Prime Cuts: Miracle in Motion, You Remind Me, Solid Rock (Hell or High Water)
Overall Grade: 3.5/5
Corey Voss and Madison Street Worship have shown great signs of growth with the new record. Rather than sounding scripted and rehearsed, Voss and his team show us what being truly immerse in the presence of God sounds like. There is a genuine freedom expressed in these songs that is simply exquisite for the soul. Such joy can never be manufactured but it is birthed out of hearts engaged in the Spirit. Moreover, we see growth in Voss as a leader. Instead of dominating the entire record, he has been parceling more responsibilities to his mentees encouraging them to be more active in writing and leading worship. Those who are assiduous readers of CCM song credits need no introduction to Voss. Over the years, he has shared his pen in crafting for some of the best artists in the genre, including Jaci Velasquez ("Praise the King"), Selah ("I Got Saved"), Cindy Cruse Ratcliff ("Perfect Love") and many others.
"Heaven Come Closer" is Voss' third full length record he has made for Integrity Music. If you like his previous two efforts, this one will definitely be in your alley. Most familiar among this group of 10 songs (plus two reprisals) is "Let there Be Wonder." A co-write between Voss, Matt Redman, Joshua Silverberg and Jason Scooter, "Let there Be Wonder" is also the title cut of Redman's latest release. Voss doesn't deviate too much from Redman's reading on what is a power ballad that proliferates the magnificent deeds of Jesus around the Cross.
"Let There be Wonder" sets the pace of the record: other than the opening two numbers, the bulk of the album are all power ballads. Best among the oeuvre is the sublime "Miracle in Motion." Drawing us right into the presence of God, you truly feel the Spirit working when Voss sings: "This is a miracle in motion/this is It's a sign of Your affection/It's Your will that this should happen/So let it be, let it be." Utilizing the chorus of the hymn "My Hope is Built," the Olivia Calderwood Bush-led "Solid Rock (Hell or High Water)" is a gorgeous affirmation of the faithfulness of Jesus, sung with conviction. More powerful moments abound with Jenna Bataller's "You Remind Me." The chorus has such an irresistible hook that you can forsee members of congregations singing on top of their lungs: "There's no fear inside Your love/You've done more than overcome/All my battles, all my wars, You have won."
Perhaps the biggest criticism of the record is that many of these power ballads share the same template of starting off slow before crescendoing to its thundering chorus. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having such a blueprint, but when it's used back to back it gets a little tedious. "Let It Go," for instance, would have excel on its own. But when it is hidden in between songs that all share the same formula, the compelling zest of the song is dampened. It's always tempting for worship teams to re-use the same formula especially when it works; therefore, it's always imperative to always step out in faith again and again to find new avenues of speaking of God's truth.