Prime Cuts: Rule in My Heart, Love Takes Over, Hold On
Just as Hillsong Conference is to the city of Sydney or the Passion Conference is to Atlanta, Soul Survivor's summer events are a blessing to the city of Watford, UK. Each year, this conference brings together at least 22,500 young Christians in worship. But the hoopla is in more than the just the numbers. These events are also scared grounds of fecundity as far as worship music is concerned. It is through these conferences, churches are being serviced with a deluge of God-besotted worship tunes over the years. Songs such as "Happy Day," "Facedown" and last year's "Say the Word." Further, these events are also incubators where future leaders are nurtured and hatched. Worship leader Tim Hughes, for instance, used to lead worship at these events before he became the director of Worship Central Training School years later. And now we have another talent at hand, Soul Survivor's Worship Director Beth Croft.
Though Croft has been featured as the lead worship vocalist and writer on numerous Soul Survivor's worship projects, "Rule in My Heart" is her first solo worship album. Just like most of Soul Survivor's outputs, Croft's debut record is also released under Integrity Music's imprint. "Rule in My Heart" features 9 newly studio recorded songs as well as "Kingdom Come" which was directly lifted from Soul Survivor and Momentum's "The Flood" released last year. Most disappointing though is that Croft's anthemic rendition of Aaron Keyes' Sovereign Over Us" (currently also recorded by Michael W. Smith) which was rumored to be part of the project didn't make it to the album's final track listing.
Yet, one of the album's major strengths is that Beth Croft places her own distinct fingerprints right across these 10 cuts. Instead of trying to chameleon herself as one of the hundreds of the worship leaders coming from the US, Croft brings to her songs her stunning English flavors. Borrowing the cool Brit-dance amps with that electronic bass beats, "Make the World Dance" and "Love Takes Over" abandon the usual trite stadium rock sound. Still they bristle with a youthful freshness that will definitely win her many younger fans bopping in the worship of our God. Taking further advantage of her own English roots, "Say the Word," an arduous and audacious declaration of taking God at His Word, finds Croft sharing the pen with London-based Tim Hughes.
dding hefty equity to the album are Croft's ballads. Fans of the music of Soul Survivors would agree that when Croft croons a worship ballad, you can actually see heaven coming down on earth. In this regard, the title cut "Rule in My Heart" is a gem. Written by Croft with Matt Redman, Jorge Mhondera and Willie Weeks, this is a soaring introit into God's presence with lots of heartfelt moments of self-abandonment. Easily rivalling for another close favorite is the hymn like "Hold On." As a special treat to the fans of Rend Collective, Croft has done a cover of the title cut of their last album "Boldly I Approach (The Art of Celebration)." Instead of Rend Collective's more rustic folkier take, Croft adds a more keys-driven polished gloss. With "Rule in My Heart," Croft joins the lofty heights of Darlene Zschech, Amy Perry and Kari Jobe; this is definitely one of this year's best worship albums coming from a stellar female worship leader who is not afraid of putting her own signature on her songs.
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