Prime Cuts: You Will be Praised, Here I Am Send Me, You Are Great
Overall Score: 5/5
Cancer squirms in the face of its Maker. "Here I Am Send Me" is Darlene Zschech's first album since her tumultuous bout with breast cancer. Here you will not find the former Hillsong Worship Pastor wallowing in pain or regrets. Rather, what you hear a child of God who has seen the Shepherd in the shadow of death and has lived to testify to it. These 11 songs here function as powerful testimonies of God's sovereignty, love, and grace. But she doesn't leave it there. Inspired by the vision of Isaiah, Zschech doesn't want us to be spiritual hoarders. Rather, she wants us to take this Gospel to the rest of the world. Such a thought is epitomized in the theologically pregnant album's closer "Go."
Despite fronting over 20 Hillsong live worship records, "Here I Am Send Me" is only Zschech's second live solo worship effort. However, it's far from being a one lady-show. Behind her in terms of supporting vocals, co-writers, and instrumentations are her own worship team members from her home church HopeUC. Also, present with her are a list of red-carpeted scribes who have shared the pen with Zschech, they include Paul Baloche, Jenn Johnson, Casey Mooring, Leeland Mooring, and Delirious?' Martin Smith. The record begins on the note of majesty. "You Are Great" is a magnificent crescendo-building ballad that cumulates with some soaring awe-filled Holy Spirit moments as Zschech sings, "We stand in awe/We stand in awe/We stand in awe Jesus."
If there is a song that best captures Zschech's heart throughout her cancer ordeal, it has to be "You Will be Praised." Co-written by Jenn Johnson, Paul Baloche and Zschech, "You Will be Praised" is a God-glorifying anthem about praising God in life and in death. And when she sings about death, you know it's not just hyperbole to her. 2 Cor. 1 speaks of how suffering melts us to be more compassionate, this truth is particularly manifest in the tender ballad "Your Eyes." When Zschech sings, "I know Your eyes are on me / You won't turn Your face away / Only love within Your gaze," you can feel her heart pulsating thinly beneath each note.
Never a hoarder of the microphone, even in her Hillsong heydays, here Zschech shares the microphone with Luke Taylor on "First Love." A bubbling techno-pop number, the song is so infectious that it makes you bop and dance around for Jesus. The aforementioned "Go," another propulsive burner, is a specimen of perfection. Deeply ingrained in Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Zschech is on fire as she sings one of her most upbeat number in years. Few indeed are the songs on the Holy Spirit, the title cut "Here I Am Send Me" feeds the lacuna. This invocation for the Holy Spirit to incite a renewed passion for missions is such a much needed song for churches to sing these days. A must-sing if we are passionate for missions.
Ultimately, the value of a Darlene Zschech record is that she not only worships, but she inspires us to worship along too. Made with the congregation in mind, this is an album that has the capacity to transform the most melodiously deaf to become a true worshipper. This, my friends, is the utmost goal of every good worship record.
Tags : Darlene Zschech here i am send me hillsong worship Integrity Music leeland Paul Baloche jenn johnson darlene zschech here i am send me album review darlene zschech news darlene zschech new album luke taylor hope uc