Album Review :
One Sonic Society - Live At the Tracking Room

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Artist: One Sonic Society
Title: Live at the Tracking Room
Label: Essential Worship
Release Date: 7/17/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre

Tracklisting:

  1. The Greatness of Our God
  2. Lay Me Down
  3. Always
  4. Higher Than All
  5. Holy (Jesus, You Are)
  6. Jesus, Son of God
  7. Light Shine In
  8. Almighty God
  9. Forever Reign
  10. As For Me
  11. God, You are My God

Comprised of former Delirious? guitarist Stuart Garrard (Stu G.), Hillsong UNITED drummer and producer Paul Mabury, as well as Dove Award winning singer/songwriter/producer Jason Ingram; One Sonic Society have been able to shape and mould the musical worship landscape, with Jason writing, co-writing and producing many different albums from various CCM artists like Meredith Andrews, Tenth Avenue North and Rush of Fools. With their songs ‘Greatness of Our God’, ‘Forever Reign’ and ‘Always’ covered my many artists, and embraced in many churches around the globe; One Sonic Society have released their sophomore album, Live At the Tracking Room, a follow-up from their debut album, Forever Reign, which released in January 2012. Featuring some of their most loved musical offerings in a live setting (‘As For Me’, ‘God, You Are My God’, ‘Almighty God’), and also introducing melodies originally recorded by other artists (‘Holy (Jesus, You Are)’, ‘Jesus, Son of God’, ‘Lay Me Down’); these 11 emotional moments have shown us the real talent of these three men, capturing worship not necessarily in thunderous electric guitars, but in the simplicities of acoustical worship and strong anthems where audience engagement lifts up the listeners to see that Christ is ‘…will have my all, You are my God, You have no rival, You’re the captor of my soul, You are my God, higher than all…’ (‘Higher than All’) Full of poignant, compelling and surrendering moments as listeners abandon their troubles at Jesus’ feet, this live recording in the studio gives another raw side to a band that is quickly rising the ranks as one of the most respected in the CCM/worship industry.

One of my favourite worship songs of the last few years, and covered by Natalie Grant on her album Love Revolution, ‘Greatness of Our God’ starts off the record, with Jason vulnerably crying out ‘…give me eyes to see more of who You are, may what I behold still my anxious heart…’ Amidst the acoustic guitars and the congregation lifting up their voices to the risen King; the song takes on a whole new meaning as I listen to the transparency, hopefulness, and proclamation as we are given the truth that ‘…there is nothing that can ever separate us from Your love…for You my God are greater still…’ Listening to a conglomeration of voices crying out to their Father is an awesome moment, with this song easily being one of my favourites from the band, ever! ‘Forever Reign’ is another one of my favourites ever since I fell in love with the simplicity and profoundness of the lyrical content as I listened to it the first time on WOW Worship: Purple back in 2010. Listening on this record is no different, and possibly even more enjoyable. Complete with electric guitar pedal distortion, we are able to just listen to declaration upon declaration of God’s goodness and faithfulness, that ‘…the riches of Your love, will always be enough…’ Well done One Sonic Society for creating a song that has changed the face of worship music, now and in years to come!

‘God, You are My God’, ‘As For Me’, ‘Almighty God’ and ‘Always’ are also included on the album, each acoustically driven as Jason’s poignant lyrics are drawn out much more profoundly. Reminding us that God is able to help us, and that ‘…almighty God is our fortress, He is with us…we will not fear, though the mountains shake, He is strong to save…’ (‘Almighty God’); we are given a look inside at how the worship is with One Sonic Society: raw, honest, hopeful, presenting us with every aspect of God that we ought to praise Him for. Also covered by co-writer Kristian Stanfill and Superchick lead singer Tricia Brock, ‘Always’ gives us a hope that Christ is stronger than anything that can come against us. Similarly, with ‘God, You are My God’, we are able to lay down our presumptions of Christ and praise Him, just for who He is, understanding through strings, acoustics and vocals that ‘…from the dawn of time You reign, til the end of days, You’re the god who saves…’ The theme of exalting our God is transcendent throughout each of their melodies, placing a first and foremost priority on giving God the glory and presenting everything to God, even if it just the words ‘…my heart will sing, Jesus, Jesus…’ (‘Forever Reign’).

Both featured on Passion: White Flag; ‘Jesus, Son of God’ and ‘Lay Me Down’ are great additions to the song list on Live At the Tracking Room. Co-written with Jason, the Chris Tomlin-led melody that has been circling around the globe as a potential hit following Chris Tomlin’s ‘Our God’; One Sonic Society’s version doesn’t have electric guitars, but rather a stirring vocal as those who came to watch them record the album raise their voices loud and clear as collectively, everyone proclaims that ‘…on the altar of our praise, let there be no other name, Jesus, son of God…’ Full of strings, acoustic guitars and a stirring baseline; we are met with the reality that ‘…the cross was enough…’, signifying that what Jesus did all those years ago was for all humankind, for all those who have lived and all who will. The poignancy of the track is evident, and is further complemented with ‘Lay Me Down’, a rousing dance-praise melody that strikes to the heart of how we ought to ‘…lay me down, I’m not my own, I belong to You alone…’ Filled with hand claps and a strong drum kick, we can’t help but let everything out as we proclaim our intentions for Christ to take control of our lives, no matter what that entails. Scary and comforting at the same time, we are given full confidence of Christ’s promise that a life with Him will be worth the sacrifice and hurt that could cost us more than we may even know. Following Christ is our joy, and as Jason proclaims that ‘…it’ll be my joy to say, Your will, Your way…’ we are given a glimpse at how much Christ as captured his heart, and how joy is seeping through the melody, a sense of satisfaction and relief at surrendering to Christ.

With two new melodies, One Sonic Society have made clear their intentions as they deliver these two songs (possibly new singles from their new studio album!); with ‘Light Shine In’ and ‘Higher than All’. Featuring an awesome guitar hook by Stu G.; ‘Light Shine In’ is the most upbeat song on the album, with the electrical components giving the sound a country sounding. As Jason releases the lyrics ‘…arise for the light has come, darkness bows down to the risen Son…’; we are given a fresh reiterating that death is defeated. An amazing thought as I am able to soak into the song, One Sonic Society have created a musical gem and one that will be grasped by many worship leaders around the world; and how can you not enjoy this song, especially with an amazing tag ‘…let Your kingdom come…’? ‘Higher than All’ is a much more reflective song by One Sonic Society, right from first lyrics ‘…I will dwell in the shadow of the most High God, in the shelter of His mighty wings, my refuge and strength…’ as we just sit and bask in God’s glory, fully grasping that He is Lord, that there is none equal, and that our relationship with Him ought to prove His unending love with us. Full of strings, ‘Higher Than All’ is the band at its best, and one of my favourites on Live At the Tracking Room!

Overall: Jason, Paul and Stu G. have developed one of the most honest, transparent and satisfying worship experiences since Christy Nockels’ Life Light Up! Full of emotional songs full of adoration and transparent worship; familiarity works in the band’s favour, with both ‘Greatness of our God’ and ‘Forever Reign’ standing out as the bands most crowning song achievements. With a collection of new melodies also on this album, long time fans (and new listeners!) of these three men of God are given a glimpse of what their next studio album may encompass. If you enjoy Chris Tomlin, or anyone from Passion, or love to see what Stu G’s up to since the Delirious? days; look no further than Live At the Tracking Room!

RIYL: Passion, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Delirious?

Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3

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