RATING: (9 out of 10) RELEASE DATE: February 21st, 2011 LABEL: Independent REVIEWED ON: July 7th, 2011 REVIEWED BY: Brian MorrissetteREVIEW
Ever heard of a New Zealand-based band called Parachute Band (Integrity Media)? Well, this guy, Luke Parker, wrote some songs for their latest album, Love without Measure, which has garnered a lot of praise from the CCM media. Well enough about them--back to why you’re reading this review. As you can see, Luke Parker isn’t a newbie (even if this is his first EP) when it comes to writing good, solid worship tunes. I must admit that when I opened my inbox and saw an email from another worship artist, I immediately thought “not more pop/rock worship!” Well, boy was I surprised when I heard what it really sounded like.
When I was thinking about how to describe the music in Home, I found it hard-to-nearly-impossible to compare this sound to any CCM artist. I figured the closest match was Phil Wickham, and that’s only when he’s live in concert too. If you’ve ever heard or seen Phil Wickham live, then you’ll know what I mean when I say that Luke’s sound is stripped down and raw. If you’ve never heard Phil Wickham, first you need to check him out. Secondly, if you’re a fan of laidback folk with a jazzy twist, it is essential that you give a listen to Luke Parker. I believe to get the best idea of what an artist sounds like is to take a listen for yourself; this is exactly my suggestion here.
It seems like in today’s worship music scene everybody’s trying to make smart and witty lyrics. Over half of these lyrics fall short and become dumb or corny. What Luke Parker does is create simple melodies and heartfelt, but not wishy-washy, lyrics. I found this simplistic design of his songs to be intriguing and refreshing in a scene where it seems the more complex the better.
Like a good home, Home has a warm and comfy feel to it, making the listening experience quite enjoyable and relaxing. Throughout this whole album I could feel God’s presence almost to the point that it wasn’t about the music but all about God. That’s exactly what a worship album should do. Luke executed the music exquisitely by using a low-fidelity approach to the production to make the acoustic guitar feel fuzzy. This EP, as of right now, in my opinion, is the best worship album released this year.
4½/5 Stars: While listening to this album, I had a very hard time trying to spot what kept me from giving it 5 stars. I think I realized that it might just be my tastes keeping me away from 5 stars.
Posted on: July 7th, 2011 PST By: Brian Morrissette