#MusicReview: Rend Collective new praise album boasts Good NEWS!

I’m not particularly crazy about worship music because usually it isn’t very dance-worthy, is heavy on piano or organ, and tracks for worship are sometimes ten minutes or more in length. So when I got approached to listen to Rend Collective’s Good News, I will admit that I hesitated because of my stereotyping worship music.

Then, the first track started and I was into it and as each track went on, I got more and more into it. This album not only strengthened my love for my Lord and Savior Jesus but it made me an instant fan of Rend Collective and I will never hesitate to listen to another album they release ever again.

About Rend Collective:
Hailing from a small town off the coast of Northern Ireland, Rend Collective (Gareth Gilkeson, Chris Llewellyn, Ali Gilkeson, Patrick Thompson and Stephen Mitchell) wants to be known as a celebration band, worshiping for God’s Glory and fame. Since the release of their first album, Organic Family Hymnal, the group’s authentic and energetic style of worship has attracted an international audience, with career sales of more than 300,000 albums. The group saw early success as their first ever single “Build Your Kingdom Here,” peaked at No. 12 on the National Christian Audience Chart. Their 2014 release The Art of Celebration, charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart within the first week of its release. Known for their electric lively worship, the band has been a part of several major tours with top artists such as Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Kari Jobe, Lecrae and more. The group released critically acclaimed As Family We Go in 2015, followed by, Campfire Christmas Volume 1, their first Christmas record, and Campfire II, both in 2016, Rend Collective’s newest single, “Rescuer (Good News)” is available now.

Good News is set to release in January 19, 2018.

Song by Song Review

Life is Beautiful: Irish musicality trickles on every track of this album and this particular song speaks to our John 10;10 abundance Jesus died for each believer to live out.

I Will Be Undignified: A fiddle keeps this track fast-paced and promotes and unashamed dance in the presence of our King.

Rescuer (Good News)The title track of the album; praising God for rescuing us forevermore.

Counting Every Blessing: A worship song that brings to mind every blessing the Lord has provided and more importantly God’s goodness. I thoroughly enjoyed this track because it promoted me to beam with an unbreakable smile while listening to it.

Nailed To The Cross: We are taken back to Jesus’s victory on the Cross and all his death there redeemed for all mankind.

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Hymn For The Ages: Almost like a modern day “Amazing Grace,” praising Jesus for who he is.

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True North: This is another favorite off the album because not only is it a pure worship song but it has a musicality that makes me want to dance and feel fun and fancy free.

Resurrection Day: pablo (31)

This track completely had me overjoyed because it had Contemporary Christian musicality but praise-worthy worship feel.

9. No Outsiders: God is love and we can come as we are thanks to Jesus

10. Weep With Me: 

“Lord I believe you weep with me”

A worship track with an almost r&b feel to it that speaks to the depths of the listener’s brokenness.

Weep With Me (Reprise): A sweet finish featuring a strong use of violin and lead vocals

Marching On (Feat. Hillsong Young & Free): The EDM musicality and the lead vocalists motivated the listener to keep fighting the good fight.

Yahweh: A soft acoustic guitar strikes a soft chord to illustrate the gentleness of our God who is there in the midst of it all, and holds it all.

Counting Every Blessing: A ukelele version of the fourth track brings a new sense to resting in his presence.

Christ Lives In Me: I have a future and a hope because Christ lives in me is what this track emphasizes.

Get Connected with Rend Collective:
Website // https://rendcollective.com
Facebook // https://www.facebook.com/rendcollective/
Twitter // @rendcollective
Instagram // @rendcollective

“From the opening track to the last one, Good News will give you joy unspeakable and provide hope because Christ lives in each believer, life is forever beautiful.”

To see the The Smart Cookie quoted in the Good News press release click here

 

#MusicLove: Laura Story’s newest album gives you ‘open hands’ before the Lord

Laura Story has just that, quite a story, but in the church world, we call it a testimony. The Grammy winner’s fifth album already holds a number one single with the title track, featuring a collaboration with her friend and fellow GRAMMY® winner Mac Powell of Third Day. PR 1 Laura Story 2016.jpg

GRAMMY® award winning artist, speaker, songwriter, author and worship leader Laura Story has a gift for penning songs that connect with people all around the world. Among her successes as a solo artist with her smash hits “Mighty To Save” and “Blessings,” Laura has also penned hit songs for other renowned artists including Chris Tomlin’s “Indescribable.” Her solo artist music debut in 2008 with Great God Who Saves led to four Dove nominations and the award for “Inspirational Album of the Year.”

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In 2011, Laura released her sophomore project Blessings. The album and the emotionally powerful title was inspired by her real life trials and adversities, primarily her husband Martin’s diagnosis of a brain tumor. The album resonated with a huge audience and led to whirlwind career highlights for Laura, peaking at the No. 1 album spot for three consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Contemporary Christian Overall chart, topping the iTunes® Christian/Gospel Top Songs chart and holding the No. 1 spot for an impressive 28 consecutive weeks on the Christian charts. The success of the single “Blessings,” which was certified RIAA Gold, includes the GRAMMY® Award for Best Contemporary Christian Song, the Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Song and the Dove Awards for Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. The song inspired Laura’s first book, “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?” in 2012. A follow-up book, “When God Doesn’t Fix It, Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn; Truths You Can’t Live Without” and companion bible study DVD and study guide, released last year. God Of Every Story released in 2013 to much acclaim, and her first ever Christmas project God With Us, debuted in October 2015.

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Open Hands will debut on Mar. 3, 2017 (although the pre-order began Feb.3). Laura is a worship leader at Perimeter Church outside of Atlanta, GA and lives with her husband Martin and three children.

Open Hands

Laura Story

Rating: Five Out of Five Cookies

Song by Song Review

Awake My Soul (1000 Tongues): A strong percussive musicality carry this worship song along with emphasis on God’s worthiness of all the praise “forever you are worthy.” It reminds me of one of my favorite worship singers, Sarah Pearsons, who has a song of the same name but has different lyrical content.

Open Hands: Featuring Third day lead singer Mac Powell, it is based off Psalm 51. Easy to see why this is the title track because it is gorgeous and definitely puts the listener’s focus on Jesus.

Take it all
Every hope, every dream, every plan
Take it all
Every weight, all the shame and brokenness
Jesus, I surrender all
Every victory and loss
Take it all, take it all
Till all I have is open hands

You Came Running: My favorite off the album, this third track reminds me of another great singer-songwriter in Christian music, Francesca Batistelli. It is my favorite because my personal testimony of faith is God chasing me down with relentless mercy, love, loyalty, and goodness. It’s what makes God’s love unfathomable to the human mind.

Give You Faith: Written to her child, it’s a faith dedication song that is an act of prayer in intercession for the child who is still a newborn. It’s beautifully both lyrically and musically. The piano backtrack carries the song nicely.

For The Love of My King: Soft guitar introduce the ear to this love letter to the King of Kings. It’s another favorite off the album because my love for Jesus knows no bounds.

Death Was Arrested: A song worshipping Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice and based on 1 Corinthians 15:55-56, we know life begins with Him.

 

Whisper: Psalm 46:10 is the foundation of this praise song because it is about the still, small voice of our Almighty Creater. Soft musicality creates the atmospheric element of a “whisper” throughout the track.

Every Word You Breathe: Taking us back to the Garden of Eden, we visualize God breathing life into Adam and Eve, and with the same notion, God’s word brings life, breathes life.

Extraordinary: Another favorite of mine because it talks about God’s great love being “extraordinary.” Exquisite musicality and vocal usage throughout this praise song.

Grace Abounds: Perfect conclusion to the album, it’s a great song for the times we are living in. It reminds us that no matter the fear-inducing news headlines, we stand on the rock of God’s love for us and how it carries us when we can no longer walk, move, or stand.

Need another music review? Look no further.