Music Review: Miracle Maker by Open Heaven

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November 20, 2017
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Music Review: Miracle Maker by Open Heaven
Open Heaven - "Miracle Maker"

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Album Details


Track Listing

For You
Be Gorified
Wonderful Savior
Miracle Maker
Oh Precious Jesus
Heaven On Earth
Without Fail
Won My Heart
Rock Of Ages
King Of Kings
Here With Us

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Open Heaven, the worship ministry of Faith Life Church in Columbus, Ohio, is proud to release their new album Miracle Maker with DREAM Worship. The 12 song album, produced by Sean Cook and David Hanley, mixes powerful musical sonics with melodic vocals and a prophetic message for revival and hope. 

When the team sat down to write this album, they were challenged to keep the focus on Jesus' character, His miracle-working power, and what He truly means in their lives. Senior Pastor Gary Keesee said, "I’m very excited about this album, because I know people will encounter the power of God in a very real way when they listen." 

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Miracle Maker by Open Heaven
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The third release under the Open Heaven name, and it's been a year since their last album "Lion Of Judah". Open Heaven is the name of the worship from FaithLife Church in Columbus Ohio. This release is meant to be more about an experience of God, who He is and what He has done for us, and the worship that we reflect back to him.

Once again this album feels like a professional product, the sound quality has been mixed well and the vocals are clearly heard. This is an album that is recorded live, and it does have some of those hallmarks, there is crowd / congregation noise during the songs and after with lots of clapping! The first few tracks are very much modern worship that has focus on the dance styling, particularly when you get through to "Wonderful Saviour" where, if your ears are sensitive, you may want to turn the bass down a little bit. The first few tracks really do sound good for the style, and they take different aspects of declaration of moving forward with God and the result of what God has done for us. For an album that is about focusing on God the track "Be Glorified" spends a lot of time talking about us! It is "Wonderful Saviour" actually that seems to be the oddest from this collection of opening tracks. The idea that every days is a good day to praise God is something that we know, but is it something we need to sing about?

There have been a number of songs sung with the title of "Miracle Maker", even a film about it! This track see's a drop back from the opening dance style and adopts a more traditional worship style, there are some more bass-heavy sections as the song winds on, but really the focus here needs to be on the positive message delivered by a fantastic vocal that is sadly slightly overwhelmed by the music. The message is that God is a miracle-maker, not just back in the Bible days, but God is active in our lives here and now and able to perform miracles in our day to day, and He has proved this in the way that He has dealt with our sin. This is a track that is definitely worth a listen!

We stay in the more mellowed worship phase of the album with "Oh Precious Jesus" which by the end of the track does away with all instrumentation all together as the worship leader repeats a couple of lines of glorifying worship which the gathered congregation join in with. This track feels like a worship moment where people are actually lost in worship and that is nice to hear. This leads to an ambient track called "Creation" which makes use of the lighter feeling and some echo effects on the vocal to create an ethereal effect.

The music switches back to a more dance-infused style of worship for the next couple of tracks. "Heaven On Earth" is about following Jesus and doing 'greater things'. I love some of the guitar effects towards the end of this track. I have mentioned this a couple of times and thought it about various tracks on this album, there is a lot about 'me' on this album. To be fair, this is in reflection of the human condition, or as a response to God, and this is valid in worship, but this album does have an over-abundance.

I have already talked about "Miracle Maker", but there are a couple of other tracks that will make you sit up and listen. One of those is "King Of Kings" which is about the name of Jesus, there is a bit of spoken worship exhortation in the middle of this track, and then some repetition making the track stretch to a mighty 8 minutes plus. Some of this is beautiful worship and some of it is a mini-preach which is a shame because once you have heard it a couple of times you aren't going to want to listen to it over and over again. It works well in the live album setting, but I do wonder for the sake of people who don't listen to an album through and just add tracks into playlists if they couldn't have split this down into a couple of different tracks?

This album as a whole feels like it is split with two different styles of worship. There is the dance style which, to me, seems a little bit empty of message or anything that's going to push boundaries. Then there is the more ballad style worship which is a bit more traditional and more expressive and allows the vocalists to really do something a little different. They mix up the album so there is a few of one type before giving a few of the next and this doesn't feel like it would work live and it doesn't work on the album either. There are some good songs on this release and some beautiful worship and there are some reasonable dance style worship tracks, but I am not sure that one would appeal to the others audience for listening pleasure. This is why other churches have a couple slightly different names to their groups, to maximise the appeal and so their songs get heard and sung by those who will appreciate the style.

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