Surrender all – Renown Music: Review

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Joburg based church, Renown Church, released their second album, ‘Surrender all’, in October 2015 photo: renownchurch.com

Music review by Luchae Williams

I am excited and expectant for a unique and powerful move of the Spirit, in our country, this year and to kick start 2016 I am having a listen to a Proudly South African worship album!

‘Surrender All’ the latest offering by Renown Music, is the church collective’s follow up to debut album, ‘Unfinished’. Renown Music is a worship team hailing from Renown Church in Johannesburg with a sound that really resonated with the South African within me. There is just something about songs that are birthed and released in the country of their origin!

Opening track, ‘Uncreated God’, is a vertical praise song with a home grown flavor. It is undeniable that this is a locally produced album but it is also evident that these guys mean business. The track’s lyric is word heavy and I really liked the chorus that says “You deserve our heart/You deserve our soul/You deserve our ‘yes Lord, we will go”.

Other upbeat tracks, ‘We won’t hold back’, ‘God above it all’ and the electric guitar heavy ‘You are the resurrection’, have melodies and lead vocals that are reminiscent of old school Hillsong United. The songs on this album have clearly been written for the congregation and I found them to be easy to learn and sing along with.

I was immediately drawn to worship song ‘I live to know you’. This track is a heart cry speaking about devoting your life to knowing God and bringing Him worship. It is a beautiful song to get lost in, during your quiet time with the Lord. It flows into another ballad called ‘Exalt His name’. I found both these tracks to be lyrically heavy and wordy but with vocals that do not work too hard, which create a sound that is easy to listen to. This helps with creating a space where listeners can easily enter into the presence of God.

The album is rounded off nicely with the sweet sounding ‘Lamb of God’. This is your typical Easter worship song, with opening lines that so powerfully say “It should have been me on that blood stained cross/But you gave your all and took the fall.” I really love the beautiful, almost child-like essence that this track seems to encompass. It draws the album to a poignant close with an almost sing-song melody and beautiful lyrics.

I appreciate that this home grown worship album sounds like just that – a home grown worship album. Although styles have been borrowed here and there, it comes across that the Renown Music team holds no cliché’d pretenses. Their passion for God and His word is evident in their lyrical content. If you’re looking for a Proudly South African album to support, this would make a great choice.

The album is available for purchase at iTunes.

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