Album Review :
Brett Younker - Come To The Water

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Artist: Brett Younker
Title: Come To The Water
Label: independent
Release Date: 6/5/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre

Tracklisting:

  1. Come to the Water
  2. People of the Rising
  3. Every Miracle
  4. My Deliverer
  5. Lost in Wonder
  6. Not Ashamed
  7. Holy Mystery
  8. God is Able
  9. We Will Go
  10. Promised Land

As I was browsing through iTunes the other day, I stumbled upon Brett Younker, a worship artist from Atlanta, Georgia. Listening through his repertoire of songs on iTunes, I discovered his innate ability to record decent cover renditions of well known worship songs, like Chris Tomlin’s ‘Our God’, Hillsong’s ‘Arms Open Wide’, Fee’s ‘Rise and Sing’, and Kristian Stanfill’s ‘Alive and Running’. Discovering his background, I was amazed to find out the connection between his cover songs and the place he leads worship at- he is a worship pastor at Passion City Church, led and founded by Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin. No wonder Brett sounds very much like Chris Tomlin throughout his 3rd album, Come to the Water! Listening through these ten tracks, I can boldly claim that if Chris Tomlin sung this, he could even pass it off as his own: these ten songs are that good to have the ‘Chris-Tomlin-stamp’! With rich lyrical moments of hope, praise and adoration, Brett Younker sings with such passion and integrity, thus making Come to the Water one of the most fruitful worship albums over these past few months in 2012!

‘Come to the Water’ is the first track on the album, and starts off with a light electric guitar riff hook that is able to accentuate the lyrical moments as Brett sings out ‘…come to the water all who are thirsty, come and be filled…’ Dwelling upon how God is the river and well we drink our salvation from, and the energy source of our faith; Brett is able to show us that we can just come as we are to Christ, to be healed, freed and filled as we bring our lives, as broken as they may be, and watch the Father restore us from the inside out. A worship anthem that is certain to be in churches soon (or perhaps on the next Passion record!), Brett proclaims that God ‘…brings our hearts to life…’, reminding us that without Christ, our hearts are dead, wandering and being subjected to the same mundane routine daily. A song of freedom shown as Christ comes to turn our perception of worship on its head, Brett has done an amazing job through his first song! One of my favourites, ‘Come to the Water’, though it may sound cliché; presents us a theme that is revolutionary. Well done Brett for this compelling song!

Both ‘Not Ashamed’ and ‘God is Able’ are covers, first by Kristian Stanfill and then by Hillsong. Before coming into this album, I hadn’t heard Hillsong’s ‘God is Able’ in its entirety and as I listened to Brett’s version, I was compelled at how lyrically rich the song was, full of drums, guitars, as well as sound biblical content, showing us that God is ‘…lifted up, He defeated the grave, raised to life, our God is able…’ Understanding that God is able to willing to do anything that He can for His creation to draw near towards Him; we are met with the revelation that as God raised Jesus from the grave, He can thus conquer anything, making any task in our way nothing in comparison to the resurrection. Encouragement as to how to see situations that seem to be impossible, ‘God is Able’ is a must in churches, and as of now, is one of my favourites from Hillsong! On the other hand, I was able to listen to ‘Not Ashamed’ by Kristian Stanfill, and Brett’s passionate version stays true to the original. With an electronic start filled with gang vocals and plenty of guitars, Brett starts to sing out ‘…the power of Your love, running through my heart, shame has lost its grip on me…’ describing how Christians ought to be not ashamed about their faith as they witness to their friends, family, and those that will listen. About being bold about what we believe in despite our circumstances, ‘Not Ashamed’ is a perfect fit for this album. This song is also enhanced by the tag at the end where Brett vulnerably calls out ‘…we’ll be a city on a hill, burning brightly…’, giving us encouragement that while we’re here on Earth, we ought to be God’s hands and feet, showing Christ wherever we go. Full of enthusiasm and energy, ‘Not Ashamed’ is a great rendition of a Kristian Stanfill fan favourite!

‘Every Miracle’, ‘People of the Rising’ and ‘My Deliverer’ are all songs of hope and promise as Brett shows listeners’ God’s heart for the new generation of believers rising up and claiming the promises in Christ; understanding that God only wants the best for His children. ‘People of the Rising’ is a declaration song, with massive guitars, big drum beats and harmonious backing vocals to create such a huge anthem song. As Brett asserts, ‘…we sing Jesus, Jesus, there is power in Your name…You have pulled us from the grave, we are the people of the rising…’ we understand the cost of our salvation: Jesus’ death and resurrection. Hanging between two thieves and a spectator crowd is a shameful way to die, yet Jesus did it for us, so that we can proclaim His goodness for eternity. ‘My Deliverer’ feels like a song I’ve heard before, but I know I haven’t. With such a simple melody full of heartfelt moments, Brett proclaims that God is our deliverer, our refuge in our time of need. With an acoustic undertone, Brett sings out ‘…oh my deliverer, You are the rock of my salvation…’ worshipping Christ our redeemer and friend! ‘Every Miracle’ starts with a guitar riff similar to The Museum’s ‘Allelujah’, as Brett gives out our promise that God breathes life into our lifeless bones, that God’s miracle of life is spoken with just one word from His lips. Such powerful imagery highlighting His awesomeness and our desperate need for Him, Brett has given us a song of marvel as I am in awe of who He is and His relationship with us!

From being lost is adoration and marvel at what Christ has done and will continue to do in the future (‘Lost in Wonder’), to giving an honest portrayal at how we constantly need to be immersed in Christ as He renews our lives (‘Holy Mystery’), it is the last song, ‘Promised Land’, that one of my favourite anthems from Brett. Reminding us that ‘…Your promises are faithful…’, Brett gives us hope that as we live our lives in Christ, the promised land promised to the Israelites can be given to us. Coupled with a stirring vocal choir at the end of the song to create a fitting end to such a heartfelt album, Brett has shown us that God has our lives in His hands, intricate plans for our thriving, both here on earth and also with Him in heaven!

Overall: These ten tracks are full of lyrical richness that is certainly worth the money parting on iTunes. From ballads like ‘My Deliverer’ to rocking anthems like ‘Not Ashamed’, Brett has created 10 moments of hope and surrender to a God that assures us of our safety in Him. A definite purchase for fans of Chris Tomlin and the rest of the Passion team; well done Brett for such a moving and satisfying musical journey! Can’t wait for album no. 4 when it releases!

RIYL: Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman

Buy the Album: iTunes

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