LUKAS “Live at the Grove” EP Review


Prime Cuts:  Beauty for Ashes, For God So Loved, Heaven on Earth/Spirit Break Out 

LUKAS is Greek for "bringer of light."  LUKAS has been beacon of light for our Lord Jesus Christ in Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW, Australia for many years.  They have been heralding a worship movement that has been causing a reviving swirl for Jesus Christ in the key of their brand of acoustic-pop.  But they are by no means new kids on the block.  Fronted by Luke Munns, the team has its roots in Hillsong Worship.  Munns grew up in Hillsong Church and he has participated in the album recordings of Hillsong UNITED.  Together with members of the Australian megachurch, Munns has led worship conferences for the church.  Currently, Munns and members of LUKAS find their home at HopeUC, the church pastor by Hillsong's former worship pastor Darlene Zschech.

"Live at the Grove" is their latest release which comprises of 5 new songs augmented by an acoustic take of their song "Beauty for Ashes."  Before we delve into an exposition of the record, it's worth pointing out that these songs, as the EP's titular suggests, were recorded at the Grove Studios.  Connoisseurs of the music industry will recognize the Grove Studios as a facility that has been privileged by the presence of Zschech, INXS, Silverchair and Eskimo Joe. 

"Beauty for Ashes," the EP's first song, is the hub where the warm acoustic sounds and the steely gauze of EDM meet.  Opening with the warm acoustic strums of the guitar and Munns breathy tenor. "Beauty for Ashes" progressively transitions into a gorgeous dance tunes with lots of elongated electronic beats.  Yet, the creative underpinnings so not pilfer the song from its powerful lyrics which also speaks of transformation --- that is, the transformation the Cross of Jesus brings to our lives.  

"For God So Loved" has been released earlier in the year as HopeUC's Easter single.  Bearing all the signs of Munns' Hillsong heritage, "For God So Loved" is a melodic-driven pop worship ballad that cordially invites us to worship at the foot of the Cross.  "Immeasurably More" is a Rend Collective cover.  Rather than carbon-copying Rend Collective's Celtic-tinged version, LUKAS has put their own signature pop-rock sound to it with a heavier touch on the percussion.  Another buzz song is the Spirit-soaked atmospheric ballad "Heaven on Earth/Spirit Break Out," a brand new Munns composition augmented with Jesus Culture's ever popular "Spirit Break Out." 

What is most satisfying about this EP is that Jesus gets to be the cynosure of all the songs here.  And never veering too far from their Hillsong's mother milk, just like the songs of Zschech and Hillsong, this EP will be a great soundtrack for churches to worship to. 


Tags : lukas luke munns lukas live at the grove lukas new ep lukas news Darlene Zschech hillsong worship hillsong church hope uc Hillsong United Hillsong Hillsong Darlene Zschech Jesus Culture rend collective

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