Following on from the success of last year’s Be Lifted High, Bethel Church are back with another live album.
For The Sake Of The World has obvious similarities with its predecessor. Both contain the voices of Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle and William Matthews. Both contain 13 songs. And both are a mixture of loud, intense passionate praise and slow, reflective worship songs.
Fans of the church’s previous albums won’t need much persuasion to buy For The Sake Of The World. Opener To Our God is everything you’d expect. It’s well crafted and arranged as the close to 7 minute song slowly builds, eventually reaching a crescendo of “make his praise glorious”.
The unmistakable voice of Jenn Johnson is next as the church sing Our Father, which as the title suggests is based on the Lord’s Prayer. It’s unusual to hear songs that stick so closely to these famous words of Jesus. The recording stands out for all the right reasons.
This leads into Everything To You, much of which appears to be entirely spontaneous and improvised.
You Have Won Me is one of two songs (the other being This Is What You Do) lifted from The Loft Sessions recording – the church’s live acoustic record. Neither of the arrangements are ground breaking, but do well to demonstrate how the songs can be adapted to suit larger audiences.
In Your Light is an excellent track. The upbeat song is comparable to Deep Cries Out in terms of its energy.
None of the tracks manage to match the brilliance of Be Lifted High’s Furious and One Thing Remains. However, For The Sake Of The World is a much better title track than Be Lifted High.
The bookends of the album are superb, and there’s plenty of great tracks in the middle too. The Church has been compared to Hillsong before, but in reality the team at Bethel have developed their own sound and vision. There’s no evidence of any copy-cat behavior.
Thanks to a recent UK tour, popular interviews, decent reviews and the success of songs like One Thing Remains, the profile of the Redding, California mega church is continually growing on these shores. If their music remains this influential, passionate and well written then it won’t be long before they become household names in Christian circles. For now, we’re happy to recommend their music as being powerful, exciting and well produced.
Rating: 8 out of 10
September 18th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes