Prime Cuts: Jesus Is, Light of All the Earth, He's My Saviour
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
Matt Marvane's EP titular "Resistance: The English EP" needs some explanation. Marvane is a French worship leader. And in his homeland of France, Marvane is not only known for his worship songs, he also has had success in the secular sphere. In fact, his 2015 solo album 'Noirs et Blancs' ('Black and White') won 'Album of the Year' at the Angels Music Awards in France. But Marvane's heart has never left the church. In 2011, out of a desire to help churches find their identity and their potential, he started "Louange Collective." Later, he was signed to Integrity Europe, which led to the release of a triumvirate of worship records. "Resistance: The English EP" is the third of this trinity of releases and it's also his first English language record for the imprint. Thus explaining the coda in the EP's titular "The English EP."
"Resistance: the English EP" is quite a high profile record. Two of worship music's legendary icons, Graham Kendrick and Paul Baloche, are credited as co-writers with Marvane on two out of the four songs on this EP. And these two songs do not disappoint. Baloche shares his pen with Marvane on the hymn-like "Light of All the Earth." In the same lofty standards as some of Baloche's greatest tunes, "Light of All the Earth" takes the doctrine of Christ's incarnation and makes it so palatable to us that we can't help worship along.
Graham Kendrick, who is essentially one of the pioneering fathers of worship music, adds his insights into "Jesus Is." With only three verses eschewing a bridge and even a chorus, "Jesus Is" is unusual. Yet, the song doesn't sound contrived because the verses are so well-developed and contained that it is in fact one of the best expositions of the Trinity captured in song. Moreover, the song is littered with lots of heart tugging lines, with this being a favorite: "Took our sin and sorrow, bore it on His shoulder Friend of the sinner, Friend of mine..."
Despite the amateurish sounding percussion that sounds like the beeping of someone's Whatsapp, "He's My Saviour" is a solid piece. Staunchly Christocentric possessing lots of teachable reflections on who Jesus is, Marvane also brings out the applications of the difference Jesus makes in our lives. "Our Eyes" is more laidback with a folkish singer-songwriter flare as Marvane expresses his trust in Jesus.
Nevertheless, this EP is indeed in the shorter end of the spectrum in terms of the number of songs. Even in today's climate, 4 songs is still indeed not enough. With such a talent as profound as Marvane, let's hope Integrity Europe will follow this up with a full length English LP soon. And let's pray that these songs will become the soundtrack of the church's worship all across the globe.