Artist: Israel & New Breed
Album: Jesus At The Center (Live)
Street Date: August 14, 2012
Label: Integrity Music/Columbia
iPod Pick: Te Amo Feat. T-Bone
Israel Houghton and the New Breed team have come a long way, walking a long road together and apart with various album releases, Grammy wins and national performances which are noteworthy. When I first heard a few months back that Israel will be releasing new music with New Breed, what really caught my attention was the bold title ‘Jesus At The Center’ and somehow I knew this one was going to be different. Normally I don’t have a knack for the music of Israel Houghton as somehow he could be monotonous in sound and style. If you were like me, ‘Jesus At The Center’ is a must get as it is fresh musically and is really unlike anything I have heard from the Israel and the New Breed together. I would like to reemphasize this, ‘Jesus Be the Center’ is a must get! No matter what worship music you are more accustomed to, be it Hillsong, Elevation Worship, Myron Butler & Levi or Hezekiah Walker and The LFC, this is a must get.
Highlights of this two disc album include the ‘Make You Feel My Love/Name of Love’ Medley on which Israel sings with daughter Mariah Houghton a cover of the Robert Dylan ‘Make You Feel My Love’ (made popular by Adele). ‘Rez Power’ is also a great praise tune with a rocky edge. It’s a beautiful tune that leans more to the Hillsong-esqued sound. ‘Te Amo’ (meaning ‘I Love You’ in Spanish) which features rapper T-Bone has a retro-creative dance hall twist to it. ‘Overflow’ is a ten minute plus of worship, blessings and declarations. The intro of ‘I Call You Jesus’ might remind you of a Switchfoot song or any heavy rock tune at best but it flows into the declarative style that the band is known for. ‘It’s Not Over (When God is in it)’ is another beautiful hopeful tune worth the get and continuous listen. ‘Your Presence is Heaven’ which is a personal favourite would sure be on repeat in your car for church rides. The amazing and exceptional Michael Gungor appears on the ‘You Have Me/You Hold My World’ medley, it’s a really different track musically, and even from the intro you would know this. And lastly, a highlight you wouldn’t want to miss off this album is a rendition of the beautifully penned (by Israel Houghton and Sidney Mohede) Hossanna (Be Lifted Higher).
One thing sure of Israel’s latest record, there’s a focus and Jesus is placed at the center not just on the album title. This is a powered-up soul lifting album that would spin on our machines for a very long time. And I kind of see another Grammy on the horizon come next February
[Review Originally Penned For and Featured Courtesy of TheGospelGuru.com]