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Bethel Music [The Loft Sessions]
on January 24, 2012
Bethel Music's latest project The Loft Sessions is a refreshing and authentic worship experience where community and creativity collide. Recorded live in a refurbished rustic loft, the Bethel Music team gathered friends and family for several nights of worship that set the stage for this ground-breaking recording. The Loft Sessions explores new territory for Bethel Music, merging an array of acoustic creativity with the modern melodies of original songs by Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy Riddle and emerging artists Steffany Frizzell, Hunter Thompson and Matt Stinton. Jeremy Riddle is the writer and singer of the amazing worship songs "Sweetly Broken" and "Furious" and he co-wrote the hit song "Love Came Down" with Brian Johnson, which has also recently been recorded by Seventh Day Slumber and Kari Jobe. Both Brian Johnson and Jeremy Riddle have an earnest, sincere songwriting and singing style that will immediately remind you of Bono from U2 and Chris Martin from Coldplay. Since I love those artists and their alternative rock style, I'm predisposed to like Jeremy Riddle, Brian Johnson and the Bethel Music worship team.
The Loft Sessions is not your typical praise and worship album. It has a very warm musical style that will immediately soothe your soul and cause you to worship along with these ultra-talented worship leaders. It has a Gungor meets Mumford & Sons sonic feel to the album and I can't get enough of these anointed songs. The album opens with an incredible recording of "One Thing Remains" led by Brian Johnson with the amazing chorus "Your Love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me." If you're not already singing this song at your church, this arrangement is well suited to any congregation. "My Dear" is a great upbeat song that moves me emotionally and physically when I worship along with the talented and emotive vocalist Hunter Thompson and the Bethel Music team.
"You Have Won Me" is led by Brian Johnson, and has the expressive chorus, "Jesus You have won me...You are worthy of glory and praise." The new worship song and lead single "Come To Me" is sung tenderly by Jenn Johnson from the perspective of God singing over us--"I am the Lord your God...no evil will conquer you, steady now your heart...lift up your weary head, I Am with you, wherever you go, come to Me, I'm all you need...come to Me, I'm your everything!" There is incredible comfort and biblical Truth in this song and Jenn's passionate vocals will have you hanging on every word. "You Know Me" stops me in my tracks as Steffany Frizzell slays me with her confessional and prayerful vocal style, especially in the bridge--"nothing is hidden from Your sight, wherever I go You find me, You know every detail of my life, cause You are God and You don't miss a thing." That biblical Truth comes right from Psalm 139 and there is great comfort in knowing Jesus and being known by Him in every detail of our lives. Amen to that! "Fall Afresh" is sung by Bethel Music worship leader Jeremy Riddle. I've always wanted to hear Jeremy perform stripped down acoustic style songs, and I feel like I'm eavesdropping on Jeremy's prayer time as he sincerely lifts his anointed voice in worship to our Lord and Savior. The chorus of "Fall Afresh" moves me every time I sing it, "Spirit of the Living God come fall afresh on me / Come wake me from my sleep / Blow through the caverns of my soul / Pour in me to overflow, / to overflow." That's also the cry of my heart. Thank you Bethel Music for these incredible musical offerings to Jesus.
CLOSING THOUGHTS (Staff Review, NewReleaseTuesday.com)
If you like the praise and worship artists Hillsong UNITED, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Jesus Culture, then you can't go wrong with the Bethel Music worship team and you'll love the album The Loft Sessions. Every song on this album has quickly become a staple in my playlist of my favorite worship anthems. Every song is worshipful and catchy. The vertical worship and number of songs I could imagine singing in union with fellow believers in a corporate worship setting is another highlight of this very solid album. Some of the songs that would be great additions to church services are "One Thing Remains," "My Dear," "You Have Won Me" and "Fall Afresh." I considered Be Lifted High among the best worship albums of 2011 and based on the gorgeous stand-out female led worship ballads "Come To Me" and "You Know Me," I expect big things for Bethel Music in 2012. For sure, this will be among my top worship albums of the year.