|Jake Hamilton - Freedom Calling|
OUR PRODUCT CODE:
Jesus Culture Music ELE1675D
Reviewed by Martin I Smith
Although a few decades ago it would have been unthinkable, contemporary worship music has basically absorbed rock as its default style. It has, however, largely been content to swim around the pop side of the pool (and not always for bad reasons - accessibility is an important part of congregational worship). For those of us who enjoy the more raucous side of rock, the hesitation to crank up the volume has left this flirting with guitars and drums as something of a cruel tease. Not to worry, Hamilton understands and he's plenty prepared to pack some punch into his praise. A live recording, 'Freedom Calling', the Californian worship leader's second solo album, is raw and engaging. Hamilton's voice is gruff and expressive, at times a thread away from an all-out scream, as in the urgent crescendo of "War Drums" (the shouts: "I can hear Him calling, I can hear Him calling!") The album makes for a rather long session, clocking in at 1 hour 20 mins, and with track times that wouldn't blush on a prog record. Although I'm sensitive to the claim that technology has diminished our attention span, that can't excuse how this record has gorged itself just a little too much. By the time you reach closer, "Hallelujah", the auditory belly of the best feels a little bloated. It's an ambitious cover to end with at any rate, seeing as Jeff Buckley set the bar so high, and its hardly insulting to recognise that Hamilton hasn't topped it. He has, however, got some intelligent things to say (the spoken word segment within "New Song" is inspiring) and his penchant for energy and intensity is most welcome.
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Jesus Culture worship leader Jake Hamilton releases his second full-length CD, Freedom Calling, featuring 11 new worship songs, three videos from the live recording at Jesus Culture Atlanta, and a 30-minute in-depth, behind-the-scenes feature of his life, music and ministry. An artist and activist whose passion is to help raise up a generation to sing songs of revival, Hamilton desires to see God’s Kingdom manifest in power as his people encounter Him in worship.
“The sounds and lyrics of this album will captivate your heart and awaken a deep passion to pursue intimacy with Jesus while living with courage and boldness,” says Banning Liebscher, Jesus Culture director. “It’s not only a journey of passionate worship, but a prophetic declaration that will awaken a generation to the love of God and the cause of Christ in the earth.”
The album features Jake's signature rock influences and rich, distinctive voice. Comparisons with Vineyard Records’ Burn Band are immediate, while a number of other influences including David Crowder, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Delirious, and U2 are apparent on a heartfelt set, dripping with passion and intensity.