Shelly E. Johnson "Your Kingdom Come" Album Review

Shelly E. Johnson

Prime Cuts: Power of the Cross, You Deserve, Overwhelmed

Of all the petitions Jesus has ever made in what's commonly known as the "Lord's Prayer," one we have often tacitly blighted is "may your kingdom come and you will be done."  This is because deep in our hearts we love this worldly kingdom more than its heavenly counterpart.  The greed within us love to horde the wealth this world churns more than storing for ourselves treasures in heaven.  The selfishness in us love our own comfy lounges more than bearing the marks of Christ's sufferings in missions.  The blindness in us have fixated our eyes so much on this world that we forget that this world is nothing but our temporary abode.  As a result, we are like the people who were rearranging chairs on the deck of a sinking Titanic.  Thus, as far as God's kingdom is concerned, Shelly E. Johnson's new worship record "Your Kingdom Come" is indispensable.  Without the use of glitzy flashbulbs or witty one-liners or polytechnical hypes, Johnson remind us vis-a-vis heartfelt worship the values and priorities of God's kingdom again.

Shelly E. Johnson is the 2012's "Songwriter of the Year" for Lifeway Worship.  One of the songs Johnson has penned that is already making its rounds into the worship portfolios of numerous churches across the globe is "Power of the Cross," a track that was first recorded by Natalie Grant and later by Steve Green.  Currently Johnson serves as worship leader at First Baptist Woodstock, a 15,000+ member church, north of Atlanta.  She has also led worship alongside Beth Moore, Tony Nolan and Andy Stanley.  After releasing an EP last year, Johnson is back with a full-length 12 studio recorded worship record, "Your Kingdom Come," helmed by Michael Farren.  Fans of contemporary Christian music will remember Farren for being the lead vocalist of Pocket Full of Rocks.  Farren has also produced albums by Dustin Smith, John Waller, Rob Harris and Finding Favor. 

Starting with a roar calling to mind the outbursting of the God's gushing river coming out of the temple in Ezekiel's vision, the title cut and album opener "Your Kingdom Come" majestically invites us into the theme of the record where we get to hear Johnson (who has vocal shades of Natalie Grant and Plumb) calling upon God to reign in our midst.  Worship leaders who are looking to begin their segment of worship on a dynamic and God-besotted note would do well to include this song.  Retaining the same Godly passion with the right balance of ethereal ambiance and jittery staccato drums, "Sound of Heaven" continues on worship that seeks after God.  If you are looking for a driving rock sound that showcases dazzling guitar riffs and a crisp explosion of percussive beats, look no farther than the infectious "Hallelujah to the King." 

"You Deserve" is among a quartet of ballads that are truly the album's cynosure.  Calling to mind the older Hillsong material which has a dramatic build up to their ever catchy choruses, "You Deserve" will get the most tune-challenged congregation member singing in no time.  Still one of the lodestars as far as songs that have to do Christ's redemption are concerned is "Power of the Cross."  While Natalie Grant approaches the paean more from the perspective of a solo artist, Johnson tackles it more with the entire congregation in mind.  In our world of distorted perceptions of what love is, Johnson brings us back to "love as it was meant to be," on the piano-driven ballad "He is Good to Us."  Don't miss "Overwhelmed," this is worship that is at its most intimate and heartfelt best.

Never one to pander away from Christ and the outbursting of His kingdom, this is truly a God-centered worship record.  In our world that has pushed God to its peripheral, "Your Kingdom Come" rightly re-adjusts the lenses so that God is indeed at the heart of our being again.  


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