Music review by Luchae Williams
I was chuffed to finally get my hands on Loyiso Bala’s new album, ‘Kingdom Come.’ The long awaited 11-track studio album is the crooner’s third gospel album and features a host of renowned Christian artists such as Rhema Bible Church’s Janine Price and legendary worship leader Don Moen.
In an article published in Gateway News earlier this year, Bala shared about the creative process that went into writing for this offering and his desire to make it as intimate as possible. I appreciated that the album reflected just that. With songs penned almost solely by the gospel singer, the album has an evident South African flavour with themes that hit home.
I quite enjoyed album opener, Intando Yakho. The opener is a mid-tempo bilingual track, with a rhythmic march that pleads “Your will be done!”
The lovely Janine Price lends her vocals to the powerful title track, Kingdom Come. I love that Bala has incorporated some of our official Proudly SA languages into the album, making for a genuine, African worship experience. This song is one of my favorites, speaking about Jesus, the cornerstone of our faith. Price’s vocals bring a depth to the track, and coupled with Bala’s, give the song an almost hymn-like feel.
Bala shows off his creative flair in his rendition of the classic How He loves – the popular John Mark McMillan song made famous by Jesus Culture. The song features brand new verses and a chorus that is adapted to the McMillan chorus, but with a Bala twist.
Another amazing collaboration on the album is the moving The One, featuring Bala’s younger brother, Phelo Bala. This beautifully delivered Bala brothers’ duet speaks about the power of the cross and the faithfulness of our King Jesus.
I thoroughly enjoyed the impassioned Holy Spirit (Move me now) featuring the phenomenal Lebohang Kgapola. Wow! This song is pure and perfect, with Kgapola and Bala’s voices blending so naturally to minister with such ease. The song is a heart cry to the Holy Spirit to fall down on us and make us a whole again. My favorite song on this album, without a doubt!
Loyiso Bala teams up with Don Moen in a soul soaring traditional hymn mashup, with old favorites How great thou art and Great and mighty. I love hymns. I love that they have seen countless lives be changed for the glory of God, and still hold such power, decades later! If you’re a fan of these “golden oldies” then you will fully appreciate this mashup. Musically, there is nothing dramatic or different about the composition, but I feel that the depth in these songs coupled with Bala and Moen’s ernest delivery, make for a great worship encounter!
I appreciate Loyiso Bala’s intentional excellence in everything that he puts his hand to. This album is nothing short of that, and is a perfect follow up to his previous two successes. If you’re a fan of Bala’s worship then you will definitely enjoy this offering. There are many tracks on the album that have a congregational feel, and would be great additions to your local church’s set list. Songs birthed in Africa, sung by Africans, for Africa! There is nothing else quite like it!