Heal Our Land is the latest passionate, loud and rocking effort from Melbourne, Australia based youth band Planetshakers.
For those unfamiliar with the band the following headlines should help give an impression of their style: “Heart Cry of a Generation as Young Christians Jump for Jesus”, “Mosh pit crowd jumping for Jesus” and “Young believers pray and sway to a new beat”
Heal Our Land is a CD/DVD package recorded live at the Planetshakers conference which contains 12 songs on the CD and 8 on the DVD.
Opening track Supernatural is one of the most full on worship songs you’re likely to hear this year. Starting with a catchy guitar riff and pulsating drums, the song is full of life and drive.
“We’re going up moving out of the natural / we’re stepping in to the promises of your word” the band sing over subtle synth lines, multiple guitar parts and technical drumming.
Second track Good To Me has a great dance/rock feel to it. Rhythmic and entertaining, the song features more great riffs and loud singing.
The musicianship is incredible throughout the opening three songs. And while third track Do It Again lacks lyrical depth, musically speaking, it’s an excellent effort.
The DVD has done well to capture the electric atmosphere. It’s not as polished or creative as Hillsong United’s recent effort, but overall it’s well worth the watch… especially to witness some hilarious facial expressions from the drummer.
Nothing is Impossible is the only song contained on the DVD and not the CD. Featuring the legendary Israel Houghton, it’s certainly a high point.
Joth Hunt looks like an unlikely frontman and it becomes clear a few seconds into the DVD that all of the band’s vocals have been re recorded in the studio.
It’s difficult to understand how the band manage to transition from some of the best, most energetic, upbeat and inspiring worship songs you’re likely to hear this year to the dullness of the rest of the album.
While the title track is one of the better songs on the album, it still lacks impact. Other efforts such as Hallelujah To The Lord drift into the realms of predictability. Suddenly everything has slowed down in both tempo and creative progression.
Power is, as the title suggests, a more upbeat track. But it’s one that has been pushed toward the back of the album. It’s an improvement on the middle tracks but it doesn’t match the brilliance of the opening three songs.
No one can doubt Planetshakers heart in wanting to resource the church and worship God. Rather than their worship leaders and songwriters taking credit for penning some excellent tunes, the copyright simply reads "Planet Shakers Ministries". It's an unusual but welcome step for songwriters to take.
But this album really is a mixed bag. Is it worth forking out the money for just 6 good songs when the album contains double that? Most would say no, but I would argue yes. The quality on display at the high points of this release do make up for the more boring sections. Overall, it’s a solid effort.
Rating: 7 out of 10
May 10th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Sam Hailes