Artist: Worship Central
Title: Spirit Break Out
Label: Kingsway Music
Release Date: 1/24/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Spirit of the Living God (Ben Cantelon)
- New Day (Ben Cantelon)
- Saviour of the World (Ben Cantelon)
- At Your Name (Tim Hughes)
- Wait For You (Nikki Fletcher)
- Spirit Break Out (Luke Hellebronth & Miles Dhillon)
- Heaven’s Roar (Spontaneous) (Tim Hughes)
- Now is the Time for Us (Luke Hellebronth)
- For Your Glory (Ben Cantelon & Miles Dhillon)
- Sing Alleluia (Al Gordon)
- Counting On Your Name (Tim Hughes)
- Wake Up (Tim Hughes)
- Undivided Love (Ben Cantelon)
- All Glory (Nikki Fletcher)
A Christian school of worship based from the home church of worship leader Tim Hughes (Holy Trinity Brompton), Worship Central is more than a simple school for worship ministry workers. Rather, more of a movement pioneered by Tim and Al Gordon, aiming to ‘…encounter God, equip the worshipper and empower the local church…’; Worship Central have released their second album, Spirit Break Out, in January 2012. With a conglomeration of worship leaders including Ben Cantelon, Australian and former C3 worship paster Nikki Fletcher, local worship leaders Al Gordon and Luke Hellebornth; as well as Tim himself; Spirit Break Out manages to pack in passion and purpose as we hear the worshipful focus of each of the 14 songs. With melodies destined to make their way into corporate and individual worship (‘At Your Name’, co-written with Phil Wickham, has been popular in churches of late!), Spirit Break Out is one of my favourite live worship albums to come out of the U.K. this year, along with Bluetree’s Kingdom and Rend Collective Experiment’s Homemade Worship for Handmade People!
Right from first listen I was immediately drawn to the co-written Phil Wickham and Tim Hughes anthem, ‘At Your Name’. Staying fairly true to Tim’s version on Love Shine Through, ‘At Your Name’ has been a song that has been able to excel in both churches and radio and has certainly stood out, both on his studio effort and this live worship record. With such honest transparency, Tim offers his praise to the Lord, proclaiming that ‘…at Your name, the mountains shake and crumble, at Your name, the oceans roar and tumble…’, with listeners realising the almighty power of God, that when He speaks, things just happen. Angels bow down, mountains fall in worship; we are even stirred and compelled by the Lord to speak encouragements, or even seek after someone to help them in need. Full of electronics, acoustics and a strong drum backbone, ‘At Your Name’ is a worship song to be sung in total abandon as we don’t care about everything else except our moment between us and God, where we declare that ‘…Yahweh, we love to shout the name of the Lord…’ One of my favourites on Love Shine Through, this is an absolute treasure also on this live lineup. Well done Tim for such an awe-inspiring song and one of my favourite songs of 2012!
Born in Canada but living in the U.K.; Ben Cantelon offers up 4 melodies in Spirit Break Out, each ingenious musically and rich lyrically as I dwell in God’s promises; each song with a vulnerability as Ben gives his heart to proclaim God’s goodness. ‘New Day’ is a guitar driven anthem filled with gang vocals and electronics, with the theme of a new start in our lives as we embark our journey with Christ. Filled with crowd participation, keyboards, and enthusiastic passion as Ben gives out a reminder that ‘…it’s a new start for every heart that’s found You…’; ‘New Day’ moves on to a fan favourite and recently covered by the Newsboys on God’s Not Dead, ‘Saviour of the World’. As Ben relays the gospel in song, he clearly states his intentions during the anthemic build to a chorus full of declarations, giving listeners understanding that ‘…He made us a way, by which we have been saved, He’s the saviour of the world…’ thereby laying an invitation to join Him in proclaiming God as redeemer, friend and Saviour. One of Ben’s finest dance melodies and also featured on Matt Redman’s We Shall Not Be Shaken, ‘For Your Glory’ gives us a reason to ‘…lift up a shout to shake the skies, lift up a cry, “Be glorified!”, the King is coming in…’ with plenty of drum beats and synthesiser effects, giving the listener an invitation to jump up and dance to the declaratory stance Ben delivers through his message of celebration of God’s goodness and glorious majesty. British rapper Miles Dhillon provides great crowd engagement as we are met with a high-energy track full of intense passion and excitement, making this melody one of my favourite from Ben. Lastly, ‘Undivided Love’ provides a subdued-like atmosphere full of keyboards, as Ben proclaims God’s undivided and unending love for His creation. Full of lyrical depth as Ben encourages everyone to ‘…give You my life, Lord You take control…’, we are given a great opportunity to lay everything at the foot of the cross as we realise that as we are given everything in Christ, we cannot help but be compelled to lay down what we have for others. Well done Ben, for these four melodic masterpieces of reflection!
Many artists join in the theme of worship through the remainder songs on the album, giving the listener hope and comfort that God is able to weave our circumstances to create a grand outcome as we live our lives understanding that God’s hand is upon all things in our life. Tim Hughes offers up his hit song ‘Counting on Your Name’, full of gang vocals and guitars as he gives us counsel that we ought to be counting on God’s name during the times in our lives where we need Him to show up, placing our faith in His ability to work through our circumstances. ‘Wake Up’, also by Tim, urges the listener through massive guitars and electronic effects, to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, rising up the earth from its slumber as they begin to realise how awesome He really is. The title track, ‘Spirit Break Out’, is a piano-based melody that encourages the Holy Spirit to move and dwell within us, breaking down the barriers between God and us as we delve deeper in relationship with Christ. ‘Sing Alleluia’, by the co-founder of Worship Central, Al Gordon; is a simple melody proclaiming God’s goodness as we sing the famous words ‘alleluia’ or ‘hallelujah’; and though very similar to what Hillsong may write, this song does give us 5 minutes to lift up Jesus’ name, knowing that there is nothing holding us back from ‘…[lifting] your hands, join the song, all adore Christ the Lord…’
However, it is both tracks from Australian-born Nikki Fletcher that have made me enjoy this album even more, with her songs, ‘Wait For You’ and ‘All Glory’. As I sit in the song ‘Wait For You’ along with the musical elements of soft piano and a quiet gentle undertone, I am able to soak in the theme of waiting for God, in the midst of the chaos of the world we live in. With the comforting lyrical moments of ‘…I will wait for You, let my heart be still for You are God…’ we are given an avenue of just waiting and soaking in the Lord’s presence, acknowledging that the Lord’s timing is always perfect. With ‘All Glory’ finishing the album, the best song is saved til last as we are given a rousing anthem, a reason to shout out glory, honour and praise to the King who is worthy of it. With many biblical reminders of God’s great love, stronger than death and keeping the promises we so want fulfilled; we are given confidence to walk in Christ as we live for Him in every task we undertake. Well done Nikki for such a marvellous ending for Spirit Break Out.
Overall: Worship Central’s Spirit Break Out is one of my favourite live worship albums of the year. Full of intense passion and hopeful promises, we are met with encouragement in our Christian walk from many talented artists, each one filled with an intense hunger to see God’s kingdom come to earth. Just by listening to two songs, I have full confidence that Nikki Fletcher can succeed in the British Christian music scene, but also in America too, like Vicky Beeching before her. Both Ben Cantelon and Tim Hughes also shine, providing the best of their respective albums Everything in Colour and Love Shine Through. For anyone who just wants to worship the Lord, this album is one that you won’t put down in a hurry. Well done Worship Central for a satisfying worship experience, on par with Paul Baloche’s The Same Love, Christy Nockels’ Into the Glorious, and Bluetree’s Kingdom!
RIYL: Vicky Beeching, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3