Music Review by Luchae Williams
Irish folk worship ensemble, Rend Collective, released their newest studio album in January 2018. Aptly titled Good News, The album is a hodge-podge of vibrant melodies, expressive lyric and percussive tones.
Band member Gareth Gilkeson shares: “There’s a lot of bad news out there, but no matter what, we have good news, and that good news has a name: Jesus Christ.”
Album opener, Life Is Beautiful, is an eclectic array of sounds. From catchy banjo to melodic flute, we are immediately reminded of the band’s explorative, experimental element which has made them so popular. The song encourages listeners to rejoice – in the sunshine and in the sorrow – free in Christ!
Another fun addition is praise track, I Will Be Undignified. With raspy, powerful vocal and an animated violin accompaniment, lead vocalist Chris Llewellyn’s sings about dancing as David danced – undignified, leaving all pride and ego behind! This really is a great listen!
Lead single, Rescuer, is undoubtedly one of my favorites, with a classic anthemic feel, complete with shouts of “hey” in the chorus! Llewellyn’s vocal on this album is passionate, endearing and engaging. His rich and breathy baritone perfectly complements mid-tempo track, Counting Every Blessing. The song has a catchy chorus that speaks about the Lord’s goodness and a bridge that says: “Surely Your goodness pursues me/Surely your heart is still for me/I will remember Your mercies/All my days/Through every storm and gale!”
Other fun dance songs are True North and a vibey Marching On, which features popular Australian youth collective, HIllsong Young & Free. The latter is a cheeky anthem, complete with synth lead piano, speaking about singing Hallelujah “for all of Hell to hear” and shouting Hosanna “above every fear”.
Some of the more worship-inspired tracks, such as Hymn Of The Ages and Nailed To The Cross, carry the same strong percussive folksy/country feel. But this is definitely missing from the melodic Weep For Me – a beautiful duet that speaks about praising God regardless of our circumstance. It’s probably one of my favorites on this album.
If you’re a Rend Collective fan, this album will not disappoint. It is filled with exciting musical experimentation, passionate praise and worship unto our King and an element of creative fun. Rend Collective newbies, this is definitely one to take a chance on! I thoroughly enjoyed it.