Worship Album Review: Planetshakers “Greater Live”
- The song Psalm 23 reflects the song of David. The opening stanza “The Lord is my shepherd, and all I need,” encapsulates the theme of the song and reflects the albums overall theme as well. Worship songs drawn straight from scripture are like cool water for a parched soul.
The praise and worship music powerhouse Planetshakers has released Greater Live, a full production live album. According to Planetshakers, this project offers, “Praise and worship that reaches toward the mountaintop despite any present circumstances.”
Planetshakers’ pop-rock-EDM style brings an energetic praise and worship experience. Woven throughout each song is the theme of ‘God is Greater’. Joth Hunt, who wrote or co-wrote ten of the eleven songs on the album, says, “In Planetshakers, we really try to connect with a theme that God has given us.” In an interview with Joth, he affirmed how he has a God first approach to composition and production. He’s not worried about awards, or accolades, he’s worried about bringing others into the presence of God.
The song Psalm 23 reflects the song of David. The opening stanza “The Lord is my shepherd, and all I need,” encapsulates the theme of the song and reflects the albums overall theme as well. Worship songs drawn straight from scripture are like cool water for a parched soul. Paired with a melody that is easy to sing and memorable, this is a wonderful worship song.
The title song, Greater, starts with a declaration of God’s greatness reflected in nature. The second verse continues to declare God’s greatness beyond our expectations and dreams. Instead of a traditional chorus, Planetshakers goes for more of a dance break, which will make even the most solemn want to get on their feet.
Heaven Is My Home focuses on getting our eyes off of this world and its problems, and on the reality of heaven. This draws from Hebrews 13:14-16, “For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven.” The chorus is poignant with the line, “I know that heaven is my home, so I’m gonna praise you like I’m there righty now.” This is a perspective that puts the worries of this world into place.
Planetshakers’ are known for a big bass and booming drums, as seen previously on Heaven on Earth (2018) and Revival Live (2021). This continues on Greater with a big sound, great energy and a celebration of praise.
This big sound can create an issue, however. On Applemusic, because of some technical issues with that streaming service, some songs ‘pump’ to various degrees. This is when a bass drum or bass element hits hard, causing the other song elements to back out for a split second. EDM fans will be familiar with this because the technique, when intentional, can be used to great effect. But when unintentional, it can distract.
This ‘pumping’ issue was most prevalent on Applemusic, not as significant on Spotify and nonexistent on YouTube, which leads me to believe the problem is probably not with Planetshakers’ production, but a streaming service issue. In the end, some listeners will find it annoying while others may not mind at all.
Planetshakers Greater Live has some powerful songs to offer the worship music landscape. The title track has great energy and is a real celebration. Psalm 23 pulls straight from scripture and Heaven is Our Home is a needed reminder to focus on God, not the world. Overall a great offering that reflects Planetshakers’ desire to create high energy praise songs for the church.
Some great song additions for a church’s worship set.
Planetshakers’ pop rock EDM style will appeal to younger and more progressive worshipers, but probably not as much with the older crowd.
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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.