Jesus Culture “Let It Echo” Album Review

Jesus Culture

Prime Cuts: Alive in You, In the River, Let It Echo

The songs of Jesus Culture's "Let It Echo" are definitely going to reverberate across the worship of copious churches in the months and years to come.  This is because there is something prophetic about this newly crafted set of songs. They are not your average forgettable ditties that come and go.  Rather, they are the products of hearts that have lean in to what the Holy Spirit has to say to the church.  They articulate truths God has been wanting to speak to churches in ways that can stir the currents of revival.  "Let It Echo" was not an easy album to make for this worshipping community.  Rather, the album was birthed out of an arduous labor of pain, struggles, and uncertainties.  "Let It Echo" is the first album the team has made after severing their link with Redding, California's Bethel Music. In the past year, they have had set up a new church, record label, and their home base in Sacramento.

"Let It Echo" is different from their preceding records, in the sense that it wasn't recorded at their large concert settings.  Rather, the individual songs were recorded during their worship services across various Sundays. And the repertoire between the leaders and the congregation certainly add a refreshing layer of warmth, acceptance, and enthusiasm to this album.  Kim Walker-Smith, as expected, gets to be the featured lead vocalist on the lion's share of the record.  She leads 4 out of the 12 cuts.  And unlike other worship teams that often delegate the softer ballads to their female leads, Walker-Smith takes on 3 power-chargers. 

With an EDM undercurrent of elongated electronic beats, buoyant rhythms, and a brisk tempo, lead single "In the River" finds Walker-Smith revelling in the joy Jesus gives.  The way the song crescendos to its anticipatory climax is just a work of creative worship at its best.  By the time the climax is reached, you can feel the gushing water as Walker-Smith sings: "Bursting, bursting/Up from the ground/We feel it now/Bursting, bursting/Up from the ground/we feel it now."In Your Presence" is vintage Jesus Culture.  If you love their Spirit-soaked ballads with their blazing melodramatic chorus, this ballad will not disappoint.  Too often worship songs are so nebulous in their melodic struggles that it takes repeated listenings to grasp.  This has often incensed worshippers in thinking that modern worship songs are long and tedious. "Alive in You," not a Hillsong Worship cover but a Jesus Culture original, with its catchy chorus is an exception.  Worship leaders may do well in enlisting this song in their set lists.

Chris Quilala, like Walker-Smith, gets to lead 4 cuts.  "Miracles" lead the pack. Not many songs give exposition to the work of Jesus Christ via his miraculous deeds, this worship ballad feeds that lacuna. The title cut "Let It Echo" is anthemic, grand, majestic which is so befitting of the song's lyrics that calls upon heaven to break forth on earth.  Discounting Walker-Smith and Quilala, Bryan Torwalt, Derek Johnson, Chris McClarney & Katie Torwalt each handle leads on one cut each.  Derek Johnson's "Power in the Cross," a slow and pensive exposition of the Cross of Jesus, is a grower, such that it needs a few spins before we come to appreciate the song's beauty.  Katie Torwalt's "Set Me Ablaze" is set in the key of Hillsong United's type of atmospheric ballad.  Nevertheless, this is an album that is rhythmically spry, sonically cinematic, and lyrically prophetic.   


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