The Review Zone ‘Xtra

ESTHER MOORE : The Answer.   (www.orphannomore.com)

This debut single from Esther Moore has been released in support of World Refugee Day, and is provocative call to love without condition and reservation. Of the song, Esther says; “The Answer was written from a place of deep wrestling. What is our response when faced with senseless violence and hate- filled attacks on innocents? The natural response is to react with fear and hatred of the individuals responsible and a desire to make them pay. My question, inspired by those who chose another way, was this: what would happen if we chose the most counter-intuitive, difficult and challenging response – and chose to love instead?” The song itself sees Esther with a vocal quality and delivery akin to that of Florence Welch. It’s lovely to be able to hear every word sung so distinctively, when many of today’s productions bury the vocals within a cacophony of sound. “Stand with one voice. Love is the answer.” What a simple message.   7/10.

The Review Zone ‘Xtra

DARLENE ZSCECH : Here I Am Send Me Live).   (Integrity Music)

This is Darlene’s first recording since successfully battling with breast cancer. It was recorded at the Hope Unlimited Church, were both she and her husband are pastors. The theme of the album is a call to all, to go out and share the gospel to a waiting world. With almost all the tracks lasting for more than 6 minutes, listening is a worship experience. As you would expect, Darlene has gathered well known songwriters like Martin Smith and Paul Baloche to co-write songs, as well as members of her own church. The result is a typical Darlene Zschech album, full of big production numbers and vocals that soar in praise of God. “You Are Great” is a strong ballad that opens the track listing. Then, comes, “You Will Be Praised.” I took an instant like to this one, as it’s chorus really draws you in to worship. Once or twice, I felt that the longer songs got quite repetitive. For instance, nearly 3 minutes of the title “Kingdom Come” being repeated just became purely irritating. The simplicity of “Emmanuel” comes as welcome relief to the fuller sound of most songs. The piano and choir backing are perfect for Darlene’s delivery. If you’re a fan of Darlene, you won’t be disappointed with this recording.   8/10.

Solo Debut from Chris Sayburn

Integrity Music announces the July 21 global release of Saved By Grace, the solo debut from U.K. based worship leader and curate CHRIS SAYBURN.

Sayburn’s name may be new to many U.S. worship music fans, but we, his U.K. mates know him well. In addition to leading New Wine Worship, the worship ministry for the New Wine fellowship of churches, Sayburn has been writing for and collaborating on Integrity Music projects for several years. This includes his work on New Wine’s last albums Wildfire and Simple Pursuit.

With Saved By Grace, Sayburn and producer Ben Cantelon (Worship Central) deliver 10 new songs including cowrites with Cantelon (Saviour of the World), Nick Herbert (The Way) and Brenton Brown (Everlasting God) among others.

But good songs with catchy melodies are not the end game for Sayburn, who serves as curate for St. Philips Chapel Street in Salford, Manchester. “My benchmark for success is that the album adds value in serving the Church,” he explains. “I already know God loves my songs… He loves all our songs of worship whether they are on albums or not! But my desire is to write songs that the local Church can get hold of and use. “Many songs have played an important part in certain seasons in my life,” Sayburn adds. “It would be a blessing to hear if just one song impacts someone to keep going, keep loving and following Jesus… this would be worth all the effort.”

 

 

 

 

Rachel Jane Waits No More

Orphan No More is excited to release the new single from RACHEL JANE, ‘Waiting For A Change’ (produced by Joshua Luke Smith). This new, dynamic, high energy offering showcases an honesty from the young songstress that evolves into an anthem of courage, perseverance, and strength, in the midst of frustration and delay.

She says of the record “This song came out of a season where I learned that even when you feel so ready to do all that you feel born to do, it’s not necessarily going to happen when you want it to. This song is for anyone needing encouragement in a time of waiting and growing in patience. Keeping holding on and pressing in, breakthrough can happen in a moment.”

With soul-bearing vocals and more passion than ever, her new EP ‘The Mountain’ will be released in July 2017, showcasing a maturity, vulnerability and open-hearted honesty that has become of Rachel Jane since her debut.

16 Track Collection from Todd Agnew

Chart-topping seven-time Dove Award-nominated singer/songwriter and worship leader TODD AGNEW has unveiled his latest project, a 16-track collection of new songs, as well as unreleased, remixed, and favourite tracks from the vault. The new collection, appropriately  entitled From Grace to Glory: The Music of Todd Agnew, released on  Ardent Records.

Serving as a scrapbook of sorts, From Grace to Glory is a musical chronicle of Agnew’s journey of faith and ministry. It is a time capsule of moments, both profoundly intimate and exuberantly bold, that captures the essence of walking out the gospel hand-in-hand with friends and family, through good times and hard times. It is the journal of one man’s transformation from a young singer/songwriter to troubadour theologian. Along with the new material, the prolific singer/songwriter layers into From Grace to Glory a collection of some of his most cherished songs which are not part of his Ardent Records discography, most of which have not been previously released.

The Review Zone – Laura Story : Open Hands @LauraStoryMusic

LAURA STORY Open HandsLAURA STORY : Open Hands. (Fair Trade : 696859310133)

Following on from her 2014 release “God of Every Story,” this is Laura’s 4th studio album release. I wasn’t too keen on her last album, but this one is so much better. From the opening “Death Has Arrested” there’s a real freshness in her writing and in the production of each song. The first single from the album is the title track, and it’s a touching duet with Third Day’s Mac Powell. Based on Psalm 51, it tells you that God loves the brokenness that you suffer, when you give it all to Him. “Give You Faith” is written by a mother to her child. It’s a poignant song that, I think, can be used as a prayer. “As long As I have breath n my body, I will sing for the love of my King.” This is the thrust behind “For the Love of My King.” This song comes mid-way through the album, and Laura’s vocals are strong and concise. “Awake My Soul” is co-written by Laura, with help from Matt Redman, Matt Maher, and Joseph Myrin. Subtitled “A 1000 Tongues,” it sounds like an old hymn, set to a modern tune. As the album comes to an end, Laura sings of wonder of God’s “Majesty,” and the “Extraordinary” love of Jesus. This album sounds like Laura has been blessed with some really good songs. 8/10.

Debut Release for Alisa Turner

Integrity Music welcomes Nashville-based singer, songwriter and worship leader ALISA TURNER and announces the August 25 release of her debut, self-titled project.

Singing since childhood, the piano has been Turner’s “meeting place” with God, where she lays everything – joy, heartache, pain and hope – at the altar. Her life has not been an easy one, from overcoming years of debilitating illness, to losing her infant son. She takes these experiences and pours them into eloquent, psalm-like piano driven melodies. It’s been an uphill battle, but giving up is not an option for Turner who is following in her worship leader dad’s footsteps. “I think the Lord created me this way, drawn in by the emotion that comes with music,” Turner says. “When I sit down at the piano, He always uses it to draw me back, to awaken the dreamer, and I always leave different than when I came. I leave knowing He sees me, He is with me, He is my hope.”