The phrase purpose-driven ministry has been floating around the church community for over a decade, so long that it’s a cliché at this point. However, Eleven22 has thoughtfully embraced “purpose driven” worship with their latest release The Reason. Ben Williams, vocalist and guitarist with singers and musicians Jonathan Berlin, Gretchen Martin and Maria Dunlap are rooted in Jacksonville, Florida, and are a delightful blend of worship and anthem-oriented music in the same vein as Chris Tomlin and Hillsong, with some Laura Story added for good measure. The Reason integrates live and studio sessions that really capture the band’s strength of solid arrangements supported by exceptionally clear vocals and production surrounded by straightforward instrumentation. “Hands of Kindness” and “Burning Hearts” have both power and depth while “Dress Us Up” brings a powerful anthem with a nice sing-a-long that captures the passion and power of their self-described “new season of devotion.”
Eleven22 drew inspiration on this project from McKenzie Noelle Wilson, a 15-year-old new believer, whose untimely death rocked their church and worship community. Listening to The Reason, it’s easy to hear Eleven22 poured their hearts into this project.
More: The string and orchestration of “God Alone.” Gretchen Martin’s vocals and the lyrics are performed with perfection and arranged around complementary guitar that bring this tune alive in more ways than one.
Less: It is a challenge to find any flaws with The Reason, however; a few songs felt too familiar and may have needed a pinch of creativity.