Prime Cuts: King of My Heart, He is With Us, The Story You're Building in Me
We are by God created for adventure. We are called to risk our lives for the sake of advancing His Gospel to the nations. This is what vocalist Jodi King and her bass player husband Chris Rademaker have done. Feeling the call of God to be used as vessels to spread His word through music, the couple sold their condo in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada, left their own country and travelled for over 300 miles down to the US. Fending off hunger, the insecurity of not having a roof over their heads, all they had was God and each other. After a couple of years of living dangerously for Jesus Christ, they were finally signed to Word Records as Love and the Outcome. Their debut record to be released in 2013 and it was a commercial success. The album was the No. 18 most sold album in the breaking and entry chart of the United States by the Top Heatseekers and it was the No. 28 Top Christian Album as well in 2013.
Less than two years later, they are back with a new live EP also released by WORD Entertainment. Consisting of 5 songs from their debut album done live, there is only one brand new song "Home." Frankly, the "live" bit is more or less a hype. Other than the reverent clapping at the end of each songs, there's virtually no interaction with the audience. And the performances are so polished one wonders how many overdubs and tweaking have had been done in what is supposed to be a "live" recording. Also, save for a few exceptions, most of the renditions here are not that dissimilar to the original recordings. For those who already own their debut CD, this EP is on the side of the redundant.
Nevertheless, the live version "King of My Heart," the couple's latest radio release, is outstanding. Featuring a stripped down acoustic backing, this worship tune gets a more intimate feel. And when Jodi sings: "You are bigger than any battle I'm facing/You are better than anything I've been chasing/Savior and royalty, the only hope in me./Jesus, You are, You are," it's like she's echoing our hearts' cries. Most striking still is their lead single "He is With Us." Easily one of the best singles, this propulsive pop sizzler is a theological snapshot of how the duo made it in their own scabrous pilgrimage over the last couple of years.
Ballad lovers will adore the story-driven "The Story You're Building in Me." In "Story" King tells of how through the many jottings of life (whether it's the cancer of her mother, leaving home for a foreign land and facing up with life's disappointments) are not capricious. Rather, each moment is dripped with God's ink as he carefully gives form to His story in us; and God is by no means a poetaster. "Home," the EP's sole new track, is a nostalgic breezy pop-lite number that tethers on the generous side of average. If you already own their debut album, there's not much to shout about here; you'd be better off saving for their proper sophomore release.
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