We both love Hillsong’s songwriting so much. And since one of their ex-front woman created her first live album, we think it’s obvious for us to review her latest album. Yes, it’s Darlene Zschech with her first and latest live album, Revealing Jesus. Even though she had released some solo projects previously such as “Kiss of Heaven”, “Extravagant Worship”, “Change Your World”, “Simply Darlene”, and “You Are Love”, Revealing Jesus is the first live performance that ever been recorded by Darlene.
Revealing Jesus was released at March 19th, 2013 worldwide and recorded live at the Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 28 and 29 of last year. Produced by Grammy Award Winning producer Israel Houghton, Darlene was accompanied by New Breed and some famous song writers, Dove Award 2013 Winner Kari Jobe and Michael W. Smith.
This album contains 12 tracks, including 4 praise songs and 8 worship for the rest of the album. Here is the track list:
- God Is Here (P)
- Best For Me (P)
- All That We Are (P)
- In Jesus’ Name (P)
- Your Presence Is Heaven (W) - Our Cover
- Victor's Crown (W)
- Yours Forever (W)
- Magnificent (W)
- My Jesus I Love Thee (I Love You Jesus) (W)
- Your Name/Cry Of The Broken (W)
- I Am Yours (W)
- Jesus At The Center (W)
It is an Album with a Storyline
One of the reason why I like Hillsong's song in Darlene era is because the unity, when they play a song. It's like a unison of a team that worshiping God, in a way that even their music style is simple, I can still feel a complicated reason behind their style. In this Revealing Jesus album, I can feel the same unison and complicated style. The same reason why I like Hillsong, I find it here; especially all of the Worship songs.
Started with a praise song, this album pumps us a bit with an "angelic" style string opening that then used again later in their worship songs. Their four first praise songs, connect the album name as Jesus's revealer with a music that welcoming God to a place; you can imagine it like when somebody famous come to your town.
Their fifth song Your Presence is Heaven is a cover song from this album producer, Israel Houghton. When Israel open this song with his voice, I was hoping that I might be listening to Darlene's gospel style. Well, I was hoping too much, as it obviously turns out, Israel's voice doesn't match well with Darlene's music style; however I still love this song and you can listen to our cover here. Darlene also put a re-imagined hymn song called My Jesus I Love Thee. Although the arrangement itself is simple, but it's a declaration that we love our God, and still it's a great song.
The rest of this album is filled with worship songs. But I can assure you that with a great songwriter such as Michael W. Smith, Israel Houghton, and Kari Jobe involved, you won't be disappointed even a bit. If their praise songs is a welcome act, the worship song is truly a worship song. It is as if you meet Jesus in front of you, what will you say can be found in all their worship songs.
As I heard this album from the beginning to the end, this album has a storyline. Started with God is Here, Zchech gave the message of this whole album and led the audience to be prepared to worship God even more, open their heart to see Jesus is being revealed. Followed with another three praises songs that declares Jesus is the one to whom we give our life to. Besides storyline, this album has a clear similarity on every song, they are all addressing Jesus in all the songs lyrics. We can consider this as an important point about this album, because not all Christian songs put Jesus name on the lyrics, and replaced it with another designation like God, Lord, or Yahweh.
The rest of the album is filled with worship songs, which make this album very suitable for our devotional moment. Some of the songs are already familiar, such as Your Presence Is Heaven from Israel Houghton album Jesus at the Center , Magnificent from Hillsong album Blessed, and Jesus at the Center from Israel Houghton album Decade. Those songs are already my favorite worship songs, even I like the versions on this album better than the original. To hear my favorite Houghton songs are being sung by Zschech is almost a dream come true for me. I am so blessed with her voice singing those songs.
A biggest surprise for me is when I heard Zschech was singing duet with Houghton. Their harmonizing voice in Magnificent is mind-blowing. Houghton was singing on the back with Zchech for the entire live recording, but his name wasn't mentioned on the front album cover. If we only listen to the CD without watching the live recording, we'll never know that Houghton was there until they sang the duet. I'm very appreciating the modesty of those great singer such as Israel Houghton, Michael W. Smith and Kari Jobe for not being displayed in the front cover.
Songs we recommend for you
Abraham’s Recommendation Song
I love the praise songs. All of them, I highly recommend you to listen to all this songs. As for the ballad, I really like Victor’s Crown.
Natasha’s Recommendation Song
There are some of my favorite original song of this album, such as All That We Are and In Jesus Name. Yes, those are praise songs. From the rest of worship songs, I thought I have to agree with Abraham that Victor's Crown is one of the best worship song in this album, besides the previous well-known songs.
Another great work by Darlene Zschech. Overall, this album has a deep meaning on both music and lyric; both of them is connected with each other really well, it really brings out the true meaning of this album, to reveal Jesus in front of all the world and give us chance to worship Him. A great album.
This album is a masterpiece. Although there is nothing spectacular about the music arrangement, the songs are the biggest blessing for all the listeners. Every song has been put in such a meaningful way and being addressed to the One and Only Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus be revealed!