It's not a good sign when your album cover is more creative than the music within. But such is the case with Elevation Worship's Mack Brock and his new EP, Covered. The nifty thrift store, vintage vinyl packaging of the album seems to suggest a scrappy indie rock record, but the "paint-by-numbers" modern worship of the tracks within is not nearly as inspired. It's a tough thing to have to offer a criticism of sincerely-made worship music, but as long as there is money being charged for an album, an honest analysis is warranted.
Brock has been a creative part of such notable worship songs as Elevation's "O Come To The Altar" and "Do It Again", but, alas, his solo work seems to be lacking the notable melodic twists and memorable lyrical moments of those songs. While there is nothing particularly grating or poorly done here, the six mid-tempo worship songs on Covered glide by without much impact.
Opener "I Am Loved" offers a nice intro with layered keyboards and Brock's fine voice, but it fails to launch into any memorable melody or rhythmic structure. The lyrics are solid however, with Brock stating sincerely, "There is no disappointment in Your eyes / There is no shame there is only pride / I am loved / Father, I'm loved by You."
"After Me" is also a pleasant, if tepid, song. Continuing the theme of the Lord pursuing his children, Brock uses a nice bit of ocean imagery when he states "When I'm anxious / and I don't know what to do / You remind me that my future is with You / 'Cause like a river rushing out into the sea / Your presence runs after me / After me." "Still In Control" samples lyrics from the classic hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" to nice effect, and with a slightly varied tempo, the song breaks out of the mid-tempo rut. "King Of Heaven" likewise surges in energy (comparatively speaking), and features a good congregational melody. The ending title track is pleasant, with fellow Elevation vocalist London Gatch joining Brock for a duet. But the song slides by without making much of an impact.
Much of modern worship music being put out today has a distinct "formula" in its writing and production, with certain beats that need to get hit and boxes that need to get checked. Mack Brock mines this formula well, but in doing so has made an EP of songs that sounds and feels like everything else out there. Given time and experience, there's no doubt that he will make something truly memorable and unique. The talent and will are there. But, alas, Covered is not that record.- Review date: 3/22/19, written by Alex Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Sparrow Records; Capitol Christian Music Group
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