‘Tides’ proves lyrically dynamic, moving

Tides proves lyrically dynamic, moving

Brittany Cornelison

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Bethel Music is an organic extension of Bethel Church in Redding, CA and comprises of the church’s worship leaders. According to bethelmusic.com, “the heart of Bethel Music is to be a steward of the worship being created and released from within the local church, making it a resource available to the world.” Even though they began in the church, they have created a worship ripple across the world.  The group consists of a husband and wife duo, Brian and Jenn Johnson, as well as Jeremy Riddle, Steffany Gretzinger, William Matthews, Matt Stinton and Hunter Thompson. Since its founding, Bethel Music has created five albums, including “Tides”, which was released this past Tuesday, Sept. 3. 
I was obviously excited to hear this new album; I was hooked for weeks on their single,  “Chasing You,” which was released prior to the rest of the album. This song, sung by Jenn Johnson, is upbeat and talks about wanting to chase after God in every aspect of life.  Jenn made it her purpose as a worshiper to not seek personal gain, but to worship God alone. In this song she sings, “As you move, I’m right beside You, oh, I’m running after You, I want to be where You are,” encouraging listeners to wholeheartedly chase after God.
For Bethel’s first studio recording, “Tides” shows no signs of amateurism  The musical composition and lyrics flow perfectly together, creating a fluency that entices listeners. But there is something else proclaimed through this album; you can sense an honest proclamation of faith. You can tell just by listening that each singer fully believes the message they are conveying through the lyrics of each song. This is something I feel is unique to Christian music. Not only are there some very talented Christian artists out there, but when listening to their songs, one knows that the lyrics they sing match up with their heart and their faith in God. “Tides” is a great example of this.
Several songs stand out on this album, including “Forever” and “For the Cross”, each for their deep messages about the purpose of the life of Christ. Even with a message that is at the core of Christianity, these songs make it simple and to the point, along with having a memorable sound. My personal favorite on this album is “Come Awaken Love” which is led by Hunter Thompson. This song is incredible catchy and I have been singing it since the first time I heard it. I was drawn in by Thompson’s unique voice, it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before. He hits notes that I could never imagine reaching. But aside from the unfailing vocals, the song speaks of awakening love in the souls of those who are lost. Thompson proclaims that God’s love is amazing and once awakened in us, we will be unstoppable.
Usually when I write music reviews, I talk mostly about the vocals and the vibe of the music, both of which are flawless in this album. The album has songs that I can sit down and relax to, but there are also songs that are upbeat enough that I can run to, and the mix of the two beats is anything but cohesive. The team that makes up Bethel Music consists of incredibly talented musicians and vocalists who have obviously spent a great deal of their lives perfecting their talents to reward us with this final product. But more than anything, the message of this album is the most important thing to walk away with. Brian Johnson, founder of Bethel Music put it like this in an interview with newreleasetuesday.com“Through it all, God is in control. Through the whole album, there’s struggle, there’s tension, but then there is a reminder that God is always in control.”
By Brittany Cornelison
Have you listened to this album yet? What are your thoughts?
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