- Jeremy White’s re-working of some Sovereign Grace worship songs is a sound offering to the contemporary music scene. Having never heard of the fellow before (the CD was a gift), I popped it in my car – expecting to hear the typical Sovereign Grace sound – and was taken back by what my ears were hearing. A bass and synthesizer interplay that quickly got my attention. A techno beat that I had not equated with “worship” music before. An intermingling of guitar with record scratching. Honestly, I didn’t know what to think when I heard the lyrics to rhythms with different beats. It took me a while to enjoy listening to the music. At first I was thinking through singing to the Lord and how to appreciate different genres and what they bring to the table of expressive worship – so I wasn’t able to enjoy the songs. But having come to a place where I not only appreciate the work White has done but also to be able to want more music to be so expressive.
The music is ‘controlled passion.’ It is like a raging fire in a brick and mortar firplace. Secured by solid doctrine and lyrics, you can feel the beat and emotion through the musical choice. Of particular note are “Across the Great Divide,” “In the Valley,” “I Come By the Blood,” and “It Was Love.” The first song demands your attention from the first chord. From there you are on a trip with White where you tap your foot and scream to the top of your lungs for joy and grace that you taste anew.
As I said, if you are familiar with the songs prior to the re-mixing, you may find it difficult to worship to at first. However, the words become fresh as you learn the rhythm and movement of the songs. At the end of the journy, White offers a medtative instrumental that allows you to slow down and think about the emoiton you just experienced.
My favorite re-working was “I Come By the Blood.” The strings pull out feelings that a guitar could not. The beat is deliberate and intense. It brings with it conviction of truth and confidence that is inherent in being drawn to the throne of grace by the blood of our once-for-all perfect sacrifice of himself by our Great High Priest.
I would recommend that you listen to a sampling of “Asleep in a Storm” to get a flavor for what White is dishing up. We would do well if the Church had more such authentic and creative offerings of music – whether re-worked or new. After that, I would recommend that you buy the CD and learn how to worship to old lyrics with fresh perspective.