Music Review by Luchae Williams
I love adding new music to my growing repertoire, even more so if it’s freshly home grown sounds by local artists. So I was quite thrilled when I had a listen to 3C Live’s latest album, Redemption. 3C Ministry is a multi-racial, vibrant, fast growing church based in Johannesburg, with over 25000 members in South Africa. The church is well known for their television and radio broadcasts “A New Life, A New Beginning” which reaches over 47 million people across the African and European continents on a weekly basis. Pastors Bert and Charne Pretorius are pretty amazing and are featured as the Executive Producers on the church worship album. The album is lead by Durban bred singer/songwriter, Shaun Pillay, who is well known for his hit ‘Every day of my life.’ Pillay, who ministers at 3C, is a brilliant songwriter and pretty much wrote or co-wrote every single song on this album, with the help of his 3C ministry team. The album is entirely authentic and original and you can hear that each song has been penned with passion and heart.
Opening track, ‘It’s all for you’, hit be a bit by surprise because Shaun P sounds a lot like our good friend, Mr Israel Houghton, in the opening takes. The track is very catchy and high energy and serves as a good introduction to the rest of the album.
The second song called ‘Higher’ has a Planet Shakers sound to it, with techno-electro flavors coming through boldly from the get go. It’s a fun dance praise song, with a “now” sound, that would fit really well on any youth ministry set list.
Title track, ‘Redemption Song’, is my favorite on this album! It is a powerful, easy to learn, mid-tempo worship song with heartfelt lyrics that would do well on Easter set lists. The chorus is really catchy and has the potential to be one of those choruses that you wouldn’t mind singing over and over and over in church. The bridge of the track really knocked me out! With an almost chant-like melody, the 3C vocalists repeatedly sing: “The blood of Christ/The cleansing power/The blood of Christ/Redeeming power/Will never lose/Lose its power”. I have goosebumps just typing it! I found it to be such a powerful moment on the album with Pillay’s vocals really doing it justice. A must listen!
I found the vibey ‘Uphakeme’ to be really fun to listen to and dance to! This African rhythm inspired praise song fits nicely onto the album (wish there were more like it!) with a much appreciated home flavor to it. It’s easy enough for worship teams to learn and one of those songs that the congregation would love “getting down” to.
Shaun P favorite “Everyday of my life” is given new life on the album, with a high energy feel to it. It fits right in with the rest of the praise tracks, which are predominate on this offering. But that’s okay, because they are all done really well!
The first worship song, ‘All in the name’ is very congregational and sing along friendly but I found ‘Unstoppable’ to be my favorite worship track on the album. It has such an awesome message that can only build your faith while listening to it: God is unstoppable! And that’s the truth! I love the chorus lyrics that say: “When I’m with You/I can do anything/When I’m with You/Nothing’s impossible/When I’m with You/I am unstoppable!”
For some reason, the other 2 worship songs ‘We ask for more’ and ‘Awesome God’ brought the ever graceful Darlene Zschecht to mind, with the latter sounding very much like old school Hillsong to me! It so simply turns our focus to our great and powerful God who is worthy of all glory and honor. The perfect way to end an album.
This album has really inspired me! After giving the entire collection a first listen, I found the songs to be old friends, when I popped it into my CD player again. That’s how easy they are to learn and enter in with. For me there is just something special about songs that are birthed in the bellies of our local Christian artists. We love singing songs that have been birthed in other nations but I think that it’s so important that we, as South Africans, begin to hear what God is saying to us and our nation and to sing those songs! What is he saying to South Africa? What is he saying to your city? God has placed a sound, words, music, in us and we need to let that come forth, because there is a healing in that release! I recommend this album.