Prime Cuts: Collide, This is My Jesus, Higher
Overall Grade: 5/5
Every worship leader ought to have this album in their collection. If you have had ever led worship in church before you would know that songs that are conterminously (1) singable for the congregation, (2) Biblical and theological in content, and (3) not individualistically trite and not cycling along the endless loops of repeated clichés are rare. Many of the songs on this record easily tick the three aforementioned categories and more. Such as these songs are not only executed with the corporate worship of the church in mind, they also draw us in as individuals in worship. These points by themselves are worthy enough for every worship leader and for those who have a penchant for worship to take invest time into this CD.
ICF Worship, for many of us who live on the other side of the pond, needs some introduction. ICF Worship is the sound of the International Christian Fellowship church movement birthed in Zurich. Before making Zurich's Samsung Hall their home, ICF bounced from one location to another, meeting everywhere from bowling alleys to school halls. Despite the challenges, ICF grew exponentially both in faith and number and have now planted churches around the world. Their vision is to build faith communities where people find a relationship with Jesus, experience true love and fellowship and where their gifts are discovered and encouraged.
"The Journey: A Collection" as the titular hints is a "best of" collection. Integrity Music has garnered 13 of their best worship songs on this set. "Go" (not the Darlene Zschech song but a ICF original) and "Unstoppable" are upbeat electronica-pop blazers that have tempoes as propelling as the song's titulars. "King (Friend of Mine)," which expounds on the tension between the intimacy and sovereignty of Jesus in a judicious way, is a great teaching moment. The string-laden ballad "This is My Jesus" has a Graham Kendrick-hymn like touch that is inviting to those who like a nostalgic tilt.
Hands down, the best song on the entire disc is "Collide." Reminding one of Planetshakers' "Glorious Collision," "Collide" is a big power ballad that speaks of how our lives change when our lives intertwine with Jesus Christ. The song packs a big punch to the heart with its piercing words and passionate delivery. Don't let the platonic title "Higher" fool you. "Higher" is one of the album's most catchy tracks with a chorus that will get the whole congregation singing in no time. The female lead of "Lighthouse (Holding On)" has a Brook (Fraser) Ligertwood gravitas to her voice that is just pulverising.
For those of us unfamiliar with the team's portfolio, "The Journey: A Collection" is an excellent introduction to this Swiss worship team. Filled with songs that are tailored made for congregation worship: these songs are infectious, meaty, as well as awe-inspiring.