Elevation – Only King Forever
Elevation Worship recently released their newest worship offering Only King Forever which is 14 tracks and a full 73 minutes of worship. If you have heard Elevation in their previous albums, you will not be surprised at the sound.
If you are unfamiliar, I would encourage you to think of groups like Hillsong United, and Jesus Culture. Elevation has a strong stadium feel like those groups do. One small change to the band on this album is the addition of James Duke who has been the electric guitarist for people like John Mark McMillan, Matt Redman, and Jason Upton. With James serving in the worship team at this church, he brings a bit of experience and a new element to the overall tone, whilst at the same time blending well into the overall dynamic of the group.
Track four and five really stood out to me. “Grace So Glorious” and its Reprise are beautiful piano driven ballads. The song itself is a beautiful response to the beautiful grace afforded to us in the Lord, Jesus Christ. The Reprise features a brilliant exhortation from Elevation’s Pastor Steven Furtick. Both blend together so well that it serves as a reminder that the fervent preaching of the Word of God is as essential to our worship as the song itself.
Since I featured a ballad last, this time let me feature an upbeat praise track. “Mighty Warrior” This track is about the Lord as our mighty warrior. It’s driven, strong, and passionate. It’s the kind of song you can shout as well as you can sing. This is a great track that with a full band has the potential to blow the roof off. I honestly just sat and listened to it a few times through just to enjoy it and get myself pumped.
The last two songs I discussed were male lead, so let’s look at a female lead song, “Everlasting Father” This song is lyrically sweet, and has the simple feel of a beloved old hymn, while allowing for the modern flourishes. Now, I know this sounds cheesy, but I love that this was lead by a female. The lyrics are the type that a man or a woman can sit behind the piano and sing well, but something about the feeling of a precious daughter singing this to her father just pulls on the strings of the heart. This is a beautiful ballad that I hope is not overlooked as quaint. It may be my favourite track on the album.
Since I try to be honest in my reviews and share the good and bad, I want to point out the one glaring flaw I see in this album. It’s actually the same flaw I saw in the last elevation album. I do not see anything here that puts a trademark on Elevation’s worship. There is no bad song on the album, but none of them have a unique identity that screams THIS IS ELEVATION. I feel like you could give these songs to Hillsong, Jesus Culture, Chris Tomlin, or Kari Jobe, and they wouldn’t sound different. Elevation has some amazing members in the band, but they still feel like they are another band in the genre, searching for their identity.
I want to be clear and say that I really enjoyed this album, and think it was well worth listening to. There are some songs on here that I intend on learning. The album is available on itunes and if you are looking for new worship, this is a great album for you. It will encourage and inspire you. It will also give you a new group of songs to add to your repertoire.