Bethel Music: TIDES
I have had the pleasure of being able to listen to the new Bethel Album for the last month. Sadly I have been so into the album that I forgot to do this review; so let me get right into it.
I am a huge fan of Bethel’s worship and as a worship pastor I love to lead their songs. Bethel over the years has become my personal worship “cave”. I remember when I first heard the song “closer” with Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger. That night I felt God just reach out in the middle of that song. I ended up spending 3 hours continually repeating the youtube video of steffany leading the 12 min version.
There is something to Bethel that is different than other bands. There of course is quality in musicianship, well thought out lyrics and amazing chops. What sets them a part for me though is it is dripping with the Holy Spirit. These guys are anointed and I just can’t get enough. For me the dynamic duo is Gretzinger and Riddle leading together. Amazing.
I was excited to get this CD, but also nervous. Most of my favorite worship people cut studio albums and I find myself begging that they would do a live album. With bethel it was different because this was their first studio album and I was worried it would remove the ROAR that their other projects had. I worried for no reason.
This album is AMAZING! I have all of Ian McIntosh’s solo work and the minute I pushed play on the first track I heard his fingerprint all over this. In a world of U2/Hillsong/Coldplay ripoffs mixed with civil wars/muford copycats It is so refreshing to actually say that this album is fresh and original. Musically it is evident nothing is composed to be cool or hit and instead 100% supports the songs and it’s lyrics. Everything just makes sense.
Oddly enough I didn’t start listening to the first track. Instead I jumped to the title that hit me; “Be Still”.
“Be still my heart and know
You are God alone
Stop thinking so much
And just let go”
Smacked right in the gut. Those lyrics cut me to the core.
I was hooked after that. Simple truth sung with a prophetic edge and yet wasn’t cliche.
This album stylistically offers EVERYTHING.
Jenn Johnson channels Dido and Natasha Beddingfield on “Chasing You”, a song my 4 year old daughter cant stop singing.
Brian Johnson is consistent and clear with an almost hymn-like quality on songs like “strong in us” and “forever”.
Steffany Gretzinger KILLS it on “be still” and leaves you floating in the spirit of surrender in “letting Go”
Jeremy Riddle, the brilliant writer of “Furious” doesn’t disappoint either. He lends to the album a gritty indie rock feel on “heaven’s song” and on “breaking through” gives us a similar feel to The Killers “human” album. SO GOOD!
New Comer Hunter Thompson sings “come awaken love” which seems to be an homage to Owl City.
There are a few other tracks on here that I didn’t mention that are just brilliant. The only song that had to grow on me was “ascend” but after a bunch of listens I love it even with William Matthews shaky tremolo voice.
The Last song that hit me like a ton of bricks is the EPIC anthem song “For the Cross”. Brian starts the song it its powerful. All of a sudden Jenn DIVES into the song with what can only be described as a Groan of the Holy Spirit and you are instantly transported to utter thanksgiving for the cross. She screams out truth and hope almost as if she wants ever spirit to hear that this “violent hope” is a declaration that the battle is already won.
“But on that day
What seemed as the darkest hour
A violent hope
Broke through and shook the ground”
In the last 10 years there have only been a handful of albums I can truly say were perfection. Not just a 5 star rating, but where there isn’t one bad song, one misplaced note, or one cliche lyric.
THIS IS THAT ALBUM. Buy it now. Your spirit needs it!