|Jason Upton - Remember |
OUR PRODUCT CODE:
Reviewed by Doug Holland
The title of this album refers to Upton's belief that we need to display the same dependence on our Saviour that children show towards their parents. To him, the very notion of human independence is a mistaken, dangerous and sin-inducing one. Those familiar with Upton's music, with its prophetic characteristics, will not be surprised by the emotional and spiritual intensity of this live recording (seven tracks; 63 minutes), made over two nights in Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge, and in which he works his way through a breathless variety of tempos, rhythms and styles. All of the songs are powerful and some (for instance, "When You were a Child" and "Fly") are simply beautiful. Upton does not write orthodox worship songs; rather he offers worship through his songs, and this is a recording of live worship which is a stunningly potent listen. Never predictable (and never crossing into the self-indulgent), the recording includes a spoken passage in which Jason rebukes the tornado which was at the time heading directly towards Oklahoma (on "They Will Know We Are Christians"), the voice (Upton believes) of an angel ("Fly") and a passage in which he mimics the pre-speaking sounds babies make ("First Language"). Upton's musical production is clean and uncomplicated - piano-led, with clear and evocative, gritty lead vocals - and the live feel (which is much stronger than the majority of recordings purporting to be made so) is almost certainly enhanced by the fact that there was no re-tracking of the original sounds. For those familiar with the prophetic dimension of music this is a very powerful musical experience.
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|”Remember…….is one of the most frequently repeated commands in the Old Testament. Even God Himself, as revealed through the prophets, appears as much a reflective and contemplative Being as one Who focuses only on the future. That the God and Father of us all and the Creator of the universe would take time to ‘remember’ should give us some idea of the importance of such a discipline. For me, ‘remembering’ often makes me deal with the truth about how dependent I really am. I believe that this is particularly important in Western Civilization where such a high value is placed on independence. I think ‘remembering’ puts independence in its proper place. The truth is that we are not independent at all; and our forgetfulness of this truth epitomizes our sinful condition.|
'Remember' is a compilation of two nights of ministry. The first night was recorded in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The tornado that devastated Oklahoma City was headed right for us the night we were scheduled to begin our ministry at a local church. At first the church leadership wanted to send everyone to a protected area. I suggested, ‘maybe we could sneak a little worship song in before we head to shelter’. They agreed and we began to sing the song, They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love. When we got into the middle of the song I was led to begin speaking directly to that tornado. I did not want to do this because I could not get past the thought of how stupid I would look speaking against this tornado and then, when the song was over, all of us having to run for our lives to shelter. I was afraid that my words……..might just be words…….absent the power of God to stop that tornado. But while thinking this very thought I found myself already speaking…….it was too late to stop. So it surprised me more than anyone else to later learn that, immediately as we started praying, the tornado system mysteriously broke apart. (How weak my faith is!) God literally stopped a tornado that night as we played and prayed. I hope I never forget it. Yes God can stop a natural tornado. But much more importantly, if we would ask, God will stop the spiritual tornadoes that divide us and render us such an anemic force on the earth. My prayer is that we will ‘come to the water’, the very love of the Father, and quickly shed the independence that so weakens us. Only then will we be able to take on the radical dependence of a child that was the strength of the early Christians.
The remainder of 'Remember' was recorded eleven weeks later in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Great River Road is the beginning of that journey into childhood. This song is my own personal testimony……followed by a spontaneous time of leading the people through deliverance from rejection, anger, disillusionment, etc.