Prime Cuts: "Lift Oh Gates," "God Who Moves the Mountains," "The King is Here"
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
Melodies of worship music need to have an echoing component. This means that the tunes need to stick with the average congregant so that they can sing them in their leisure personal worship time. Too often worship songs lack a memorability factor. This is not so with Corey Voss. "Songs of Heaven & Earth" is Voss' Integrity Music follow-up full length album to his EP album released last year. Featuring 5 new songs coupled with the 5 songs from last year's EP, these songs have hooks large enough that we can tap our toes to and hum along in a few listens. Moreover, the songs are made even more palatable with Voss' easy on the ears tenor and producer Kyle Lee's (Michael W. Smith, Dustin Smith) pop-centric underpinnings.
Voss is a member of the All About Worship community and was previously featured on AAW's critically acclaimed album My Pursuit along with his own independent album How Great. Voss, who serves as worship pastor of Gateway Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee, is also the writer behind the songs "Praise The King," and "I Will Call," both featured on the Jaci Velasquez album Trust, as well as the new Selah single, "I Got Saved." In addition, his co-writes with Paul Baloche, "Psalm 92" and "We Come To You, Jesus," were featured on Baloche's album Your Mercy.
Let's put the new songs first. The anthemic "Lift Oh Gates" is the epitome of praise as Voss invites all of creation to worship with him, a gesture so in line with Voss' own personal love for nature. "Nothing is Impossible" follows the melodious power pop trail spearheaded by "Lift Oh Gates." This time the focus is on our confidence in God's sovereign power. Then Voss indulges into his own take of "Jaci Velasquez' Praise the King" and Selah's "I Got Saved." The latter, with its more individualistic Americana slant, feels a little out of place on a worship album. The final new song is Voss' co-write with Jennie Lee Riddle's "You Promised." The song ticks all the right boxes without being earth shattering.
Worship leaders would do well to include "The King is Here" as their worship set opener. Presenting God at his majestic best, the song has an inviting presence effortlessly drawing us into the King's presence. If you think poetry is dead in worship music, take a listen to Voss' "Canyons." Utilizing the width and breadth of nature's beauty to describe the love of Christ, Voss gives a 3-D read of "Canyons" that involves our hearts, ears, and even eyes. Integrity Music's new signee Alisa Turner shares her pen and voice with Voss on the power ballad "As It is in Heaven."
Not sure why, but Voss has also offered his rendition of "God Who Moves the Mountain." The song itself is a heart-stopper: you can feel the debris falling as Voss sings about how God moves the mountains of impossibilities in our lives. The problem, however, is that Jaci Velasquez and Dustin Smith (the song's co-writer) have both recorded not too long ago. Do we need another version in such a short span of time?