Seventh Day Slumber’s “Love and Worship” Album Review
One of the coolest names for a band is Seventh Day Slumber. Originality aside the inspiration for such a titular came from Scripture. Alluded from Genesis 2:2 where God rested on the seventh day after creating the universe likewise we too can rest in Him. Instead of being uptight, stressed and overwhelmed by God's creation, we too can rest in the knowledge that our Creator takes care of every detail of our lives. Lead singer Joseph Rojas has learnt this lesson the hard way. Years before Rojas came to know Christ he was a spiritual vagrant wasting his life away in partying and on hard drugs. One day during a cocaine binge, Rojas overdosed. While he was in the ambulance in the throes of death's gates, God gave this young man a second chance. Rojas gave his life to Christ en route to the hospital. Ever since Seventh Day Slumber was birthed with Rojas passionate to communicate via his songs to delinquent kids not to waste their lives away on hard drugs, crime and liquor. Thus far, this quartet has released 10 albums, producing favorites such as "Oceans from the Rain," "Surrender," "Awake" and "Carolina." Their newest album "Love and Worship" is their eleventh release.
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"Love and Worship" follows their 2009 "Take Everything" record, in that it is worship album. "Love and Worship" contains five worship songs from Hillsong, two from Matt Redman, two from Chris Tomlin with two originals. However, this record is an excursion from their normal sound. While their modus operandi has been Christian hard rock, "Love and Worship" showcases their softer and more contemplative side. It is not that this quartet no longer rocks; rather, the sound is emphatically subdued with a greater share of ballads. Such an approach is certainly advantageous as it opens up doors for those who do not have affinity with hard rock to sample and enjoy the music of Seventh Day Slumber. However, worship albums now have become standard fare for many Christian artists. Michael W. Smith, Cece Winans, Third Day, Jaci Velasquez and Kutless have all had worship albums. Many artists see worship records as a buffer record. In times when they struggle to release an album of original compositions, releasing a worship album buys them some time in giving fans something to enjoy while they labor on their album proper. So, what is there to keep "Love and Worship" from being a buffer album?
First, Seventh Day Slumber has put their own stamp of originality onto each of these cover tunes. Just like their former worship record "Take Everything" which features four Hillsong covers, here they have five. Instead of carbon-copying Hillsong's renditions, they have added their own patented sound. They have turned the Brooke (Fraser) Ligertwood penned "Desert Song" from a congregational ballad to a soft rock ballad enhanced with some scorching electric guitar sound. But not to repeat themselves, "Forever Reign" has a starker country-rock feel the calling to mind Gary Allan and Keith Urban. Most unexpected is their take of Matt Redman's hugely popular "10,000 Reasons." With their track record of churning out explosive edgy music, Seventh Day Slumber's take of Redman's number one is even more sober and reflective than the original. And all stereotyping are shattered when the boys' take of Chris Tomlin's "Our God" features some lovely sounding violin accompaniment. Prior to this record, you would never expect the words "violin" and "Seventh Day Slumber" to appear in the same sentence.
Second, the two originals found on this CD show that Seventh Day Slumber is not suffering from writers' block. "I Am Not the Same," co-written with Matt Redman, has all the fabulous fingerprints of Redman all over. An anthemic worship ballad with an explosive chorus, Christ's transformative power has never sounded better. "Here With You," the other original first appeared on one of Seventh Day Slumber's early independent albums also is catchy and again shows that the boys can be just as effective on a ballad as on a rocker. Within the canon of Seventh Day Slumber, "Love and Worship" is an important record. Not only do the lyrics point directly to God, but it's a gateway for those generally not into hard edged rock to enjoy Seventh Day Slumber. Here we get to worship with them on familiar tunes creatively re-imagined!
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