Jesus Culture’s singer-songwriter Kim Walker-Smith recently released a solo album entitled On My Side through Jesus Culture Music and Capitol CMG back in April. Walker-Smith is known for her powerful and captivating voice both in Jesus Culture and in her solo work. On My Side is Walker-Smith’s worshipful outpouring in response to the recent events in her life, including the birth of a child and the passing away of her father. True to the title of the album, the recurring theme of these songs showcase the different ways that God is on our side no matter what season of life we are in.
“Brave Surrender”, the first track, has a catchy intro and verse. A steady rhythm is maintained throughout this song about letting go of worries and surrendering to God to focus on eternity. A stand-out verse is “On the other side I will find You/ leaving my fears behind”.
Track two “Glimpse” has an inviting intro. The chorus is catchy yet worshipful and evokes feelings of joy and anticipation for eternity. The lyrics ask God for his perspective on eternity. “You are greater than my wildest dreams/ You are more than any song could sing/ can’t contain all the joy You bring /Oh I’m dancing /Oh I’m dancing” are the passionately sung lyrics from the bridge. Also on the upbeat side, “You Define Me” reminds listeners that only the words of love from Christ define us. The anthemic declaration of the bridge is one that all Christians should declare on a daily basis: “No fear can hold me hostage/ no lie can keep me bound/ my God has the final word”.
The single off of the album, “Throne Room”, begins with synth and vocal undertones to depict the awe-inspiring feeling of God’s presence. The verses lay low to build up to a powerful chorus that alludes to the description of the Throne Room described in Revelation chapter 4. The minor chords throughout the song help in conveying the pure majesty and mystery of what the glorious presence of God is like.
Similar to Psalm 23 in some regard, “I Know” is a song about being confident in the power of God and holding steadfast to His promises. When listening to the lighter tones of the music, themes of trust and safety come to mind. The bridge quotes the popular hymn “My Hope is Built”, where Kim crescendos back into the chorus.
“Rise” sticks out right from the get-go with its syncopated intro of percussive synth and vocal layers. Background vocals primarily carry the song and play a large role along with the percussion. The accented notes and cleverly placed background singers bring a fun twist to this worship song.
“Awaken Love” is a slow sounding, piano-based tune sung with soft vocals. It’s a prayer about coming back to the moment we first encountered Christ. “You’re the one who breaks my chains, You’re the one who knows my name” are some praiseworthy lyrics from the bridge. “Just One Touch” also has a piano-focused intro colored by impactful cymbal rolls throughout. It sort of parallels the biblical story of a woman touching Jesus’ robe in Luke 8 and Mark 5, but the lyrics broaden the audience by speaking of the times where we come to the end of ourselves. The bridge is particularly powerful, where the lyrics “I feel your fire/ I feel your healing/ all that you are is all that I’m needing” are relatable to all.
The title track has comforting lyrics in the chorus: “You are on my side/ You go before me/ You stand behind/You tell my fear to run/always and forever I am loved/ You are on my side”. “On My Side” is soft and slow. Strings and piano gently allow the vocals to be the focus of this track. It’s a wonderful reminder that nothing can separate us from God’s love.
“Undone” begins with a beautiful rhythmic piano intro. At the chorus the music and vocals both swell to bring the listeners to focus on the work of redemption at the cross. At the bridge, the lyrics “on and on You carry me/ You were there/ You were there even in my wandering” are the high point of the song.
“Fresh Outpouring” closes the album with a call to revival, which is the mission of Jesus Culture. A guitar drives the chorus under Kim’s vocals as she asks God to “make a way where I see none”. It is clear even at the close of the album that it all comes back to being grounded in Christ.
Overall, On My Side is a strong release. Each of the songs is tied to the central theme of being in the middle of hard or desperate times and crying out to God in them. Walker-Smith reminds us to be worshipful even in suffering because He is on our side His promises are true. The album holds a good balance of upbeat and slower songs that listeners can use to worship no matter where they are in life. Each song brings a message of hope that listeners can take with them throughout their day.
Buy On My Side here