Although countless worship albums are released every month, they tend to be homogenized, or as I like to put it, Hillsong-ified. Not that Hillsong doesn’t write and record some incredible worship songs, but when every bridge of every song reaches epic proportions… it can get a little weary.
Which is why All Sons & Daughters’ self-titled album, released globally on May 6, is so refreshing. The arrangements, for the most part, are spare, with a focus on the atmosphere and subtle tinkering of sound. Before a simple beat lays the groundwork for the album and the duet’s sound in “You Will Remain,” we hear five breaths as faint strings swell into audible volume. This patience is reflected throughout these eleven songs, from the lullaby of “Almighty God” to the wooded “King of Glory.”
Not that there isn’t variety among these songs, like the southern twang and slide guitar they bring into “For Your Glory & My Good.” There’s even, for better or worse, an obligatory banjo and four on the floor beat harkening Mumford & Sons on “Tonight.”
Composed of Leslie Jordan and David Leonard, All Sons & Daughters bring years of experience as worship leaders at Journey Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can hear this experience in the way they blend their voices and instruments (guitar and keys), a fluid sound even though David’s voice can be a little raspy at times. And although they had songwriting help from some notable guests (Derek Webb, Delirious’ Stu G and a few others) the sound is completely their own.
The worth of a worship album like this one ultimately is determined by how singable the songs are, so while a song like “Victory” will sound right at home on the radio, there are two tracks in particular that are catered to Sunday mornings. The first is “Great Are You Lord,” which slow-builds into a strong chorus (“It’s Your breath in our lungs / So we pour out our praise / To You only”) and a stronger bridge (“All the earth will shout your praise / Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing / Great are You, Lord”).
The other is “God With Us,” which, although just the third track, serves as a centerpiece for the album, “Our Deliverer, You are Savior / In Your presence we find our strength / Over everything, our redemption / God with us.”
The comfort of those words is present throughout this honest, restful collection of songs.