Prime Cuts: Build My Life, Jesus I Love You, Sing Your Glory
Overall Grade: 4/5
Soul Survivor's newest Integrity Music release "The Promise" holds lots of promising potential as far as impacting the kingdom of God is concerned. Right from the first note to the last, this album is jammed pack with Holy Spirit-moments where you can feel the hearts of the team's worship leaders, namely Tom Smith, Beth Croft, Guvna B, and Rend Collective, being given over to the Lordship of Jesus. Unlike other worship records that are shamelessly focused on humanity's felt needs, all of the songs here are rightly focused on glorifying Jesus. "The Promise," which was produced by Ben Cantelon (Worship Central), was recorded live in the presence of 24,000 teens and young adults over 5 of summer camps put up by Soul Survivor's ministry.
The album features 4 covers (one by Hillsong Worship, one by Passion and Christy Nockels, and two Rend Collective favorites), 1 instrumental spontaneous worship, and 7 new songs. All of the new songs are co-scribed by Tom Smith (who serves as Soul Survivor's worship director) in coordination with famed songwriters such as Matt Redman, Nick Herbert (Worship Central) and Phil Wickham. The best songs on the set are those where Matt Redman has had a hand in. "Sing Your Glory," a co-write between Redman and Smith, bears all the signature of Redman's big worship balladry work. Reminding one of Redman's classics such as "Mercy" and "Never Once," "Sing Your Glory" is majesty personified in song.
The other lodestar is the other Redman co-write "Build My Life." Led by Beth Croft, who is in her own rights a brilliant worship leader, "Build My Life" was formerly cut by Passion and Christy Nockels. However, most unfortunate is that Beth Croft only gets to sing two full songs this time and both of them are covers. The other Croft cover is Hillsong Worship's "What a Beautiful Name." As much as Croft easily rivals the originals, it's a waste to see her not being able to sing an original. As consolation to fans of Croft, she does a 1 minute and 35 seconds reprisal of the ballad "Jesus I Love You" which definitely eclipses Smith's lacklustre original take of it.
Smith, though not as engaging as Croft, does pass muster when it comes to the Phil Wickham's co-write "1,000 Years." A turbo-charged dynamite of worship, "1,000 Years" is a powerful exposition of 2 Peter 3:8. While album opener "Come Holy Spirit" sets the spiritual tenor of the album. Written as a prayer of invocation for the Holy Spirit to sweep over the assembly, this song, if sung with faith, could be the anthem of international revival. Not sure what Soul Surivor's rationale was in bringing in Rend Collective to lead two songs. Instead of gracing us with 2 new songs, the Northern Irish band sings two tiresome and uninspired renditions of their own songs "Every Giant Will Fall" and "Joy of the Lord."
Overall, this is a stellar record, with lots of Holy Spirit-led worship moments. However, with the presence of Rend Collective and 4 cover songs, there are quite a lot of wasted moments on record. Soul Survivors could have given those opportunities to Beth Croft to showcase some of her own tunes. She is far too good to be delegated to a karaoke role.
Tags : Soul Survivor Soul survivor beth croft Soul Survivor “The Promise” Album Review Beth Croft rend collective Matt Redman Christy Nockels passion worship hillsong worship Phil Wickham tom smith tom smith new ep