Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gateway Worship: God Be Praised Review

With God Be Praised, Gateway Worship delivers their third live worship album. Centered around Romans 8:11 and the power of the blood and the Resurrection of Jesus, Thomas Miller, Kari Jobe, and the rest of the Gateway team deliver a wonderful worship album filled with both rock anthems and slower piano tracks.

Opening with “God Is With Us Now,” Gateway Worship delivers a fresh sound with a highly upbeat reminder that God is right in the midst of us: “God is with us now/ His love rains down/ His love reigns now/ saved by grace and power.” I very much enjoyed the opening first minute with driving guitars that made the song a highlight from the worship album. “Praise Him” retains the driving-guitar upbeat sound of “God Is With Us Now,” featuring a timeless encouragement to believers, no matter where they are, to praise the Lord with all of creation.

“Victory” is a nicely paced contemporary track with a powerful message about the power of the cross. I especially enjoyed the lyrics to the chorus of this track, especially these set of lines: “I will sing until my lungs give out/ I’m gonna shout/ now that I’ve found victory.” “Stay Amazed” is a deep worship song focusing on the God’s amazing power and how He is “so much more than words could ever say.” I particularly enjoy tracks such as this, and definitely found this to be a highlight from God Be Praised.

“O For A Thousand (Hallelujah)” is actually a very nice rendition of Charles Wesley’s “O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing,” with a simple added chorus of praise. Loving Charles’s hymn, I enjoyed Gateway’s rendition. “O The Blood,” one of two songs led by Kari Jobe, is a piano-based track praising Jesus for the cleansing and freedom that we experience through the blood of Jesus. The timeless lyrics featured in this track and the rest of Gateway Worship’s tracks were definitely a highlight in hearing this album. I also thought that Kari’s voice was absolutely perfect for a track such as this.

“One Single Drop,” acoustic-guitar based, speaks of how one drop of God’s love exceeds every need we may have. The strings provided an excellent backup for this track, making for a gorgeous worship track. “By the Grace of God” begins with a beautiful piccolo, sounding much like the “In Christ Alone” hymn, offering these strong lyrics of worship: “By the grace of God alone/ we can stand and testify/ through the blood of Christ the Son/ we have received eternal life.”

“Praise Is the Offering” picks up things again with an upbeat track with booming drums that made the track seem strong. Obviously, the track speaks of bringing God the sacrifice of praise: “Great is Your love for us/ Great are the things You’ve done/ praise is the offering we bring to You/ all of our heart and soul/ all that You are and more/ Praise is the offering we bring to You.” “How to Worship A King” is highlighted by the clapping coming from the entire congregation, as the moderately upbeat track speaks of bringing Him praise for all He has done. “Glorify You Alone” slows things down again, as a very honest track giving all honor and glory to the King of Kings: “You alone are worthy of our praise forever/ You alone are seated on the throne of Heaven/ glorify, glorify You alone.”

“I Hear the Lord Passing By,” containing little more than piano, is based on the New Testament account of the blind beggar who stood up as he heard Jesus passing by, and is full of true worship asking God to make Himself manifest to us and have mercy on us. “Faithful God,” sounding much like Hillsong’s “More Than Life,” speaks of how God always comes when we call upon Him, and the power of His name. “You Are For Me,” retaining the slow sound, is a simple song of praise remembering the goodness of God, and His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Kari’s wonderful voice sounded much like Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech, making for an enjoyable listen.

“God Be Praised,” the title track, ends the album, summarizing the main message behind the album: the goodness of God and the power of His Resurrection: “Hallelujah, we’re redeemed and made free by the blood of the Lamb/ we have won/ Hallelujah, we will sing victory/ Jesus conquered the grave/ God be praised.” Although the track began on a slow note, it actually built to a nicely paced worship song with a very catchy and gorgeous chorus. It put a very nice ending to the album God Be Praised, ending it in the perfect note.

Gateway Worship’s strong message in God Be Praised about the power of the blood of Jesus and His Resurrection mixed into powerful worship songs makes for an awesome listen. Sounding quite a bit like Hillsong United, I found this album to be very enjoyable and worship-inspiring. I would recommend this album to Hillsong or Jesus Culture lovers for the powerful praise that comes from this group.

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: November 9, 2010

Track listing:
1. God is With Us Now
2. Praise Him
3. Victory
4. Stay Amazed
5. O For A Thousand (Hallelujah)
6. O The Blood
7. One Single Drop
8. By the Grace of God
9. Praise is the Offering
10. How to Worship A King
11. Glorify You Alone
12. I Hear the Lord Passing By
13. Faithful God
14. You Are For Me
15. God Be Praised

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