Artist: Jeff Deyo
Title: Moving Mountains
Release Date: 8/7/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Moving Mountains
- Lord Most High
- Love is Who You Are
- Perfection of Beauty
- We Delight
- Shake this Place
- King of Worlds
- Rescue Me
- Come Alive
Once the lead singer of Christian worship rock band Sonicflood; Jeff Deyo has had much critical and commercial acclaim since he started making solo records since 2002. Famous for his songs with Sonicflood like ‘I Want to Know You’ and ‘Holy One’, Jeff has released his 5th solo album August 7th, titled Moving Mountains. Produced by Otto Price (Nicole C Mullen, BarlowGirl) and Mark Heimermann (Newsboys, Downhere), Jeff’s latest worship album has been able to exceed all the preconceived ideas I had of it (which was not much because I honestly hadn’t listened to any of Jeff’s solo material from start to finish!). Filled with a strong guitar undertone, each track speaks about how Christ comes into our lives and moves the mountains that are in our way, preventing us from reaching our God-given potential. With an ingenious cover depicting a mountain, Jeff reminds us through melodies co-written with Jonathan Lee and Sarah Reeves; that our God is here, present and active in our lives. From Jeff himself, ‘…in recording this CD, my heart burns particularly for people to be stirred in their faith to trust God for rescue in the hardest of times…’, we are reassured of God’s faithfulness to His people, and that ought to give us confidence as we step forward in Christ to conquer the mountains we have before us!
‘Moving Mountains’, presumably the first single on the album, showcases some of Jeff’s best work, and one of my favourites of his along with covers ‘More Love, More Power’ and ‘I Give You My Heart’. Starting of with some clever guitars and drum kicks, Jeff relays to the listeners that God is much more powerful than the mountains that we have in our lives. Speaking about how we can sometimes only see the mountain in front of us, Jeff sings out some of my favourite lyrics on the album, that ‘…You alone have the nations in your hands, You alone are moving mountains in these lands…’, giving us comfort that the God who made the universe is personal enough to move the things in our lives that are stopping us from communing with Him. ‘Come Alive’, the last song on the album, is equally as moving and stirring, with Jeff’s singing style reminding me of Matthew West. As Jeff cries out ‘…and I come alive when I’m with You, when I look in Your eyes, I’m made new…’, we are able to understand that Christ makes all things new, thematically similar to Steven Curtis Chapman’s ‘All Things New’. Presented with an acoustic funk vibe full of light percussion, this swaying last track is a perfect end to an album of worship!
‘Perfection of Beauty’ starts with a synth opening filled with a reverbing electric guitar reminding me of eerie Egyptian music, as Jeff gives an account about how Christ came to us in our hopelessness, ‘…like a rainbow through the shadows, breaking through my sorrow to the dawn…’, showing us one of the most humble things anyone can do for someone else. With his first mission to give listeners the truth of Christ’s sacrifice, Jeff shows through guitar synths God’s unending grace and sufficient mercy, directly correlating Christ’s sacrifice as ‘…a perfection of beauty…’ ‘Love is Who You Are’, filled with soft acoustics and light guitars; shows listeners a hopeful melody that gives us comfort that even in the hard times, God is always with us. Reminding us that Christ is love and that ‘…God you are love, love so deep, deep and mighty…love so pure, pure and holy…’, ‘Love is Who You Are’ is a heartfelt pile of great promises of who God is, and His promises for mankind! ‘Lord Most High’, initially thought of as a cover by worship artist Travis Ryan, is really one of the easiest to learn for churches on the album. As Jeff cries out ‘…magnified, glorified, let all the earth testify…let us love the Lord most high…’, declaring his intentions for his mighty King; I am able to soak in the worship song and sing along with him, to some of the most easiest lyrical and musical arrangements on the album- hopefully a church-song played in churches soon!
‘Shake this Place’ is the most guitar driven and electronic song on the album, full of hopeful truths of fixing our eyes on Christ, ‘…our all-consuming fire, come and shake…this place, break away these chains so only truth remains…’ A declaration that can seem unsettling when Christ actually comes to shake the things we hold dear, to remind us of His presence and all-satisfying nature, these words need to be sung and said, as we continue to fix our eyes on Him- ‘…the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God…’ (Hebrews 12:2- NIV). ‘Eternity’ begins with a reverbing keyboard and strings building up to a proclamation of God’s worth, reminding us of what He has done throughout history and what He can do for us in today’s history moment; ‘…You turn the hearts of kings and kingdoms, You’re reaching out to every child, You turn the lights to every darkened soul, You hold us all within Your hands…’ Filled with a simple melody anyone can sing along to, this 5 and a half minute melody is one anthem destined to be sung in churches around the world (along with ‘Lord Most High’). ‘Rescue Me’ is also of similar length to ‘Eternity’, a prayer to the Father to ‘…come and rescue me, I am on my knees, I can barely breathe…’ a statement that may be true of many people searching for purpose and meaning. This acoustically reverbing track is one for reflection as we dwell in God’s presence and soak in His promises for us!
Overall: There is a moment in ‘King of Worlds’ that sums up the entire record, as Jeff proclaims that God is the ‘…King of worlds, God of galaxies, Lord of all, the Prince eternally…’, giving reminder of God’s supreme power, yet equally humble nature in light of what He has conquered (death!) to let us be connected back to Him! Filled with plenty of musical experimentation all with a worshipful atmosphere, Jeff’s comeback album since 2007 is met with such anticipation and has certainly lived up to expectations. Each of these 10 tracks are a joy to listen to! For fans of the original Sonicflood, Jeff Deyo’s independently produced album is one of my favourite independent worship albums since The Sonflowerz’ By Faith back in September 2011!
RIYL: Steve Fee, Sonicflood, Chris Tomlin, Starfield
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3