Prime Cuts: Bellows of Praise, Drenched in Love, Praise the Invisible
Overall Score: 4.5/5
Listening to "My Resurrection (Live)" is like overhearing a familiar conversation between old friends. Bashta is not afraid to let the old hymns join in the conversation with his own new compositions. But, the album not only exudes a familiarity, there is also a community of sound that echoes through these songs, making it truly a congregational worship project. Too many worship records now are slick studio recordings with the mandatory applause added to the beginnings and the endings of songs. But not this record. You literally do hear Bashta involving his congregation and worship team in more organic ways than many of his peers, which makes this a bona fide worship effort.
Bashta grew up in a musical missionary family. His parents, now pastors at Living Stones Church in Crown Point, Indiana, were both very musical. His mother played in the New Jersey Philharmonic and his father was often strumming the guitar and listening to music. Daniel grew up musically-inclined, playing violin at the age of three. He grew up traveling around the world with his parents, planting 25 different churches along the way. He learned how to play guitar, bass, and piano and began to write songs while in Russia between 12 and 16 years of age. Signed to Integrity Music, Bashta released his breakthrough record "The Sounds of Daniel Bashta" which featured the worldwide worship favorite "Like a Lion."
"My Resurrection (Live)" is Bashta's first independent album since leaving Integrity Music. Recorded live at his home church, "My Resurrection (Live)" features 7 new songs and Bashta's own take of "Seas of Crimson" (formerly recorded by Bethel Music). If you are looking for songs for Easter, this album is choke full of them. An instant favorite is "Drenched in Love." Utilizing the hymn "Nothing But the Blood" as the hook, "Drenched in Love" is a celebratory boast about the accomplishments of the blood of Jesus Christ. The use of voices from the worship team singing together in exuberant unity is itself a stellar piece of worship. Calling to mind Christy Nockels' "Let It Be Jesus," "Bellows of Praise" is grounded in the exclusivity of Christ with a hymn-like melodic structure that ought to find affinity to those have a leverage towards traditional worship.
Fans who love Bashta for his big David Phelps-esque powerhouse vocals will adore "Praise the Invisible" and "Seas of Crimson." Not only do these songs find Bashta soaring to celestial heights, but they also show Bashta's ability to nuance depth and width in addition to the elevated notes. "Costly," which features Harvest Parker, is the album's most intimate moment on this record. But don't let the song's quiet disposition fool you, the song's theological message of Christ's costly sacrifice ought to ring loudly in our hearts. Blessed indeed are those who take the time to listen.
Daniel Bashta, in short, is a composite singer-songwriter: he possess the gift of interweaving a variegated styles, influences, voices, and genres together to form his own tapestry of worship music. If you are looking for depth, height, weight and strength in music, "My Resurrection (Live)" is it.