Music Monday: Soul Survivor - The Promise

Music Monday: Soul Survivor - The Promise
 
Release Date: November 17, 2017
 
If you are not familiar with the U.K.-based student ministry Soul Survivor, you would certainly be familiar with names who have been a part of the movement over the years. Artists like Tim Hughes and Matt Redman have given us some of the greatest songs in modern worship today ("Here I Am To Worship", "10,000 Reasons", among several others) and Soul Survivor has been a large part of their story. Established in 1993 by Pastor Mike Pilavachi, the Soul Survivor ministry was created to equip and resource young people and the wider Church. This is primarily done through live events that draw thousands for music, preaching and teaching. Live albums have been a part of Soul Survivor’s ministry that has stretched onto the shores of the American church and beyond. Their latest release, The Promise, (produced by Ben Cantelon) captures the worship of 24,000 teens and young adults who came together to praise Jesus in exuberance, awe and intimacy at summer camps across the U.K.
 
Leading track "Come Holy Spirit" sets a tone of expectancy and a desire for “another move of Jesus.” Led by the commanding vocals of worship director Tom Smith and complete with resonant drums and synth layers, there is an urgency to the song. Building throughout each pass of the bridge and into the last big chorus, Come Holy Spirit would sit well as a service opener; gathering the saints in one voice:
 
Oh as your love goes deeper
Let the flames rise higher
For a great awakening
Come Holy Spirit
We give you the room
Come set our hearts on fire
Completely for you
We’re hungry for the power of your presence
We’re desperate for another move of Jesus
 
Track two “Reality” feels very modern and youthful and I might add, just plain fun. Full disclosure: I’m always drawn to songs with an 80s-ish vibe because after all, I am a child of the 80s (I’m getting old)! But I’m loving the fact that besides a super hooky chorus (Your love is my reality) this song carries its own guitar solo AND also has an epic rap breakdown, led out by Guvna B. How many worship songs can boast that?!
 
There are several intimate moments on The Promise which beckon the listener to just sit at the feet of Jesus and worship. “Jesus I Love You” is a powerful proclamation which draws forth our response to the cross. Its simplicity only adds to the track’s impact. Beth Croft leads the contemplative “Build My Life” which features an ensemble of co-writers including Pat Barrett and Matt Redman. The power ballad-esque "Sing Your Glory (Praise The Lord)" again showcases Tom Smith’s vocals which cut through and above the instrumentation as he leads the gathered throng to sing:
 
Praise the Lord, O my soul
Sing His name, God of all
Oh, thank You, Jesus, Your love endures
Praise the Lord, O my soul
Praise the Lord, O my soul
 
There are a couple of unexpected inclusions on the album; one of which is the appearance of Rend Collective. The Irish outfit brings its best foot stompers to the tracklist leading “Every Giant Will Fall” and “The Joy Of The Lord.” The energy is nearly palpable from the live setting to the recording…oh to have been in the room for those moments! The other unexpected but very welcomed addition is Soul Survivor’s cover of “What A Beautiful Name.” Bearing similarity to Hillsong’s original version (with Brooke Ligertwood), this version is as good as any I’ve heard. Major props go out to Beth Croft for leading strongly and flawlessly (gave me goosebumps!) on a track that has become an anthem for so many churches this past year.
 
In closing, it’s the title track that sums up so well the intent and theme of this album. “The album title, The Promise, highlights the fact that God has sworn that He will never leave us,” states Mike Pilavachi. “He goes with us whether we’re gathered together at a big event, or worshipping quietly alone. His love, grace and mercy are unchanging and we hope and pray these songs are a blessing to many as they worship and walk with our amazing Jesus.” I love the mission of Soul Survivor and the fact that the heart of the ministry comes through loud and clear on projects like The Promise. I’m convinced that not only will these songs impact many of the youth in our churches, but will also go beyond to make a lasting impact upon entire generations.
 
Until the next #musicmonday, God bless!
 
Derek Charles Johnson is a Christ-follower, worship leader & songwriter residing in Spring Hill, Tennessee. He can be reached at info@derekcharlesjohnson.com
 

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