STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 94360-16957 LABEL: 606041304321 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2010-06-21 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Joe C Bent
Jesus Culture's keyboard man originally put out this, his debut album, in the States in 2007 and along with 2009's 'Alive' it recently scored a UK release through Kingsway. Ian has 12 years of keyboard playing behind him and cites his main influences as Delirious?, Muse and Sigur Ros, so you would expect 'Awakened' to beautiful, quirky and emotional and you would be right. Obviously, it is the keys that really stand out on starting with the rolling "Intro" and majestic "Such Beauty" while guitars do make an appearance on the classy "Everything Good" and "You Are". The thing that I really loved about this album is the variety in the songs; from ballads such as "This Is Love", to the power pop of "Always Good" and the stadium rock stylings of "Adoration". The lyrical themes are consistent throughout as well, mostly focusing on how beautiful God is and how much he has helped us through our lives. Ian is definitely one to watch in the coming years for great new worship songs.
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Awakened is an album full of emotion. It has a distinct sound with an aggressive and atmospheric tone that connects the listener on a spiritual level. But it is undeniably worship. Starting with the first song Such Beauty, Ian immediately sets the tone by expressing a need for God. This album is full of passionate, energetic songs including You Are, Always Good, and Everything Good. These songs are very moving titles that express worship in a different way. Some have very few words, and are explosive, emotional and moving in the melodies carried by vocals and instruments alike. The track Adoration is mostly a poem, ending the album in a complete expression of worship that is concluded by singing with no lyrics.
Whether it’s the dramatic piano hooks, the ethereal vocals, or the massive guitars behind it all, the music is compellingly creative in nature. Powerful and airy hooks show up throughout the album. Each song encourages the listener to respond in some way. Some people will respond by singing along, while others respond inwardly. This album begs for a response. This album is explosive.