Review Rating: Catch It On The Radio [4.0 / 5]
Everflow, the first studio album from Austin Stone Worship, was released November 17th. Its’ thirteen tracks are inspired by themes from 1st Peter because of the book’s “powerful and timely [message] for today’s culture.” Austin Stone Worship believes in messages of how to deal with “suffering, enduring in the faith, and persevering no matter the cost” Five of the songs on the album are instrumental breaks meant to “give the listener a moment to reflect on the truth expressed in the lyrics.” This arrangement of lyrical songs with instrumental songs gives the album an overall impression of coherence and purpose, pointing listeners to the greatness of God.
“Everflow,” opens the album with a midtempo, electronic sound, created by synth, pad, and electronic drums. It is a fully instrumental song that sets the tone for the rest of the album. As the track comes to an end, it flows seamlessly into “Singing In Victory,” making it feel like an introduction to the powerful lyrics to come.
Piano and cello begin “All Because Of Jesus.” Austin’s voice sings a beautiful melody over the simple instrumentation, and the lyrics, “Because of Christ I’m not forsaken. Because of Christ I’m not alone. Because of Christ I have a confidence and hope,” convey the passion behind the song’s worshipful purpose. The final lines, “I am overwhelmed with peace in the storm. It’s all because of Christ,” combined with the musical transition into the instrumental piece, “Selah: The Sea,” bring the listener into a position of worshipful reflection about God’s constancy in the midst of storms.
“Jesus Is Better,” the final lyrical song on the album is a prayerful song of faith that “Jesus Is better” than anything else we could chase after. The bridge’s powerful lyrics, “Jesus is better in all my sorrows. Jesus is better, make my heart believe. In every vict’ry Jesus is better. Make my heart believe,” are sung as the music builds into a final chorus. The song then leads into “Benediction,” the final instrumental song on the album. It closes the collection of songs similarly to the way it began, and it gives listeners the opportunity to reflect on the previous songs of the album as a final send off.
Everflow is a musically and lyrically rich worship experience, meant to “encourage believers to look to Christ through their suffering, trusting that though they are exiles in the world, they belong to Jesus and are His.” Each song is powerful on its own, but the album is best listened to as a piece of art to be embraced in its entirety.