Prime Cuts: Praise The Name (Ancient Doors), What's Left to be Afraid of, Greater Things
Overall Grade: 3.75/5
Add an adjective or a noun to the word "worship" and you get another worship team. So far, we have Hillsong Worship, Elevation Worship, Crossway Worship, Harmonic Worship, Vineyard Worship, Zoe Worship, Red Rock Worship, and the permutations are endless. Now, we have yet another one.... Thrive Worship. But they don't just share a titular template, many of these teams are copycats of each other that at the end of the day you can't tell the difference between them. Thrive Worship, the latest finding by Integrity Music, may not add much distinction to what's already a saturating blueprint, but this doesn't mean they have nothing to contribute to the genre. In fact, there are a few songs here that are so good that they deserve to be heard and sung across churches. In short, though Thrive Worship does reinvent the wheel of worship music, they still have their merits.
Before we proceed, it's appropriate to say a word of introduction about the team. Starting out as the worship team for Bayside Church based in Sacramento, California, Thrive Worship has quickly grown into a sprawling eight-campus worship family whose songs and weekly Sunday night worship services are transforming their northern California community. As a growing and evolving group of diverse singers and musicians, Thrive Worship is writing songs for the church that sing of a hope for the future and love for the Savior.
Let's start with the songs that really excel. "Praise The Name (Ancient Doors)" combines both the awe of God and the intimacy of drawing close to Jesus together effortlessly on a solidly structured melody. "Greater Things" sounds like a Chris Tomlin classic with those soaring choruses. But the true worth of the song lies in the lyrics which is gloriously grounded in the promises of Christ. For those faint in the heart, the pulsating "What's Left to be Afraid Of" is a boaster to the faith. Psalm 23 gets a contemporary and refreshing makeover with the piano-led "All the Days." And the lead worship leader, who has the vocal resonances of Christy Nockels and Melodie Malone, is promising.
The rest of the songs are not bad, but they also adhere to the worship music template too closely. "Like No other" is a carbon copy of what you find on a Y&F album with its elongated electronic beeps and swirling synth sounds. "I Still Believe (You Are Faithful)" could easily be on an Elevation Worship record with that booming high octave execution. "Ruins (Rebuild my Soul)" can be traced lyrically to Hillsong Worship's "Glorious Ruins." While the snappy clicks of "Breakthrough is Coming" is what you will find all across Planetshakers' repertoire.
Thrive Worship's new effort does has its meritorious moments. But at the end of the day, they share the same mold as so many worship collectives. And it's a challenge to single them out in a sea of worship bands.