Rock ’n’ Roll is alive and well in the world of worship. An amalgam of classic, alt and modern rock, with country, roots, and pop inflections—electric and acoustic—are the backdrop for lead singer Jeremiah’s Carlson’s evocative vocals and passionate songwriting. A collection of both new and previously released originals, The Neverclaim revisits some of the band’s most compelling releases with fresh arrangements. The missional and ascendant “Revival,” which opens the album; as well as the pulsing and arena-ready “Burn”; the reverent congregationally tuned “Enthroned on High,” that segues to “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and features a duet with Lindsay McCaul; and the unquenchable desire and energy of “My Soul Longs” are even better the second time around. New songs include co-writes with some of worship’s hall-of-famers including Jason Ingram, Scott Krippayne, Stu Garrard, among others. The assembled songs serve personal listening, congregational worship, and special music. Lyrically, many come from the “I” versus “We” perspective, but that doesn’t stand in the way of a fit for the sanctuary on songs like “Mighty Jesus” “Pearl of Great Price,” “One Truth One Life,” and “Be Lifted Higher”—and all could be easily adapted to a more corporate POV. Both “Sweet Mercies,” and “Steal their Hearts” have a country flavor. And both are prayer’s poured out from a heart in need, the latter is intimate intercession that could be offered by a father for his children, or a pastor for those in his community and congregation.
With a solid scriptural foundation and unrelenting passion—huge, dynamic, yet sensitive and fluid, reminiscent of Kings of Leon, yet completely in the now—The Neverclaim delivers a release with a youth vibe that is equally suited for church, times of private worship, concert halls, and arenas. Hearing 20,000 voices singing “Mighty Jesus” or “One Truth One Life” would be awe-inspiring.
More: The Neverclaim lives up to their promise on this rockin’ worship release, but still leave room for surprises on the next one.
Less: Just a few more songs from a “we” perspective would save the worship leaders at churches that lean in a more “us” vs. “me” direction some time in adapting the lyrics.