Music Review: Speak To The Storm (Live) by LIFE Worship

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October 08, 2018
Great Is Your Faithfulness [ft. Matt Hooper & Eby Corydon] - LIFE Worship
Miracles Happen [ft. Aaron Baxter] - LIFE Worship
How Can We Not (Give Praise) [ft. Eby Corydon & Aaron Baxter] - LIFE Worship

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Speak To The Storm is the name of latest album, ‘Speak To The Storm’ recorded live at ‪LIFE Church in Bradford, England.

So sing until you see the still. Praise until the promise comes. Believe until the breakthrough. Declare until the dawn has come. Fight with faith until the fear is gone. Find your voice and choose your song. We all have storms but we all have a voice. Speak To The Storm.

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Speak To The Storm by LIFE Worship
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LIFE Church in Bradford is the home of this worship collective releasing their album under the name of LIFE Worship. Previously known as Abundant Life this is one of a handful of churches in the UK that can really be given the 'megachurch' title. They have released a number of modern worship albums in the last few years and back in August 2016 we reviewed their "Wide Open Space" album. Where that was an album largely filled with the joy of knowing and worshipping God, this latest album's title foreshadows something a little more real and gritty.

My ears were prepared for some EDM worship from the outset of this album, however the first track is more of a power worship song looking at the need for us to praise God. In the  second verse it mentions one of my favourite and inexplicable sayings of Jesus when He says that if the people didn't cry out in praise the rocks would. We are made to worship God, and because of this, those of us who acknowledge Him should not, cannot, stay silent. The song subtley moves the worshipper from we will overcome, to we have overcome, which is very much about the idea of this album, of speaking things over our lives. The EDM sound that I was expecting to kick off the album swoops in for the second track, "Imagine" with a thunderous bassline. This fast-paced track dwells on the idea that God's plans for us are greater than we can imagine, our dreams and plans are actually secondary to the amazing things that God will do in and through us.

"Great Is Your Faithfulness" is not a reimagining of the classic hymn, but you have to question why they chose that title for this song, despite the repeated part of the chorus. The song is OK, but it's just not as good as it's namesake although it feels like it's trying. "Miracles Happen" immediately feels different to the songs that surround it, with the drums pulled back a little this track feels like it is building to something. That something is setting up the chorus which is an appeal in group worship for Jesus to work miracles again, but not for the glory of us, but for Christ's glory, to show the power in Jesus name. "We Just Want To Worship" is a bit of spontaneous praise which includes declarations in and over our lives. "Breakthrough Here" is quite a short and repetitive track but is earnestly looking to see that movement through us of the Holy Spirit. "Always Enough" is a faith-affirming song which reminds us how God is always enough no matter what our situation, Jesus silences the storm with a word and He is more than powerful enough to stop the storm that we are in, or to see us through it. God is enough and we should not be overwhelmed by our situations!

"Fearless Abandon" is one of the key ballads on this album, but for me the chorus feels like the bridge from "The Stand", if you know both songs I reckon you will be able to hear the similarities. Looking past that, this song has a nice build and the vocal is nice and powerful working with the music, sometimes in these building songs it can feel like the vocal is fighting the music for dominance, especially in a live recording, but that is not the case here. "Peace Be Mine" is a song that you would be able to sing along with to give yourself a lift because it reminds us of God's peace and how He is always for us. It sounds great with some humming bass in the background and the keys and vocals bringing the song to life, although it does outstay it's welcome a little bit on this recording with what is a fairly short lyric being stretched to over 7 and a half minutes! As "Here and Now" looks to the future and what God will do through us, "Seas of Glass" gives us a revelation of Heaven and an image of God taken straight from John's book to the churches.

There can never be too many songs about the Cross and what was accomplished in that place. "Freedom at the Cross" is brilliant in the simplicity that it is written with, it's more like an extended chorus, but if people didn't know why Christians think the cross is special then this song will answer those questions in it's first few lines. Again for something so short and simple it is a track that is dragged out for over 6 minutes. I've never been crazy about loads of repetition, even in this live worship setting, so I'm not sure if I should even listen to "A Thousand Times (Thank You)" which happens to be the last track. Thankfully (no pun intended) it's actually a great slow-build song that really does a great job of being thankful. Although this does run to 6 minutes in length, it doesn't feel overdone.

One of my criticisms that I have been aware of writing about worship albums recently is the cookie-cutter approach to worship songs. This album is a refreshing change, they are expressing similar themes but without digging out a load of Christian cliches, instead they express things with a great originality. Previous albums have been heavily EDM-dance influenced but actually this album feels fresh and modern with only the occasional drop into the more dance-based worship. There are some powerful words and strong beats at times, in some ways it feels a million miles from "Wide Open Space". This is a very positive and clear message that is aimed to praise God and help you build your faith to help you speak to your storm.

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