Review Date: 07/03/14
Review By: Jessica Morris
Release Date: 06/03/14
Rating: [usr 8.5]
Recorded live in Sacramento at their Encounter Conference in January, Jesus Culture delivers the album Unstoppable Love. A collection of 13 songs led by Chris Quilala and Kim Walker-Smith, the team have put together what is perhaps their strongest live recording to date. Director Banning Liebscher has said the vision for this release is, “That you would encounter the unstoppable, over-the-top, zealous, extravagant love that God has for you.” And in true form, the band stemming from the youth ministry of Bethel Church CA, have communicated this generously, enabling people all over the world to join them in this prolific worship experience.
Opening with the track, “Sing Out,” fans will be struck by the unique sound of the band. Rather than jumping in with a full sound and plenty of synth, this song uses a selection of keyboard and guitar riffs to create an instant expectancy that you will meet God in this moment. The live recording displays a near perfect blend between the instrumentation and vocalists, and their unison attributes to a majestic tone throughout the album. “We Will Run” continues in this urgency, Walker-Smith beginning succinctly with a trademark guitar rift that few vocalists could compete and meet with. The use of synth communicates that this is a praise song, yet the band’s unique style and selection of instruments keep listeners in a place of worship. Lyrically, this song also prepares the way for the rest of the recording with the lyrics, “We remember the price you paid at the cross. Your love is calling.”
“Light of the World” is a victorious track, balancing tempered verses with a soaring chorus as the band pulls from the Biblical truth of Christ and his sacrifice. “Surrender All” begins with an acoustic sound and uses a simple melody to further facilitate an atmosphere of worship. In a no holds barred approach, every track on this recording displays an abandon to worship Christ and glorify him and the choice to have Walker-Smith begin the following track “Unstoppable Love” minus an introduction exemplifies this, as we are immediately drawn into a dramatic, yet authentic, declaration about the character of God. “Your Name is Glorious” carries this same tone, the conviction and unity between each member of the band marking this release as a step up from many others.
“No other Like You (We Will Exalt You)” has Quilala lead listeners back to a quiet place of worship with his pure and authoritative vocals before “You Made A Way” sheds the need for complicated lyrics and instrumentation. This is expanded upon with the repetition of simple statements of faith like “I am yours, you are mine.” “We Stand” and “Wide Open” continues in this ease, making room for the listener to draw close to God and surrender to him. “Born of God” and “In Awe of You” then draw the album to its conclusion with a cover of Matt Redman’s “1000 Reasons.”
Unstoppable Love is a bold and riveting release by Jesus Culture. The band’s unique tones and their commitment to draw people past the stage and into the presence of God, is integral throughout the release. In this, it is one of their most well-crafted live recordings to date. Purchase your copy today!