While most of you, including myself, have probably not heard the name Northwest Collective before, it is made up of some of the greatest worship leaders of our time, primarily based out of Mars Hill. These worship leaders include Dustin Kensrue ( Thrice), Brian Eichelberger (The Sing Team), Nick Lathe (The Dispatch), Cam Huxford IV (Ghost Ship), and more! The live aspect of the album also makes this one that you shouldn’t miss, as the live setting really gives dynamic and produces an experience much different from a recorded studio album.
The album kicks off with Dustin Kensrue’s “Rejoice,” which a lot of you have probably sung in church and not even realized it. This is a lyrically rich, musically solid upbeat song that makes me just want to raise my hands up to God in worship. The song is led by a strong bass and drum beat, and Kensrue’s lyrics soar beautifully. As a worship leader myself, I love doing this song when I lead. It really connects with the congregation both musically and spiritually.
Next on the album is “Jesus!” Led by Hannah Garvey, it is another upbeat song that invokes praise deep within a person, magnifying and glorifying their Creator. The listener can definitely tell that the worship team is worshipping Jesus themselves as they lead others in worship.
“Grace Alone” is another song performed by Dustin Kensrue. This song talks about how a person is saved through grace and that only:
“I’m a child of God by grace and grace alone.”
“Rock of Ages” is led again by Hannah Garvey. This older hymn is basically modernized into a contemporary style of music while maintaining the lyrical richness found in it. I love when worship leaders are able to take an old hymn and, as the Bible says, “sing a new song.”
“The Solid Rock” had to be one of my favorite tracks on this entire album. Once again, it modernizes a hymn. The way these worship leaders did this is so excellent. Led by Nick Lathe, it has a prominent drum beat and electric guitar lead, and the meter has been changed to make this hymn modern and fresh. This arrangement is something that I definitely plan on imitating with my own worship band!
“Oh God” is the first song that is a little bit slower on the album. Dustin Kensrue takes the lead vocals once again in this genuine song from the heart. This song talks reminds the listener that God is ever present, no matter where or what situation a person might be in.
Hannah Garvey is back on lead vocals again in “Made Alive.” This song will probably sound familiar to many of you, as it was originally made popular on the radio by the band Citizens & Saints (previously Citizens), also out of Mars Hill. Garvey changed it up a little bit, but it was still an awesome song to worship along with.
Brian Eichelberger takes over the next two songs on the album. He gives a short message in the beginning of “In Tenderness,” and he encourages the crowd to worship along with him. The listener hears the enthusiasm of the crowd singing along to this hymn while Eichelberger backs off the mic and just worships.
He then sings one of his own songs from The Sing Team: “Oh! Great is Our God.” Eichelberger’s vocals really soar in this song, and it is made evident how excellent of a worship leader he truly is.
Cam Huxford IV takes over for the two final songs on this album. “Mediator” starts off enthusiastically, with a strong banjo lead. I loved the dynamics on this song and how enthusiastically he approached his worship. It’s so solidly based on the Bible, even as Huxford states:
“It’s really fun when you get to sing the Bible as a family like this.”
The final song on this album is “Christ is Risen,” in which Huxford really got a lot of crowd participation. He also talks throughout his song, reminding the audience of the resurrection and the fact that Jesus didn’t stay dead, but He rose again. I liked this song a lot and how just from listening, one could hear the passion of those worshipping.
Overall, I loved this album. The songs invoke passion from deep within to simply worship with all that you are. They’re musically solid, but at the same time, Biblically solid and lyrically rich. Transforming a multiple number of hymns into fresh congregational tunes really impressed me. If you’re looking for a worship album that you can sing along to at the top of your lungs, this is the one that you need to check out. I can’t wait to hear more from Northwest Collective.