This week on the podcast, Anthony and I review three brand new worship projects. And if you have any ideas for other stuff to review, let us know!
JOSH BALDWIN - THE WAR IS OVER
Unfortunately, Anthony had only just a little time with this project, but that didn't matter because I already loved it! I can also confirm that Anthony has since listened through the record and enjoyed it as well. All the hallmarks of Baldwin's previous work are well represented in this new work: Springstee-esque touches of keys and synth, straight ahead grooves that almost venture into alt-country, but not quite, honest lyrical layout with fresh ways of saying old things. But there's new stuff, too. Arrangements are compelling and dynamic throughout the whole album and the subject matter narrows and expands as the album progresses. Personally, I'd love to see this record get Josh into a whole bunch of new earbuds. He's a great artist who deserves to be heard.
HOUSEFIRES - WE SAY YES
Anthony and I were pretty close on this one, too. As guys who love simple, playable, singable congregational worship tunes, we've got a ton of respect for Housefires. We appreciate them for staying true to what set them apart in the very beginning. And what's more, we think they're getting better and better at it. At the time of recording, we both felt like it was a good record but nothing really stood out to us. I'm sure the album will grow on us, but we were pretty passive in our thoughts toward it. I hope, however, that records like this will continue to inspire churches to both lead and write songs that are easy to sing and play.
HILLSONG UNITED - WONDER
Surprisingly, Anthony and I both were really high on this new Hillsong album. Anthony heard a big hit in "So Will I" and I feel like they've made a really good pop record. I don't expect it to be as much of a church resource as Anthony does, but we were both impressed with both the production value, melody and lyrical consistency from song to song. I'm a also a little tentative about some lyric and design choices and how it'll hit Christian subculture, but overall, it's a great record with creative, thoughtful songwriting and top-notch producing.