Ghost Ship “Costly” Album Review

Ghost Ship

Prime Cuts: Adoption, Provide, Look What God Has Done

"Ghost Ship" is not a shameless rehash of the 2002 horror movie of the same titular.  Neither is it the latest "scare-you-out-of-wits" ride at Universal Studios.  Nor is it the latest video game that will get our teenagers glued to it for days.  In fact, there is nothing nocturnal, spooky or remotely eerie of the Ghost Ship.  What is perhaps haunting about them is that they are one of a kind.  Their style of worship bears their own patented sound of rock, folk, pop, and country.  Rather, their moniker "Ghost Ship" is demonstrative of the septet's desire to be vessels navigated by the power of the Holy Ghost. 

They are one of the worship teams from Mars Hill Church formerly helmed by senior pastor & author Mark Driscoll.  However, the Seattle megachurch has had dissolved at the end of 2014, but Ghost Ship continues to do what they've always felt called to do: lead worship and write music that points to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Following Ghost Ship's debut full-length, "The Good King," comes their sophomore album.  While "The Good King" boasts a lusher sound with a more ambient and ethereal sonic texture, "Costly" is more folk-Americana with a more rustic sepia tone to it.  But on certain tracks, the worship team tend to be also heavier handed with the percussion, giving a dance beat to some of the more propulsive burners.

Further, "Costly" is lyrically more cohesive.  The songs traverse along a narrative arch that begins with Christ's invitation (hence, the banjo-imbued album opener "Invitation") and ends with the second coming of Christ (as represented by the penultimate track "The Revelation of Jesus Christ").   In-between are songs that treks through issues pertaining to our journey in Christ with lots of sonically scenic stops including the single "Adoption."  This is a song sets Paul's words of how God adopts us into His family by his sheer grace into an unforgettable worship number.  Equally punchy over a singalong melody is "Look What God Has Done."

Just as the Psalmists were not bashful in articulating out their fears and concerns, "Provide" is the song on the tip of our tongues that we are reticent in articulation.  Calling to mind of those rustic Americana numbers that Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark excel in, "Provide" is a sincere cry unto God about how God takes care of his children.  "Poverty Nor Riches" is a must hear, not because it's the world most catchy song.  Rather, it's message about loving God with no strings attached is so counter cultural, yet it gets to the heart of the Gospel.  Though Ghost Ship joins the bandwagon of copious worship teams upgrading ancient hymns, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Jesus Saves)" still works aided by Huxford's passionate delivery.

The Ghost Ship is one of the most creative bands out there; they have conglomerated musical styles of various stripes to create their own sound.  As for their name, there is nothing there to be afraid of.  But through their songs they have helped us to fear the One who deserves our everything, Jesus Christ



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