Reviewed by Tom Lennie
The music of Jason Upton is not the most accessible of worship music. That's because this most original of musicians refuses to stick to any sense of worship "norms". His form of worship is daring, passionate and surprising and you're bound to be impacted in one way or another. His fervent, prophetic musical style has been compared to that of Keith Green and to MorningStar's eclectic output, though in fact neither comparison is adequate. Upton has released around a dozen full length recordings in the past decade, but 'Key Of David', is one of his earliest discs (2000). Like various others, it's a blend of pre-composed material along with a number of "songs that the Lord gave the night we recorded the CD". There's absolutely no doubting the passion that oozes out of this hour-long experience, as Jason seeks to widen substantially our image of God, the Holy Spirit and His workings in the world and in our lives. God is not in a box, and neither are the musical expressions of this man. Key themes on this album include freedom from all that binds us, boldness in Christ, intimacy with Him and the over-riding view that THIS is the generation that is going to break out of the old wineskin and see the unfathomable riches of all that God has for us. No post-productions were added to the recording; instead the project is "a reflection entirely of the power of God that was present the night of the recording". Jason's passion is truly infectious, and the sense of spontaneity is exciting, though it has to be said that musically most of the "immediate" songs consist primarily of Upton giving spoken exhortations/prayers over a basic underlying rhythm. It all gets quite intense at times and I would have to say that sometimes I found it quite difficult/discordant to listen to. And sadly, none of Jason's gorgeously sensitive worship ballads that adorn his later releases feature here. Just how genuinely prophetic you and I find these early sounds will depend on your spiritual discernment. Personally, I think it's a mixed bag.
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|Jason and Rachel Upton named this CD "Key of David" because God has anointed the prophetic worship led by them and there team with a "breaker anointing" (Judges 5:2 Hebrew "when the breakers break through in Israel" or "when those who loosen unbind in Israel"). This is an anointing of prophetic worship which unlocks hearts to the Lord of Glory and sets hearts on fire for His Kingdom purposes.
The 'Key of David' unlocks hearts and minds in these extraordinary times of worship through the Keyhole of purity and transparency of heart, seen so clearly in the Uptons, and through the fire of God's intimate presence which comes so powerfully in worshipers seeking His face. The 'Key of David' is mentioned in Revelation 3:7 to refer to the absolute authority of Heaven in Jesus' hands to open the doors that no one can shut and to close the doors that no one can open. But the 'Key of David' is first mentioned in Isaiah 22:22, where it denotes a fatherly authority, a pivotal place of opening up the riches of the House of David-God's blessing, God's presence, and God's glory-to God's people. I believe the Lord is going to use worship like this to birth whole generations into His Kingdom in fire.