Music Review: Songs of the House (Live) by Corey Voss

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Updated June 05, 2019
Songs of the House
Corey Voss & Madison Street Worship - We've Won (Official Lyric Video)
Corey Voss & Madison Street Worship - Praise Your Name (Official Live Video)

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Worship pastor Corey Voss, the writer behind “I Got Saved” and “Praise The King” and voice behind the popular “God Who Moves The Mountains,” introduces his church creative team, Madison Street Worship, with the appropriately titled Songs Of The House available globally now.

Songs Of The House delivers just that: new worship songs that reflect the revival happening at Gateway Shelbyville, a multi-generational, multi-cultural Tennessee congregation situated on the small town’s main thoroughfare of Madison Street. Combining themes of belonging, family, healing and freedom in Christ, Songs Of The House follows Songs Of Heaven & Earth, the full-length album debut from Voss whose combined streams total over 25 million.

For the 10-track Songs Of The House, listeners will hear not only Voss and team but the congregation singing along as well with raw energy and joy. Perhaps it is because these are their songs birthed from and for the local church. It is a natural outflow of the songwriting culture developed by Voss and Gateway’s pastor, Jason Daughdrill.

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Songs of the House Live by Corey Voss and Madison Street Worship
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Although I have billed this album as by Corey Voss, this worship release also includes the team from Madison Street Worship who have been involved in the writing and recording of this album as well. Unfortunately, it just makes the title of the article far too long. Early last year Corey did release a solo worship project called "Songs Of Heaven and Earth (Live)" which got a fair amount of attention. This new album "Songs of the House" is the music that is being birthed in a church that is undergoing a time of revival. Gateway Shelbyville, is described as a multi-generational, multi-cultural Tennessee congregation situated on the small town’s main thoroughfare of Madison Street. 7 years ago it had 60 regular attendees on a Sunday, but with a move of the Holy Spirit through pastor Jason Daughdrill and Corey as the worship leader, the church now has a congregation of over 1000 worshippers. This album is the soundtrack of some of that journey of worship.

So the first track of the album opens up with a theme for those who find themselves in the storms of life, it's a declaration of intent for the worshipper. Although it is called "Praise Your Name" it is about praising God through the bad circumstances, and while I am a firm believer in this I am not a big fan of this song because it's all about what I'm going to do and not actually really lifting praise to God. For example, this is the first part of the chorus;
"I'm gonna sing my way out of the valley
I'm gonna shout my way up to the mountain
I will take hold of the truth of Your promise
I'm gonna praise, I'm gonna praise"
This is by no means the only worship song that does this, but there is very much the declaration of self here, all these things may be what we need to do but we don't really need to sing about them, perhaps we should just be doing it - this is worship after all! God moving in our circumstances does not depend on us singing and saying what we are going to do and very much on us actually doing it instead.

"Liberator" is a track that features the vocals of Annalise Bush, she is also a co-writer of this track. The song speaks of pressing in to hear the voice of God and for the Spirit to move, re-opening the old wells to bring revival. This is a very electronic sounding track and although there is more emphasis on what God is doing in the lyrics it still feels like a song to build up the worshipper, rather than really praising God. I feel like I am being picky but this emphasis on us and our response is also prevalent in "Across The Earth" which again mentions more of God and the reason why we love Him, but it's all "we're singing", "we celebrate" and more self-focused responses. This track does have great little catchy chorus which does work well though! "Holy Places" walks the line between self-focus and worship and does a better job than the tracks that have gone before. This song has a different worship leader, this time it's Harley Rowell, and I do like the change in the vocalists on this album from one track to the next.

With the next song we return back to Annalise Bush with "Found Your Love" and this seems to have got the focus about right, big God, little I! This track steps back from the faster pace of the first half of the album and here the vocals really shine. This is probably the best track on the album. After this track "More Than Anything" seems to continue both the slower pace and the focus on who God is and what He has done for us. This song has great lead vocals from Olivia Calderwood and supported by Corey on some backing vocals and it feels more real, passionate and reflective. "We Know There's More" varies between building up the instrumentation and then stripping everything back to the vocals as we cry out for God to satisfy us.

Sadly after 3 songs that really seem to be focused on God, the album seems to spring back to its default position in the last few tracks. We're straight back into all the "I wanna's" on the next track, "Lay Me Down". Thankfully this track has some redeeming features and has a resounding chorus of Hallelujah and the main thrust of the track is about surrender. "We've Won" is a battle cry talking about God fighting the battles in revival for us, but as the title suggests it claims our own victory especially over addiction and religion, this doesn't sit too well with me, God has won, we've just been adopted into the victory! The album rounds out with "We Come" which is again quite egocentric, but this time there is more of a purpose. This track does talk about the Cross and it's unifying effect for all of us, no matter our background, around the communion table. I do like this combination of Corey's vocal and this ballad style of song.

I know that we want to encourage ourselves in our singing and it ministers to our souls and builds us up, but worship is primarily exalting the God who we love for His greatness. So for me, some of these tracks feel quite empty, I understand the purpose but they don't actually achieve what they set out to do. There is a flurry of good, solid worship that is mostly aimed towards God in the middle of this album, but to me, this seems all out of order. The majority of these songs should be about how great God is, what he's done first and foremost and not telling God what we are going to do. There is a place for that type of track, but it sits more in the contemporary field than the worship in my opinion.

While the production quality of this album is great, there is very little reminder for many of the tracks that this is a live recording. In a flooded market like the worship sector people are looking for something that is different, but throughout this recording, it fails to differentiate itself from the established worship market leaders like Bethel, Hillsong and Jesus Culture. Sadly I don't think there is much here to get excited about, apart from, maybe, Annalise's key track "Found Your Love".

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