Album Review :
Out Of Hiding - Live From Brave Generation
Artist: Out of Hiding
Title: Live From Brave Generation
Label: Catapult Records
Release Date: 4/21/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Break Into Life
- One Church
- King of Angels
- Reason for Hope
- Door of Heaven
- Hail to the King
- Adoption Talk
- Father God
- Follow You
- The Healer Talk
Ever since I heard their song ‘Overcome’, I have been impressed with how Out of Hiding have incorporated passionate worship for a new generation. Reaching the younger generation with their poignant lyrics and musical arrangements; Out of Hiding is a ‘…community of missional musicians birthed out of Holyfire Ministries…with a passion to capture the heart of this generation and ignite authentic Christianity…’ As they released their first live record, Live at Brave Generation in mid-April 2012, I was intrigued at whether they could continue the passion shown through their first radio single ‘Overcome’, and after a few listens, I am certain that this band will continue to provide a fresh and invigorating alternative for modern-day young worshippers. Sharing the stage in the past with Casting Crowns, David Crowder*Band and Tenth Avenue North, this is a band certain to make an impact in 2012!
Considering that Out of Hiding had only released a 4 song EP prior to this live project, I was sceptical at first. Besides, how could they introduce a whole lot of new songs on their live record, I haven’t even listened to them… then I stopped myself and thought. Passion Conferences introduce many songs every year at their annual conferences, so why is this album any different? I decided to give this album a chance, and I’m happy that I did. The album starts off with their newest rocker ‘Break Into Life’. As lead singer and guitarist Justin Kendrick sings out across the guitar distortion and dynamic drums, ‘…I will speak the words of faith into air believing, I will watch for storms to break, a promise that’s worth seeking…’, I am certain that the Lord will always hear us when we cry out, it’s whether we are able to hear Him or not that is the issue. Justin sings with an infectious passion, seen on the live song on the internet; and as I listen to this opener again and again, I am able to worship along with him, praising the God who is longing to break into our lives, to shake up the places that need to be stirred so that we can see with the right focus and be attuned to the things that God is advocating. A very sound opener for the band, this song transitions into the ever-familiar ‘Overcome’.
Both ‘Overcome’ and ‘Door of Heaven’ appear on this album from their debut EP in 2011, and both excel in the live atmosphere. The crowd becomes infectious as they sing out in the chorus ‘…overcome, mercy radiates beyond the pain, the one overcomes, crucified he overtook the grave, hallelujah…’ and we release the prayer that is yearning out of their hearts, for God to continuously remind them that ‘…I am blameless in His eyes…’ As Justin places on his ‘Dan Haseltine’ hat in ‘Door of Heaven’, proclaiming above the electric guitars that ‘…You became the door of heaven, You took my pain and my disease, You carried all the shame for me, You have made an open heaven, the broken chains of the redeemed, a sign for all who will believe…’, we can’t help but worship along with Him, exalting the One who became The Door so that we can walk through any door we need to, with God by our side. A powerful song that could be a potential radio single, well done guys for a captivating song!
There are many other numerous standouts on an album full of things to be discovered. ‘Stand’ is an anthem full of crowd hand-claps and guitar riffs as Justin makes his own declaration, proclaiming that ‘…I will stand, if I stand alone with You, You will hold me far above the storm…’ This is commitment, that even if no one stands with us, we have made our decision to lay everything that we are at the foot of Jesus. With similar themes to ‘Stand’, ‘Follow You’ is a declaration that nothing else matters but Christ. Having an eerie keyboard opening, Justin pours his heart out to the live audience as well as the listeners of the track; as he sings out ‘…deep within this fragile man beyond distraction doubt and pride, there is a heart that beats with hope, there is a love I can’t explain…’ A cry of a man who wants his only ambition to be to follow Christ; I am immensely caught up with the song’s honest plea of emotion, as the listener realises that our hope and life source is in Christ and Christ alone. ‘Found’ starts off with a little piano riff and as the guitars start to come into the frame, I start to think of the rock bands of today, like Hawk Nelson, RED, Relient K and Switchfoot, and how this track could fit nicely in any one of those albums. And quite right so. An anthem for today’s generation, Justin sings some of the most meaningful lyrics of this album, crying out ‘…Calling out now to the silent places, waking from the dead, take it in and be found…’ This is a song that would be memorable along with ‘Overcome’ and ‘Door of Heaven’ when I look back on this album, with Justin proclaiming his heart with passionate lyrical focus and hope as he boldly sings to raise a new generation hungry for a deeper relationship with Christ.
Albums always have some points that need to be improved on, and this is no exception. ‘King of Angels’ times in at a length of 6:07 and is filled with lots of cliché lyrics and repetition ‘…I bow down, holy is the name of the Lord, every tribe and tongue will praise, holy is your name…’ Seemingly a cross between Chris Tomlin’s ‘Holy is the Lord’ and Newsboys ‘He Reigns’, this song wasn’t as exciting as both ‘He Reigns’ or ‘Holy is the Lord’, and at some times was played so slow that I was starting to lose a little focus in listening to it. Trying very hard to be Kutless-meets-Seventh-Day-Slumber for this song; it just didn’t captivate me as much as some others. ‘Hail to the King’ is a song that I commend on the execution and passion of Chrisy Kendrick. But somewhere between the delivery and me listening to the song, I feel like it was sung before, in many formats. With lyrics like ‘…hail to the king, hail to the king, no one can compare, no one can compare…’ it can seem a little cliché and repetitive; already done by other artists. Another little problem was with the lyrics and music in the post production. A few times in the songs, it seemed like the music was too overpowering of the vocals, and I was trying hard to decipher some words. There is a sense of rawness and authenticity in capturing the live atmosphere, but on the flipside, together with the rawness is a sense of rawness in instruments layering down louder than the vocals in some parts.
Overall: Despite these little hiccups, Live From Brave Generation is an album not to pass up. With a passion and hunger to know God more and to rise up a generation selflessly abandoned to Christ, this is an album for those who want an alternative edge to their worship. With many similarities to Kutless, Casting Crowns and Jars of Clay, this is an album recommended to those who prefer a rockier edge to their worship experience!
RIYL: Jars of Clay, Kutless, Casting Crowns, Chris Tomlin
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3