- The live recording of this album is great. It captures all the transient tones and flavors that give a live performance so much life and energy.
Passion music has released their live recording from Passion 2023, I’ve Witnessed It (Live). They held the conference in two locations with over 30,000 students attending over the New Year’s holiday. In collaboration with Sixstepsrecords and some of their artists, Passion also highlights some of their own growing voices in the Passion Movement.
According to Passion Music’s Kristian Stanfill about this fourteen-track album,
“Every Passion record is special for different reasons, but this one, in particular, has some real grit and fire in it.”
As a whole, the offerings on this album are good for large worship functions or services, which makes sense as they were recorded during a massive youth conference. Some songs will translate into an average church setting, but most of the songs will need a significant amount of production to make them work. Many of the songs fall into the trap of presenting a singable chorus, but a verse that is more performative than accessible.
Music and Production
The live recording of this album is great. It captures all the transient tones and flavors that give a live performance so much life and energy. Full disclosure: If given a choice of a live recording or a studio recording, I’ll choose the live version every time. There is something about the small imperfections and variations in a live performance that makes it special. Passion captures that experience, along with the voices of the students in attendance, and it makes this project shine.
The musical backing and arrangement of most tracks stay within the large worship sound seen on so many albums, with a few outliers like King with David Crowder, and I’ve Witnessed It, which offers a nice swing. Several of the performances veer from the melody and become difficult for worshipers to follow along.
The standout track of the album is King with David Crowder. It has a southern rock vibe which stands apart from the standard CCM sound heard on most of the album. The melody is easy to sing and the lyrics explore God’s faithfulness. The opening stanza is, “Should the day begin with joy, should it end in suffering, with humble heart, I lift my voice. I will sing. You’re still the King.” This is a refreshing acknowledgment that we as Christians face challenges God uses to grow us. Despite the pain and suffering we may experience, He is still King and worthy of our trust and praise.
The track Same God is one of the most singable tracks on the album. It is not so much a worship song, but a melodic prayer of petition. It petitions God to work on behalf of the worshiper and declares our need for God. It stays on the theme throughout the song and provides an avenue of prayer that will speak to many.
I’ve Witnessed It also stands out. I did a full review of the song when it was released as a single, which can be found here.
Overall I’ve Witnessed It (Live) is a good worship album. The live recording is great, and it offers several standout tracks.
The recording is great.
The album stays within the standard worship sound heard on so many other worship albums, except for the track King.
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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.