Artist: Kari Jobe
Title: The Acoustic Sessions EP
Label: Sparrow Records
Release Date: 7/17/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- We Are
- Steady My Heart
- Find You On My Knees
- One Desire
- Steady My Heart [Acoustic Video]
- We Are [Acoustic Video]
Kari Jobe, associate pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas; has had a busy year so far, with her highly successful sophomore album Where I Find You releasing to praise and critical acclaim in January 2012. Also releasing Donde Te Encuentro, a Spanish version of Where I Find You in April; Kari Jobe’s latest musical offering that releases to American digital markets on Tuesday July 17th (already releasing in Australia on Friday 13th July!) showcases some of my favourites from her second album, stripped down acoustically as I reflect upon her heart for Christ. With melodies that have become some of my favourite worship songs of 2012 (‘We Are’, ‘One Desire’, ‘Find You On My Knees’); Kari has transformed the musical scene since bursting onto it with her rendition of ‘Revelation Song’ a few years back. With a Christmas album releasing in October; Kari’s acoustic EP is nicely timed, presenting to listeners a more subdued, vocally enhancing group of anthems. One of my favourite EP’s of the year, Kari’s album is able to transport any listener, new or old, into a worshipful atmosphere as we sit back and proclaim that ‘…You’re the breath in me, You’re my everything…’ (‘One Desire’).
As Kari brings all her hopes and emotion to these 5 melodies, I am able to fall in love with these musical moments all over again, as even I, as a listener, a fan and a reviewer, am captivated by her first song on the EP (and first single on Where I Find You), ‘We Are’. With acoustic guitar, cello, grand piano and a snare drum, Kari’s vocals stand out in this plea for listeners to rise up and shine with everything they have for the God who has made such a dramatic impact in their lives. With poignant lyrical moments ‘…we are the light of the world, we are the city on a hill…’ alluding to the Bible passage where Jesus proclaims the necessity of spreading the Gospel; Kari’s chart-topping single has resonated with me (and I’m sure with many other listeners) as we realise the firm push we may sometimes need to live our lives as a beacon of hope, showing everyone where our source of strength comes from. The strong piano undertone has given the song a new and fresh perspective, bringing in new life as we align ourselves with the Father’s heart and the urgency for followers of Christ to make a stand and be the city and light God has called us to be!
‘We Are’ sets the acoustical tone for the rest of the album, with current single ‘Steady My Heart’, radio favourites ‘One Desire’ and ‘Find You On My Knees’, and the piano-only ‘Here’ round up the album’s 5 song track listing, together with two acoustic videos of ‘We Are’ and ‘Steady My Heart’. Receiving a lot of radio airplay currently, ‘Steady My Heart’ does just that; stilling our hearts as we rest in the knowledge that ‘…even when it hurts, even when it’s hard…You steady my heart…’ Full of biblical truths underlaid against light percussion and acoustics, Kari’s voice shows listeners that she is certainly one of today’s most respected, accomplished and popular female worship artists, along with Christy Nockels, Meredith Andrews and Darlene Zschech. ‘Find You On My Knees’ stays close to the original 3:17 length, replacing the grunging electric guitars with soothing acoustics as Kari cries out to the Lord, asserting her claim that ‘…You lift me up, You never leave me thirsty, when I am weak, when I am lost and searching, I find You on my knees…’ A gentle reminder in God’s sovereignty and mercy, Kari gives us a reassuring melody, one in which the cello fits nicely to. ‘Here’, co-written with All Sons and Daughters’ David Leonard and Leslie Jordan; is the most similar to the album version, in some ways, more enjoyable, as I once again soak in the truth that God is with us always. Filled with hauntingly refreshing cello and piano moments, the orchestral sound is highlighted and is fitting as the last track on the EP. Finally, ‘One Desire’s acoustical transformation is a certain highlight of the EP; as I listen to Kari proclaim that Christ is her ‘…one desire, it’s You, only You…’ Reminding us that it is ‘…in Your presence Lord, I will find my strength…’, the acoustic guitar, strips the music back until it’s just us and God, as we meditate on the lyrics, immersing ourselves in the presence of God.
Overall: Kari has achieved plenty with these 5 melodies, transforming the shape of worship music and catapulting her to one of the premier spots in worship music, alongside Paul Baloche, Chris Tomlin, Meredith Andrews and Matt Redman. With her highly successful Where I Find You promoting this acoustic EP, fans of honest and heartfelt worship are certain to rank this album in one of their favourite EP’s of the year (one of my favourites too!- second to The Digital Age’s Rehearsals EP!) As I boldly state that anyone who purchases this digital collection is bound to be blessed (I certainly was!), I am able to rest in the hope that Christ is fully involved in our lives, showing up during moments of need. These acoustic melodies have breathed new life as I listen to their studio counterparts again! Well done Kari for such an awe-inspired record!
RIYL: Chris Tomlin, Meredith Andrews, Paul Baloche, Christy Nockels
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3