River Church Live
Deep Water Worship
From River Church Charlotte (NC), comes a beautiful, and alternately intimate and ascendant worship experience. Husband and wife Grayson and Tori Berkowitz take turns leading melodically and lyrically strong, scripturally-faithful devotional rock that addresses God directly and passionately. At the same time One Hope makes room for horizontal psalmic encouragement blended with vertical communion on songs such as “You Surround Me.” There are songs that laud Christ for his sacrifice, such as the irresistible and joyous “Overcome”; songs that describe Christ’s terrible beauty on the cross and awesome power (“Behold Our King”); songs that celebrate the bridal love we share with Christ (“King of My Heart,” “Resting My Heart,” “I Am Yours,” “Your Bride”); and songs of abandoned worship and adoration (“Open Wide,” “One Hope,” “My Heart Is to Worship”).
A sort of IHOP, Jesus Culture, Scott Brenner meets the sensitive side of Passion and One Sonic Society (average song length around 7.5 minutes), One Hope comprises songs that are structured and crafted, yet allow for improvisational creativity. This live record is sans studio perfection and sanitized performance—thankfully—and the church presence adds an element of resounding life. With warm and captivating vocal performances and electric/acoustic guitar-based arrangements, One Hope is immediate, accessible, believable, lovely, and certain to ignite hearts in worship. Rarely is an album so adaptable to both moments of quiet reflection and congregational participation. With songs written primarily by Grayson Berkowitz, in different combinations with Tori Berkowitz, Andy Squyres, Andy Cherry, Jacob, Early, Jake Stevens, and Addison Moore, this is one not to miss. River Church Live’s sung prayers supply a bevy of beauty, encouragement, consolation, offering an invitation to intimacy and adoration.
More: What a refreshing experience: music that lifts and heals. Lyrics paint an exquisite picture of Jesus in classics such as “Behold our King” (Andy Squyres/Andy Cherry): Behold him on the hill of skulls / Bloody and naked between thieves / disfigured by the ones he loves / Abandoned by the One who grieves.
Less: It’s always a deepening experience when all members of the Trinity are included. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned, although undoubtedly present.