Emerging Voices is a powerful and intense album from a bunch of new worship leaders.
Jesus Culture Music is making a statement with ten new tracks: here are four worship leaders to keep your eye on.
Not only do Justin, Derek, Mary and Nate lead well, but their songs are impressively written and arranged too.
Released by Jesus Culture, it won’t surprise you to learn this is a live album with congregation-based tunes.
While each of the fresh faces clearly has their own style and energy, everything sounds remarkably similar to the big production Jesus Culture Albums. The same pulsating drums, guitar tones and overall arrangements are all there.
Raising up another set of worship leaders, while some listeners are still getting used to Kim Walker Smith and Chris Quilala, is a smart move. Bethel Church have long recognised the importance of passing on the generational baton; so it’s good to see them practicing what they preach in dedicating a whole album to some new faces.
Surprisingly, the album has sold remarkably well since its release last month. It grabbed the number one spot on many US Christian charts – including iTunes own. A cynic would put the sales down to the Jesus Culture brand backing these unknown names. While there is some truth in that statement, make no mistake – the music is top quality.
"If this is where Jesus Culture is headed, I, for one, want in,” remarked one reviewer. It’s hard to disagree. Emerging Voices has exactly the kind of songs that young Christians love to sing in church. Sadly few worship bands will be able to equal the intensity of the musical arrangements on Sunday mornings, but the songs themselves seem to have lasting power.
Be My Love is a fantastic new song: “My heart is burning for you”, Justin sings before a powerful keyboard and guitar riff kicks in. The song ends, but the track continues as the thousands gathered cheer and shout out praise. “Let’s not stop”, Justin encourages, as the spontaneous worship continues for 10 minutes.
Those looking for radio friendly short songs will be disappointed. Most tracks are over 5 minutes, with a few reaching as long as 7 or 8 minutes. This gives the album a spacious and relaxed feel. Nothing is rushed.
There’s very little to fault with this recording. Jesus Culture is a young movement, attracting attention from evangelical teens and 20s in the Western world. Emerging Voices introduces those young people to even more gifted and talented writers and musicians. In making everything even younger, you’d be forgiven for worrying that Jesus Culture’s mature sound would be in jeopardy. Emerging Voices silences those fears. These four emerging voices are the real deal.
February 5th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes