Album Review :
Seth Condrey - Keeps On Changing

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Artist: Seth Condrey
Title: Keeps On Changing
Label: North Point Music
Release Date: 8/27/13
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre

Tracklisting:

  1. Speechless
  2. Can’t Outrun Your Love
  3. Oh Radiant!
  4. Keeps on Changing
  5. The Answer
  6. You Love My Soul
  7. Help Me
  8. God of the Impossible
  9. Love Like Fire
  10. Morning Hymn
  11. Your Kingdom

One of the chief worship leaders at North Point Community Church, Seth Condrey’s passion for worship and hope to ignite melodies in the hearts of youth and young people around the world is certainly reflected in the albums from North Point that he has been a part of. While mostly being a Spanish Christian artist in the past (because of his adoptive brother from Venezuela, and how he also travelled to Argentina during his late teens), Seth’s hope to provide fresh, invigorating and emotional worship melodies has certainly been achieved in his forthcoming album, Keeps on Changing. Releasing his first English album on the North Point Music label, we are given a personal account of his life through song, and are invited into the story telling of his own ups and downs throughout his Christian walk. Produced by Dove Award winning producer Phillip LaRue (one half of the previously popular band LaRue) and featuring co-writes from LaRue himself, as well as Seth Mosley, Ed Cash and Tenth Avenue North frontman Mike Donehey (who also sings a duet with him on ‘Love Like Fire’), this is a certain purchase if you love the worship North Point Ministries releases each year, or any other worship movement album release, from such like Jesus Culture, Hillsong or Passion. Full of intense heart and honest reflection, we are called in this collection of 12 songs to remember that …it is also the story of many of our lives…God continues to take the messes we make and change us…into something more beautiful, more eternal…’ Reminding me musically like worship artists Chris Tomlin, Tim Hughes and Tenth Avenue North; Keeps on Changing is a solid album release amidst other higher profile artist albums releases, from Love and the Outcome and Mandisa, to newcomers Soulfire Revolution and The Digital Age. While not necessarily the most recognisable vocally nor namewise (even in today’s Christian worship music industry), Seth’s new album is still a blessing to whoever listens, encouraging myself personally to check out his previous English album released in 2009 (and hopefully his Spanish album material in months and years to come!).

The first song and the first radio single from the album, ‘Speechless’ starts off the album in great fashion as the anthem provides a declaration of praise from us to the Father as we let Him know that we are speechless and in awe of His works of grace and wonder. With riveting electric guitars and a keyboard riff to bring forth the heartfelt emotion attached to the song as it starts to play, Seth lets out some poignantly motivating and encouraging words of how ‘…You leave us speechless, breathless, Jesus, worthy…there is no one like You God…’; something that ought to be the cry of our hearts constantly if we are to call ourselves children and lovers of God. Vocally sounding similar to other North Point artists like Eddie Kirkland and Casey Darnell, as well as Tenth Avenue North frontman Mike Donehey; Seth pours out his heart in the first track to convey to us the necessity for thanks and gratitude for our king in the midst of our full understanding of the lengths of His love, to the point of death on a cross for us. One of my favourite songs on the album, ‘Speechless’ will hopefully leave the listener in awe, not just of the music but of the worshipful moment that Seth creates when declaring out the truths in this song. Well done Seth in ‘Speechless’, hopefully we can be ‘speechless’ when we hear that track also!

‘Can’t Outrun Your Love’ delves into the notion and understanding that we can’t go anywhere without God’s presence following us. With light acoustics, and Seth’s powerful vocals, this is a song certain to be enjoyed by listeners who love reflective-like worshipful music. Taking vocal elements from Mike Donehey (in fact, most of the album showcases Seth channelling some of Mike’s distinct vocal sounds here and there), Seth gives us great confidence and confronting feelings (both at once), as we understand that because we can’t outrun God’s love, it means He’s always there no matter what, even in the dark places. A song that’ll hopefully give us hope that ‘…Your mercy finds me out and in Your arms I’m found…’; ‘Can’t Outrun Your Love’ is a great song to soak and reflect in, as you’re reading or doing daily activities around the house. The title track ‘Keeps on Changing’ develops an acoustical music backdrop and reminds me of something Shane and Shane would do, as we’re given a moment of realisation that once we’re in Christ and Christ in us, we can’t help but be changed from the inside out as we continually delve more into His presence; while ‘The Answer’ continues along with the acoustic guitar music background to present to us that Jesus is the answer to our troubles and queries. A shelter, hope, comfort and encouragement, Seth encourages God to ‘…come Lord Jesus come, like the rising sun, come let every heart sing of Your great love…’; giving a unified atmosphere when it comes to Christians coming collectively to Christ, declaring that He is the answer and God of every aspect of our lives. Also presenting the rousing rock anthem ‘God of the Impossible’ that gives listeners a moment of powerful declaration as Seth declares that God is the God of the impossible, giving us confidence and trust as we undertake seemingly impossible tasks in our lives; as well as the piano heavy ‘Oh Radiant!’, a Daniel Bashta-esque (vocally) melody that declares that God is radiant, ‘…without words You describe it, like the fire in the skies, Your love burns for the world…’; Seth’s collection of songs with varying musical styles will certainly appeal to listeners of the varied worship genre, from listeners of upbeat music to that of reflective styles. Seth’s versatility is a certain great asset, not just on Keeps on Changing, but hopefully and future albums to come.

From presenting a desperate plea to the Lord via acoustic guitars and a folksy beat, asking Him to help us with various circumstances (‘Help Me’) to ending the album with a soft and reflective hymn-like song that promotes the Kingdom of God and elevates the lowly to places of righteousness and encouragement (‘Your Kingdom’); it is the poignant songs of ‘You Love My Soul’ and duet ‘Love Like Fire’ that are certain standouts, and songs that mean a lot and are memorable to Seth. With Seth sharing the struggles of writing ‘You Love My Soul’ and how …I started writing it after my mother-in-law died in 2010…’; we are constantly reminded of how ‘…You see beyond these bones…the earth is not the end of me…’, something that should be a the back of our minds so that we don’t become afraid, unsure or even apprehensive about the ends of our lives. A song that places death and new life into perspective, ‘You Love My Soul’ encourages us to take our lives and place them in the hands of Christ, the keeper and protector of our soul. ‘Love Like Fire’ has some great electric guitar instrumentation and in many ways, is possibly the most enjoyable song on the album. Hopefully the second single from the album, both Mike Donehey and Seth trade vocals and lay out the themes of how we are thankful for God’s great love for us as we are encouraged to share that same love to others. Placing a metaphor in the song title, we ought to spread God’s love like fire, declaring and proclaiming the gospel as we show that God’s love is unconditional, identity building and certainly rewarding in the whole process. Even though most of these songs are very similar in theme, Seth’s melodies are great options for the church as we declare and welcome in a new season for us with Christ. Well done Seth for these poignantly emotional tracks that place both ‘You Love My Soul’ and ‘Love Like Fire’ as some of my favourite songs on Keeps on Changing.

Overall: With similar music and lyrical styles to the rest of the artists on North Point Music’s label (Casey Darnell, Eddie Kirkland, Todd Fields); Seth Condrey’s new album is a joy to listen to as Seth brings to the fore new songs for the church through a conglomeration of musical themes and genres, from upbeat to reflective, to portraying a song with only a few instruments. A great present for anyone who loves modern worship songs a la North Point or Chris Tomlin; Seth Condrey’s new album (which releases on the same day as the highly anticipated All In by Stellar Kart and the debut album from Love and the Outcome) does enough to stand tall amongst these releases, warranting a listen or at least an inquisitive mind when it comes to checking out the new album from one of North Point Music’s most popular artists. Well done Seth for a great job in bringing us fresh and new songs that are able to be played in worship services around the world.

RIYL: North Point Music, Chris Tomlin, Eddie Kirkland, Fee

Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3

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