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Worship Album Review: Elevation Worship’s Can You Imagine

Worship Album Review: Elevation Worship’s Can You Imagine

Christopher Watson
  • The song Trust In God is the standout track on this album. Hands down, it’s no contest.
Elevation-Worship_Can-You-Imagine_Album-Review_Blog

Elevation Worship, the Grammy Award-winning group with many GMA Dove Awards and RIAA certified Gold and Platinum songs, has released Can You Imagine. Elevation Worship says they are passionate about producing songs that connect others to God, in love, worship, and community. With this album, Chris Brown says,

“Don’t give up believing God for more. You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t have to know how it’s going to turn out. Just trust that God is in the details of your life, and He’s working all things together for your good.”

That is the focus of this album. 

Worship Function

Can You Imagine has a great deal of variation regarding worship function. As with so many large worship groups, most of the songs rely on a large worship team and significant production to really be effective. The songs Jehovah, No Body, Runnin, and Praise fall into this category, making them more usable for larger churches.

 

The songs Trust in God and Been So Good are the most accessible for the average church. Although Been So Good uses a bigger arrangement on the recording, the melody and chord structure stand up to being stripped down. Trust In God is accessible and usable in any church format. The theme is consistent throughout the song and it just works.

The songs More Than Able, Make A Way, and Praise don’t really fit into the worship song category, as they are more performative, at least on the recording. All three use extensive improvisation in several sections, making it near impossible for the congregation to sing along. As a general rule, vocal improvisation is more about displaying a singer’s skills than leading others, so it should be used sparingly and only if the root melody is strongly sung by additional singers.

Standout Song

The song Trust In God is the standout track on this album. Hands down, it’s no contest. First and foremost, it relies on a singable melody throughout the song. Sung by Chris Brown, it pulls lyrics from the classic hymn Blessed Assurance. This brings the weight of history and tradition to the piece. Lyrical additions expound on the theme of God’s never failing love, expanding the song in the chorus and bridge. Chris also stays within the melody, making the worship experience accessible and truly corporate.

Biblical Faithfulness

Elevation Worship is unapologetically Word-of-Faith oriented, and so it is important to pay close attention to the theology shared in their music. Most of the songs use spiritualized language with no specific scriptural core, with some noted exceptions. Trust In God, Been Good, and Runnin hinges on several scriptures with varying effectiveness.

Several songs are more ‘me’ centered than God-centered. A good example is More Than Able, which repeats, “You’re not done with me yet,” along with several other lyrics echoing those sentiments. These statements are not inherently bad, but given the self-focus of the worship song, it is not directly worshiping God.

Final Thoughts

Can You Imagine has several standout songs that will be great for worship in larger churches, with some that will work well in smaller churches and more intimate settings. For worship specifically, I would probably stay away from More Than Able and Make A Way.

More

Using hymns and scripture makes some songs really strong.

Less

Apart from the song Praise, most songs stay within the predictable CCM sound.

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