Monday, April 16, 2012

Deluge: Swell Review

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana based worship band Deluge has released two projects on Integrity Records since 2008. Deluge has been well received by critics and fans alike for their deep worship with a modern twist. And it’s not hard to tell why from their third Integrity Records recording Swell. The twelve-track album is incredibly passionate, as listeners will get to hear this live recording from Bethany World Prayer Center’s annual 220 Conference.

The album Swell begins on a high-energy note, “Lift Him High” being a simple song of adoration, with the title track being a more upbeat, sing-along-song with awesome electronic elements throughout. It is repetitious in a fun way as it speaks of swelling up with the water of life. Both of these two opening tracks are very enjoyable.

Speaking of the joy that overcomes the world, “Your Love” follows on the upbeat side still, but the album slows down significantly with “Coming On the Clouds.” This song is my personal favorite of Swell for a number of reasons. For one, the message of keeping your head up and waiting for Christ’s return is very encouraging. Secondly, this track has a 90s sentiment to it, and includes a hip-hop bridge, a very interesting element for a worship song!

“Simple Offering” begins with a breathtaking piano intro, leading into a slower, worshipful track speaking of the offering of praise we bring to our God. “You are Welcome” invites the Holy Spirit to have preeminence in our lives, while the piano-based “All Lovers of Jesus” calls the listener to take their attention off the cares of the world and worship Jesus in reckless abandon. This wonderful track was also co-written by Stu G, previously from Delirious?

With strings, “He Rose” follows, celebrating how Jesus Christ conquered death – “There’s power in the grave, He rose!” It’s very easy to get lost in the timelessness of this powerful track, as the resurrection is the very core of our faith in Jesus Christ. It has a way of making the listener really consider the power of the resurrection.

The “220 Song” follows, a total freedom song. As you can expect, the song is very energetic, declaring the freedom the Spirit of God brings: “Christ comes in takes the old/ makes it new and breaks the mold/ transformation happens in your heart… I am free, I am free/ You have broken chains none remain/ I have been redeemed.” The track is very fun as well, stating “Let’s start a party with everybody/ let’s start a riot/ on your feet, try it!”

The album does close on a slower note with “We Respond,” speaking of the gratitude we can give back to God and the passion we can show for His name, and “Healing is Here,” speaking of just reaching out and receiving the healing and freedom that God has already given us. Especially powerful is the bridge of the closing track, “Sickness can’t stay any longer/ Your perfect love is casting out fear/ You are the God of all power/ and it is Your will that my life is healed.” I couldn’t agree more – what a powerful closing thought!

All in all, Deluge’s latest offering Swell is fantastic. Jonathan Stockstill does a fantastic job leading this passionate album of timeless praise to our God. His right-on lyrics, sometimes slower and sometimes more energetic, are always deeply worshipful, easily engaging the listener to sing along.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: April 17, 2012

Track listing:
1. Lift Him High
2. Swell
3. Your Joy
4. Coming on the Clouds
5. Simple Offering (Intro)
6. Simple Offering
7. You Are Welcome
8. All Lovers of Jesus
9. He Rose
10. 220 Song
11. We Respond
12. Healing is Here

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