Review: Our God is Near (Brenton Brown)


Kingsway Music releases new Brenton Brown album, “Our God Is Near” on March 22, 2011.

Brenton Brown has penned some of the most loved songs of the past two decades.  I had the privilege of seeing Brenton with his band at the “Forge Conference” last Fall (2010).  One of the coolest things about this appearance was his sharing the stage with one of his favorite co-writers and worship leaders, Paul Baloche.  Despite the volume of incredible songs co-written by Paul and Brenton, they’d never shared the stage together as worship leaders.  To say it was surreal would be an understatement.

I was especially interested in this new album because I’d already heard so many of the new songs and arrangements.  After listening to this album a couple of times it’s definitely one of my favorites.  There are great songs for corporate worship, personal listening, and radio.

Rather than bring a song-by-song review, I’ll highlight my thoughts on the album as a whole.  Right out of the box one of my biggest praises is that this album has a fresh sound.  Yes, it’s more of a rock-driven praise album but it doesn’t feel like the typical, British U2 > Hillsong > New Life type sound.  I welcomed some cool synth pads and fresh sound palettes that were a nice break from that typical sound.  (This surprised me since Brenton is a Brit, right!? — well, South African … which I always still hear and think they are British … !)

“Joyful” is perhaps my favorite cut on the record – a take off the traditional “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” classic with an anthemic, driving chorus that will have worship leaders scrambling to introduce this song in their congregations after one listen.  “Arise and Sing” was a cool song but reminded me so much of “Arise” from Robbie Seay band that I kept thinking it was the other song.  “Glorious” has been one of my favorites since released by Paul Baloche.  It’s another one of the incredible songs co-writtten between these guys – and hearing a new arrangement and perspective on the song was incredible.  I also really liked “We Lift You Up” and can find myself singing that in a corporate worship service or just as easily in personal, private worship.

My take?  This is a record you’ll want in your library.  Pick it up on iTunes, Amazon, or where music is sold!