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So I just want to start off with a confession. I have not been a huge fan of any of the albums that have come out of Elevation. Part of that is because I am in a different place in my own journey in worship. I have done the “huge band” and “is this a coldplay concert” thing before and after a while for me personally it gets old. I have read all of Pastor Furtick’s books. Years ago I had conversations with worship pastor Wade Joye and Prayed fervently for his children while in the hospital. Over the years I have been so excited to see God move in this church and the people in it. GOD grew this church to close to 12,000 people in 7 years and He is daily doing an amazing work through them.

With all of that said I just could not get into the albums. A friend of mine asked me if I would review this new “nothing is wasted” double disk and I accepted. Why not… Lets see how this goes.

I turned it on and not only was I pleasantly surprised but I feel like THIS is the album that I was waiting for. My guess is based on content and lyrics that as God spoke to pastor Furtick on “Greater”. That God is greater that this vision seeped into the hearts of the worship and mantra of the church and that is very evident in the lyrics.

I am a sucker for the Live disk because I feel like it is more RAW. The studio version just feels a little too buttoned up for me and “over-polished”. I don’t know what it is, but it always feels like the heart and passion behind the song is intact in a LIVE recording and sucked out in a studio track.

I have been through this CD 3-4 times since getting a pre-release a few weeks ago. The only track I am not a huge fan of is “Let Go”. Stylistically that song just doesn’t want to resonate with me. I am letting the rest of the album ruminate in my spirit. The Lyrics are filled with truth declaring the Character of God. I was the guy who did not like the song “give me faith”. I know feel free to send me hate mail. I don’t exactly know what the difference is here, but something about this “new” declaration from elevation rings out for me. I believe there is power in the word and our declaring of the GREATNESS of God and this album is chock full of that.

“Lay down my rights.
Lay down my life
I will abandon All of my pride
Focus my eyes Away from myself
You become greater I become less”

There is a “space” on the live album. It is something I will be teaching in a class im doing actually. It is the idea of waiting on the Lord. Not the kind of waiting where we wait for an answer, but instead of waiting where we rest in the presence of the King and let Him renew our strength. This “space” is here. There is an expression of victory here that has been born out of experience and encounter with Christ.

This is the first Elevation Album that has made it to my “must listen to” rotation on my iphone and I think you need to buy it as well!

“You have overcome the world
Took the keys from death and hell
Joining heaven we declare
You’re greater, greater”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this album free from Elevation Worship to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


“I dont want just another touch. I’m just looking for the real Jesus and only You will do….
It’s all just meaningless and empty songs at best unless You respond”

I have been holding out on this review for a long time now. I think I have had this album for 3 months now, but I just kept looking for the right words to describe this…art.

Lets start with the production: It is produced by Jonny Macintosh and J.T. Daly (Paper Route). So basically for all those playing at home it means that it is impeccable.

“[The Invisible] is a deep record for me,” Daniel says. “I’ve been moved from this John the Baptist cry, from waking hearts of this generation to an unknown place. When I became a dad, God poured out this brand new anointing over my life, gave me this father’s heart, and for me that’s massive, epic…. The church needs more fathers, more pastors… There’s so much hurt happening all around us and not enough nurturing fathers among us to reach out.”

With each new song that emerged, he says, “I was completely wrecked with this idea that it’s not enough to wake dead people up. We’re here to help steer their lives, to show them the real Jesus, to represent the journey we’re all on. Our personal worship should come out of that.”

I know some people who LOVED his last CD and others who didn’t care for it at all. If you have been paying attention to me on social media you should be aware by now that I Love what Bashta is doing. The passion that oozed out of his first album amazed me and I walked away after my first listen thinking:
“wow…this guy actually believes what he is singing.”

I have listened to this new album over and over and I now consider this almost a double disc set. It seems to me that this album is the side B of “The Sounds of Daniel Bashta”.  I love that I can listen to each and hear the journey God is taking him and his family.

I hear a prophetic move of God and not a selfish attempt at a radio single.

Bashta went from calling down the fire of heaven to unleash miracles, signs and wonders to an album that just calls on the miracle of Christ that we already have. There is a sense of longing coupled with a feeling of contentment that He has found the REAL thing.

“I speak to barrenness, I command life within, open up your walls, hope conquers all, let hope in.” – from “Let Hope In”

I am in awe of His lyrical and spiritual journey. I am challenged and encouraged by his prophetic invocation. I am glad to be able to have in my ears, heart and mouth a song of praise written by Bashta that God is using even in my own worship leading to set the captives free.

GO BUY THIS ALBUM… and if you don’t have his first I suggest you listen to them in order.
You can’t watch “return of the jedi” without first watching “empire strikes back”.

Sidenote because it needs to be said: dear newsboys… roaring lions that have power over death do NOT whisper!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this album free from Integrity Records to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

worth_it_allThe Year was 2009. I was at a conference in Nashville called Re:create. One of the nights we were going to a Night of song and story and Meredith was one of the artists that was being featured. It was that night that I was introduced to small petite woman with a huge voice. I was blown away by her writing and the nuance in her voice.

I was really excited when Word Records asked me to give my “opinion” on her new CD because this would be Meredith’s first full worship album.

“I never felt like I could write corporate worship songs, but that‟s what I always wanted to do because I am a worship leader,” Andrews states. “So I just started asking the Lord for songs and I was like, „God I don‟t just want songs to fill a record. I want to hear from heaven. I want to write your heart‟ and I was just overwhelmed with the way the Lord answered and the songs that are on this record. This album, I feel, is the most authentic to who I am. I can‟t believe the songs that we have and the way that God met us at every turn and the moments that we captured on this record.”

Honestly that quote says it all. There is nothing better than a selection of songs born out of worship and not out of an agenda of making a great hit.

It opens with the fist pumping song “Open the Heavens”. It is a great song that I will most likely trying to introduce in my own Worship Leading.

I am not personally nor historically a fan of doing song by song reviews because I know nobody reads them. So because of this let me lay it on the line for anybody that trusts my opinion… and you should.

This CD is heartfelt, inspired and holy spirit driven. It has many great songs on it and I am pretty sure many churches will be using them on Sunday mornings soon. The Production is top notch and not over-produced.

My favorite track after 4 listens is “Burn Away”. It is a great song about asking God to burn away the things that separate us from Him.

So if you haven’t figured it out yet I think this CD is a must listen if you like modern worship with a pop twist to it. I also have a test with every worship CD I listen to which is “Can these songs be done if the power goes out”. What I mean by that is can a worship leader grab the charts and just lead with a guitar or a piano and not have all the additional additives. In short I believe this album has many songs on it that would translate very well to a stripped down or small worship team.

If you have heard of meredith you will love it. If you haven’t then take a chance on it because I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this album free from Word Records to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My Top 10 albums of 2012

December 28, 2012 — 4 Comments

Klampert top10 albums

My top albums of 2012

Will Retherford – Walk
Aaron Keyes – In the Living Room
The Choir – The Loudest Sound
Paul Baloche – The same love
Propaganda – Excellent
Phil Wickham – Singalong 2
Sojourn Music – Come Ye Sinners
Dustin Smith – You are the Fire
Bethel Live – For the Sake of the World
Christ For the Nations – 37

Albums on constant repeat since 2011

Daniel Bashta – The sounds of Daniel Bashta Deluxe Edition
Harvest Bashta – Make Us Ready
Brian & Katie Torwalt – Here on Earth
Bethel Music – Be Lifted High
John Mark Mcmillan – The Medicine (yes I am fully aware I had this in 2010, but it’s SO good)

I started blogging in 2006 and hit the ground running for equipping and training worship people and then leaders in general. I have to say it is not easy keeping up steam and after a long 6 month hiatus I wanted to bring back the blog with an interview with a worship leader friend of mine who seems to have an overabundance of “steam”.
David Santistevan blogs at and is Worship Pastor at Allison Park Church in Pittsburg, PA. He is also the only friend I have that I am pretty sure I have pronounced his last name 14 different ways.
His Church has a new album that released today and so I wanted to have a chat with him on his heart behind all of this.–

JOEL: I read how this CD was created on your site: What I found amazing was you did a retreat, practiced and then made this amazing CD. Were these songs tested out in your church before you made sure they made the cut? What has your congregations reaction been to this new music?

DAVID: 8 out of the 10 songs are songs we sing regularly at APC. “God of the Impossible” and “Closer” are newer and a bit less congregational so they weren’t as familiar. We knew they were important songs so we decided to include them. Our church loves these songs. Many of them have been sung for years so it feels good to finally put them out there for people to take home.

JOEL: I love that they are originals and therefore represent the vision of the house. How did you guys approach the music sonically? Did any current music influence you guys how you wrote or did you just let it all flow to see what would come out?

DAVID: We’re definitely influenced by a lot of great artists. We love the creativity and prolific quality of Hillsong. We love the passion and energy of Elevation. We love the production quality of Jesus Culture and the musical creativity of Rend Collective Experiment. So, yes. Lots of influences. Early in the creative process we made a list of creative musical ideas we liked. We referenced that throughout the production process.

JOEL: Was there an overall “theme” for this CD?

DAVID: We didn’t set out to create a certain “theme”. We just wanted to capture the people of God worshiping and experiencing His presence. But as you listen to the record, there is this cool theme that runs throughout about the life-changing, “undying” love of God. No matter what, His love doesn’t let us go. That frees us to sacrifice, to dream, and live a big life for His glory.

JOEL: One of the things I love about your blog is it is dedicated to equipping worship leaders. I know as a worship pastor myself that two of my main roles are to glorify God and also equip others to do the same. What kind of thought did you give to this album lyrically to make sure it was corporate enough to be used but at the same time challenging in a way that would teach truth and doctrine in a non watered down way?

DAVID: This is a tension I’m constantly managing. My songwriting downfall is that I over-explain – I use too many lyrics. The collaborative process was great with these songs. Some team members were more lyrically driven. Others were great with melody. It really made the songs as stronger as we worked together. We also revised these songs a ton. We didn’t just settle on our first ideas. We prayed, we re-wrote, re-wrote some more, explored Scripture and worked hard to make the songs the best they could be.

JOEL: When I received your album I was really excited to see that you included all the chord charts for each song. So many worship teams these days will only include the chart for their “hit single”. While I know these songs were for “the house” it seems to me, just by those charts alone, that you guys have a real vision for “the church”. What would be your ultimate hope in getting this album into the hands of people?

DAVID: As a worship leader, you know you love a great song – a song that engages your people, teaches them truth, and serves your church. That’s my prayer for this record – that these songs would serve the church. They don’t need to be highly arranged and produced to work. They were all written on either an acoustic guitar or piano. They are prayers from the heart. I hope it resonates with people all over the world.

JOEL: Thanks so much for answering these simple questions for me. Is there anything else you want to add?

DAVID: Joel, thanks for the opportunity man. I’m blessed by what you do in serving the worship leader community. Though I’ll never have a beard as cool as yours, I’m still honored to know you 🙂

Nothing excites me more in worship when people actually sounds like they believe what they are singing.
I for one am excited for this release and to see what God does through the worship songs you have created as a team. It is not only a well written album, but it has been produced amazingly. This is a professional release from a group of worshipers who truly are seeking the heart of God and want to minister to Him and the church.
GO GET THIS THING…Here is the itunes link!!!