A Worship Song Review: There is A Kingdom
Recon Records has released There Is a Kingdom, a strong worship chorus, especially for the Easter season. Written by Andrea C. Hunter and Alissa Rae Klein, this song testifies to a heaven where all things are made whole and to the majesty of God. The lyrics pull from scripture, like Micah 6:8b “… and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” The bridge uses the refrain from the Hallelujah chorus by Handel (1741).
Worship Music Structure
The verses of There Is a Kingdom use a very common chord progression (1,5,6,4), popular across many music genres and easily played by all levels of musician. The chorus uses a variation (4,1,6,5). Unlike the vast majority of worship songs today, the chorus veers from the standard 4/4 time. At the end of the chorus, Hunter and Klein insert a 2/2 bar emphasizing the lyric “Let Your Kingdom come.” Technically, the chorus could stay in 4/4 throughout, however, the 2/4 bars give worship leaders space for their own interpretation; with a ritardando, or accelerando, for example.
The verses and chorus are playable by all levels of musicians. The melodys are memorable and singable by any congregation, and playable in any worship setting with no need for excessive production. The main body of the song can also be played slower in a more prayerful, meditative way; a testament to the quality composition of the song as a whole.
Hallelujah Chorus Bridge
Full disclosure, the Hallelujah Chorus, is one of my favorite pieces of all time. That being said, it is unneeded and a bit of a distraction in There Is a Kingdom. The worship chorus stands on its own. Bringing such a legendary chorus into the song does not serve the purpose of either piece. Although Hunter and Klein do a good job of weaving the two pieces together, the bridge forces the worshiper to step off the worship path established by the initial composition, moving them onto another path in a differing style, genre, and time period.
The Hallelujah Chorus also may be difficult for the average worship musician to give it’s full due. Hunter and Klein break the bridge down into manageable chords, but sacrifice some of the majesty of the piece. In an average sized church in America, it would be hard to do the Hallelujah Chorus justice in this format.
Production and Performance
The production of There Is a Kingdom is solid with no distractions. Using a mix of electronic and acoustic elements, the accompaniment is conservative, with great balance. The song builds as it progresses, which is enhanced by the musical elements. The vocals are good, but could get more assertive as the piece builds. Overall, the song is consistent and accessible for all worship leaders.
Hunter and Klein have written a solid praise song, especially for the Easter season. The overall effect is worshipful and adoring of God’s majesty. The Hallelujah Chorus in the bridge can be pulled out by worship leaders, or kept in if desired. All in all, a good offering.
Very accessible, solid song.
The song stands on its own, without the Hallelujah Chorus.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.