Prime Cuts: New Stories, Christ You Stand Alone, Jesus Only You
Overall Grade: 3/5
London Gatch's debut album "New Stories" for BEC Worship is one of the most long-awaited albums. For almost the entire of 2018, she has been teasing fans with the release of one single after another. Four singles later and after a long linger, we finally get "New Stories." This new record is a mixed of glossy CCM pop and high-adrenaline worship balladry; not a stone's throw away from the music Elevation Worship has had been releasing. This shouldn't be surprising as Gatch was one of worship leaders who was on staff at Elevation Church for over a decade. It was only in the year 2016, Gatch and her husband, Lance, felt God calling them to something new and led them away from Elevation.
"Jesus Only You," co-written by Gatch with Jesse Reeves and Aaron Robertson, is an obvious choice for a single. The gossamer synth work, the anthemic chorus built up, and Gatch's full-bodied vocals, all make this a prime cuts. Another stand-out is the piano worship ballad "Christ You Stand Alone." Gatch's vulnerability and the song's heartfelt melody make this new worship favorite. And if you are looking for a new Holy spirit, look no farther than the title cut "New Stories." Opening to the sweep of the Holy Spirit, "New Stories" speak of how God's Spirit still continues to rejuvenate our lives with new signs, wonders, and break throughs.
If you are connoisseur of piano ballads, you may want to add the tender "O What Perfect Love." Leaning more towards mainstream CCM is the more generic "You Never Walk Alone." In the history of inspirational music and CCM, how many songs have been built upon the theme that God is with us? Though it's not a topic we should take for granted, Gatch adds nothing new to an already overflowing entries. A little better is "You Uphold me" with its bright sparking piano notes. However, like many worship albums today, there are far too many ballads. And many of them lack distinctive hooks making them sound forgettable, draggy and without much individualism.
Though the prime cuts listed above are worth investigating, the rest of the cuts take a long time to get into. Despite a pop and well-executed gloss, many of the songs sound quite vanilla. Maybe a couple of songs from outside of Gatch's circle or even a cover or so, may give this album more of a traction on the ears.