While the studio version on this album is great, the live version on Bethel’s Have it All album is still my favorite. The guitar parts on the live version are just so good that I just cannot bring myself to love the more electronic-driven version.
“139 / Dead of Night” may be the most creative song on the album. Two songs in one, it starts out with a simple piano piece featuring Leeland Mooring’s soaring falsetto before segueing into an electronic tune with killer programming. Taken directly from Psalm 139, the first section is a prayer to God while the second is God’s response: “I’ll be there with you in the dead of night.”
“King of My Heart” and “Ever Love You” are songs of surrender, the latter of which I think would make a great song to include in an acoustic worship set.
“Son Was Lifted Up” is equally accessible & co-written with Bethel’s Brian Johnson. Brian’s influence comes through in the almost hymn-like cadence of the verses.
“Carry It All Away” is another anthemic epic featuring rhythmic backing vocals, capturing the joy and freedom found when we surrender to the Lord & give Him control.
“Beloved” is a soaring reminder that we are God’s beloved while “For Your Glory” is a simple acoustic song that rounds out the album. It features a gang vocal singing “For Your Glory, You can use me” towards the end adding a congregational flair.
Invisible ends right where it started, with a “Where the Streets have no Name”-esque musical piece weaving in cathedral bells, yet again reminding us of God’s presence in our daily lives as the song slowly fades, ushering the listener out into the world.
Jonathan Simeral is a songwriter, worship leader, and NASA engineer from Baton Rouge, LA. He and his wife recently released an EP entitled From Heaven Down.