Listen to the new album from City Psalms!
Listen to the new album from City Psalms!

JFH Staff Review


Zealand Worship, The EP
CLICK COVER TO ENLARGE

Zealand Worship
The EP



Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Pop / Worship
Album length: 7 tracks: 28 minutes, 2 seconds
Street Date: June 23, 2015 / September 11, 2015


READER RATING:   


Those who are still mourning the changes to the current Newsboys lineup have had many opportunities to assuage their grief with the many releases of former Newsboys Peter Furler and Phil Joel in the last few years. Both artists (and longtime friends) make music that instantly brings to mind the classic albums of their former band, yet sound fresh and exciting as well. Joel's new project, Zealand Worship, (a name that tips its hat to Joel's homeland of New Zealand) has the Newsboys DNA thoroughly embedded in it (as have most of his solo albums), yet still makes for a compelling and enjoyable listen.

Opening instrumental track "Awaken (Prelude)" builds at a nice pace to explode into track two, "You Awaken My Soul." This song draws out its length with a nifty bridge and choral ending, and what could have been a simplistic, three-minute worship tune turns into something a bit more interesting. "Good Good Father," the EP's first single (and a late addition to it), is a swirly bit of heartfelt worship that frames the notion of the fatherhood of God against the tough connotations of what some know their fathers to be. Joel has been writing about the subject of fatherhood (and absent fathers) as far back as the song "Always" from the late 90's Newsboys album, Step Up To The Microphone, and incorporating fatherhood imagery into a worshipful song is a nice move.

"Savior" show a nifty touch with the lyrics, such as "we are found, still you are chasing us, we alive but still you're reviving us," and demonstrates a veteran approach to worship music. "Greener" uses nature imagery to assert that "every test we go through, our roots grow stronger and deeper into you, and though the rain may not fall, our leaves turn greener than they were before."

By the time "That's Who You Are" rolls around, the anthemic formula starts to wear a bit thin, but thankfully final track "Lead Us To Your Heart" ends the EP well with a slow build of a song that explodes in the second half, then ebbs and flows tempo-wise till a superb rave up and quiet ending close out the set.

Zealand Worship may be a "new" band on the scene, but Phil Joel is a veteran songwriter whose songs here are meatier and craftier than the average worship tune. Zealand's first EP is a welcome return from an old friend.

- Review date: 9/14/15, written by Alex Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Word / Warner Records
. Album length: 7 tracks: 28 minutes, 2 seconds
. Street Date: June 23, 2015
. Buy It: iTunes

  1. Awaken (Prelude) (2:19)
  2. You Awaken My Soul (5:06)
  3. Good Good Father** (3:38)
  4. Savior (4:08)
  5. Greener (4:07)
  6. That's Who You Are (4:05)
  7. Lead Us To Your Heart (4:43)

    **not on original release

 

 

 



Leave a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

 

 

go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive

 


(JFH Sponsor Spot)

 

 

           
Check out the new album from Ovation Worship!

Search JFH



This Friday, February 21, 2020
David & Nicole Binion Glory of Eden [Integrity]
Getty Music The Life of Christ Qunitology: Passion [Getty Music]
Natalie Grant My Weapon - Single [Curb/Word]
Ellie Holcomb Sing: Remembering Songs EP (independent)
Hulvey BRKNHRT EP [Reach]
Jordan and Jessa Glorious (independent)
North Point Worship Just Getting Started (feat: Lauren Anderson) / Nothing Else Matters (feat. Heath Balltzglier and Desi Raines) - Single [Centricity]
Chris Renzema 17 - Single [Centricity]

Next Friday, February 28, 2020
Paul Baloche Behold Him [Integrity]
Tina Boonstra Out of My Depth - Single [7 Core]
The Classic Crime Patterns in the Static (independent?)
Rob Graves Solstice (independent?)
Neon Feather Do or Die - Single [Centricity]
John Schlitt Go [Girder]

Next Saturday, February 29, 2020
20 lb Sledge Divine Battery [Roxx]
The Thomas Thompson Earth Project Dreamland Lovecraft [Roxx]


For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the new album from City Psalms!




Listen to the 100th Episode of the JFH Podcast!