My Rating: Add It To My Playlist! [4.4 / 5]
California-based group Jesus Culture is set to release their latest live worship album, Love Has A Name, on August 11. Recorded at their home church in Sacramento, these 16 tracks of worship are led by familiar names such as Kim Walker-Smith, Chris Quilala, Bryan & Katie Torwalt, Derek Johnson, Chris McClarney, Ruthie Ridley, and Jon Egan. This album comes after the group’s most recent release, Let It Echo, which found a place on the Billboard Top Albums chart after its release in 2016.
The Jesus Culture movement originated in 1999 as a community of leaders and musicians striving to see new generations encounter the presence of God. Starting with their first recorded album in 2005, they have since released over 20 solo artist albums, 9 annual live albums, and led worship at countless conference events, reaching people in more than 100 cities and 15 countries. Jesus Culture hopes to equip generations to transform society through God’s love and aims to capture this very purpose within their music and through discipleship.
Love Has A Name kicks things off with “Halls of Heaven,” an imagery-filled track led by Chris Quilala. The track begins with a synthesized, upbeat melody and percussion. The introduction instrumentation drops away to simple synthesized chords and a rhythmic strummed guitar as Quilala begins the verse. The upbeat accompaniment joins back in for the chorus, as the lyrics paint inviting images of what we might experience or see when we are home in heaven, from child-like running through the halls to being face-to-face with God. The bridge of the track includes ad lib worship, the congregation clapping along, and a celestial-like background that makes a subtle match to the lyrics that have the listener dreaming of heaven. As a bonus, this track is available for immediate download with digital preorder of the album.
In “Sound Of Adoration,” the listener begins with an optimistic introduction made up of synthesizer, guitar and percussion. Bryan Torwalt enters as storyteller in the first verse, joined by well-balanced female vocal harmony in the second. Throughout the verses and bridge, the lyrics of this track weave together many examples that show how we owe everything to God’s grace and hand in our lives, culminating in the outright exclamation of “Oh how we love you, Jesus we love you.” This track is a love song to Jesus with a catchy groove that easily invites you to join in. In similar sentiments of adoration and praise, Chris McClarney leads us through a reflective experience with “My One My All.” Starting alongside subtle synthesized tones and guitar, his vocals are genuine and perfectly aligned with the tone and emotion of the song. This track and its praiseful lyrics build after the first chorus, proclaiming that Jesus is all we want and need in our lives.
“Let Our Faith Become A Mountain” begins with a driving accompaniment and clapping to the beat that immediately has the listener tapping along. Kim Walker-Smith makes a strong entrance, as she uses the lyrics to describe the type and magnitude of faith we strive to have, likening it to the towering and resilient strength of a mountain. Comparable in power to the mountains that she’s describing, Walker-Smith’s skillful vocals are delivered with impressive clarity. Similarly in “Infinite,” her vocals compress and stretch to whatever spaces and sounds it needs to fill, as it praises the unimaginable depth and measure of God’s love.
Fans of Jesus Culture and followers of their movement won’t be disappointed by this album. The live recording framework of the album allows the listener to feel as if they’re right in the congregation alongside other worshippers. In Love Has A Name, the listener gets fresh takes on Jesus Culture’s signature sound and new opportunities to enter into a worshipful attitude and express love, thanks and praise to God. Available for digital pre-order now, Love Has A Name will officially hit stores August 11.