Prime Cuts: Jesus is Holy, Come Home, Honour You Lord
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
UK-based worship leader and songwriter Luke Wareham returns with a bang. For his third EP, he has chosen to work some of the biggest names from his side of his pond, including Chris Sayburn, Donna Akodu, Lou Fellingham, Marc James, and Michelle Lutz. Regardless of the name dropping, "Pure Heart" pulsates with Wareham's own passion for the church to worship. Made to service the church in her proclamation, these songs have a singalong quality that makes it palatable for congregation. Yet, the lyrics are by no means trite or simplistic. Rather, they are richly birthed out of scripture with thoughtful applications for the average believer.
The 5-song opens with the EP's most catchy tune "Jesus is Holy." With its retro-sounding electric guitar riffs and its singable chorus, the song calls to mind those evergreen worship choruses of the 90s. New Wine Worship's Chris Sayburn adds his contrasting gruffness to Wareham's smooth tenor giving the song a contrasting shade that is particularly effective. Thanks to the energetic choir and Donna Akodu's spirited vocals, "You Are Mighty" has a fuller Gospel sound that adds another layer of diversity to the record.
"Come Home" is the EP's highlight as this piano-led ballad brings the story of the prodigal son to life with Wareham and Marc James' earnest deliveries. Less effective is the tedious-sounding title cut "Pure Heart." Nevertheless, the song's message about surrendering to Jesus needs to be heard. Lou Fellingham joins Wareham on "Honour You Lord." Calling to mind those contemporary hymns of the Shane and Shane, the hymn-like structure details the reasons why our Lord deserves to be worship. This song needs to be widely circulated among the song lists of worship leaders.
Despite being independently released, this EP contains songs that need to occupy a major place in today's worship music. Rather than relying on the most current beats or ride on the most tired and true cliches, "Pure Heart" trumps on God-centered songs with flowing melodies for the church to sing.