Prime Cuts: We Are Royals, Death Was Arrested, Love Come Down
Overall Score: 4.5/5
Within the purview of worship music, "youth" oriented church bands are burgeoning. Perhaps compelled in large measure by Hillsong Young and Free, nowadays more and more teenagers find it "cool" to sing the praises of Jesus rather than drinking alcohol and smoking weed in some seedy nightclub. This by itself is a laudable accomplishment. However, many of these "youth-oriented" worship songs are not much different from their secular counterparts. They are ensconced with the self so much that individualism is heightened to the extreme. There's little by way of engagement with Scripture or the church collective. North Point Insideout, the worship music of the students of North Point Church feeds such a lacuna with "Nothing Ordinary."
"Northing Ordinary" is the third release by North Point Insideout. They are student ministry team of North Point Community Church where bestselling author and popular International speaker Andy Stanley serves as senior pastor. "Nothing Ordinary" follows on the heels of "No One Higher," in 2012, and, "Hear," in 2015. This time this youthful team have found their signature song. Just like "Shout to the Lord" is to Hillsong Worship and "No Longer Slaves" is to Bethel Music, "Death was Arrested" is to North Point Insideout.
The concept for "Death Was Arrested" came from North Point drummer, Brandon Coker, after seeing a tombstone while visiting his uncle in St. Mary's, Ga. It partially said, "Death arrested his progress." It was two and a half years later when the tune came to fruition at a North Point student camp where several InsideOut band members, including Coker, were tossing around ideas for songs. The poignancy of the lyrics resonate with so legions of fans because it captures the Gospel so profoundly: "Alone in my sorrow dead in my sin/Lost without hope with no place to begin/Your love made a way to let mercy come in/When death was arrested and my life began."
Again the team channels the same passion into "We Are Royals." With well-thought out lyrics that celebrate our identity in Christ, the rousing blast of percussions and guitar make the song sound not only festive but it also puts rollers on our feet. EDM beats are right, left, and center when it comes to Seth Condrey's "Every Beat." "Love Come Down," a remix version of their 2015 song of the same titular, is also one of the EP's most catchy moments where they integrate the melodic structures of the 80s with a 70s rock n' roll vibe.
Providing a moment of contemplative quietude is Brett Stanfill's Cross-centered "Enough for Me." More importantly, the lyrics are so theologically dense that they are worthy of careful rumination: "Overshadowing my failures/And all my victories/Is the cross of Your salvation /And that's enough for me." In a milieu of trite and recycled platitudes, North Point Insideout shows that good theology and contemporary (and youthful) worship music can be interacting partners.