Artist: Kristene DiMarco
Genre: Praise & Worship
Label: Jesus Culture Music
Release Date: July 31, 2015
Standout Tracks: “I Will Follow You”, “Lily’s Song (Praise the Lord)”, “Those Who Dream”
“Mighty” is the third album from powerhouse worship leader and songwriter Kristene DiMarco. Recorded live in Redding, CA, this is her first worship album; her previous endeavors have been more singer/songwriter oriented. As a fan of those first two albums, I was curious to see how my perception of her live worship album would differ from others who are more familiar with Kristene as a worship leader. However, her newest project did not disappoint. Worshippers and songwriters alike will have something to take away from “Mighty”.
As I am an avid hymn lover and a fan of those who write in that particular style, I found there are quite a few songs to be enjoyed. “Jesus Your Love” is an original by Kristene that sounds anthemic and is a great opening to the album itself. “It is Well” and “Carry Me” both incorporate tried and true hymns into newer lyrics and arrangements in a way that promotes the beauty that can come from mixing the old with the new.
For the songwriters, songs like “I Will Follow You” and “Lily’s Song (Praise the Lord)” will be attention-getters. “I Will Follow You” was a song that actually stopped me in the middle of a project so I could listen to the lilting melodies of the chorus. And “Lily’s Song” is a new arrangement of a song from a previous project, “Those Who Dream”, which felt like a special shoutout to those of us who have followed her music from the beginning.
“Song of Your Love” immediately struck me as the quintessential Kristene DiMarco declaration. If asked to recommend one song that sums up Kristene’s worship leading, songwriting style, and heart message, this song would be it.
The production of this album is noteworthy and cannot be ignored. The live aspect of the project as a whole is not lost in the mixing and mastering process. There are parts of Kristene’s performance that still sound raw and you can hear the adrenaline in her voice, but instead of being hidden, it has been amplified in such a way that it doesn’t distract from the project itself, but actually adds to the listener’s overall experience. This is something that will be noticeable to worship leaders, as it reminds one of her Jesus Culture debut, “Break Every Chain”, where the song itself is powerful, yet is augmented by Kristene’s powerhouse and strong anointing.
Of course, with any album, there are a few pieces that left much to be desired. The arrangements definitely take a backseat to the lyrics, and her arrangement of “It is Well” doesn’t much deviate from the arrangement on “You Make Me Brave”, save for some string parts. But if those are the biggest issues that an artist faces on a project, it can be considered a success.
In conclusion, my love for Kristene’s previous projects combined with my love for her live worship leading make this an easy review: the album is well worth the investment, and will get better with each and every play.
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