Music review by Luchae Williams
Contemporary worship collective, Elevation Worship, hailing from Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, released their 5th album in February 2016. The live album was recorded in a packed Time Warner Cable Arena stadium, in their home town, and was received considerably well, nabbing the top spot on the US Christian Albums Billboard charts after its release.
The album is titled ‘Here as in Heaven’ – and that is exactly what it brings across: An urgency and yearning to see the manifest presence of God in our midst. The CD’s title track also happens to be it’s opening song and is quite fitting to the theme. With a reverential and almost serene opening, the song is beautifully accompanied by simple vocals that chant: “The atmosphere is changing now/For the Spirit of the Lord is here/The evidence is all around/That the Spirit of the Lord is here.” This track speaks about surrendering to the Holy Spirit and is a heart cry for those who want to experience more of God in their lives.
The following track, ‘Grace like a wave’, hits you quite suddenly and brings with it a burst of energy and zest! The song has a catchy melody and upbeat tempo that makes it quite impossible for you to sit still. I loved the vocal of Elevation Worship singer, Andrea Smith, on this song. I found it to be fresh and uplifting and well suited to the theme of the song.
Other more midtempo tracks, such as ‘Call upon the Lord’ and ‘I can’t believe’ are beautifully written, with easy melodies. The latter speaks about the price that Jesus paid on the cross with lyrics that say: “I can’t believe/The price you paid for me/What you did not owe/So that I could know you!”
Worship song ‘Resurrecting’ focuses on Jesus victory over the grave and I found it quite remarkable to hear the voices of the multitude who had come to worship with the band on the night of the recording. I particularly felt moved by the bridge of the song that says “By your Spirit I will rise/From the ashes of defeat/The resurrected King/Is resurrecting me!”
Other worship songs that really stood out to me were the passionately delivered ‘O come to the altar’ (a must listen!) and the emotive ‘Hold on to me’. I was immediately taken by the beauty in both worship leaders’ vocals as well as the sincere way in which they lead the congregation through the songs.
The album’s live element really helped to carry across the atmosphere of worship that was present on the evening of the recording. This collection of songs will speak to a heart which is longing to see God’s presence among us. As the closing track, ‘For a moment’ so aptly puts it: “For we have this hope/As an anchor for our soul/You are with us!/We will never be alone!” Yes and amen to that!