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Album Review: Bethel Music's You Make Me Brave

In the midst of uncertainties and hopelessness; a world of post-Christian culture, Bethel Music stands to declare the hope and power found in Jesus with their newest live praise and worship album, You Make Me Brave. This 12-track CD+DVD release was recorded live at Redding Civic Auditorium in California at one of Bethel Church’s Women’s Conference Nights; and because of that, all songs were sung by female vocals; including Amanda Cook, Kristene DiMarco, Jenn Johnson, Leah Valenzuela, Steffany Gretzinger, and Kari Jobe.

What God has been impressing now to the hearts of the songwriters of You Make Me Brave is powerfully and prophetically manifested on its songs. Each track declares faith and victory in Jesus—captured in a thick atmosphere of pure worship. These songs are timely for every Christians who are fighting a good fight of faith to fulfill God’s great commission.

The title cut, You Make Me Brave, speaks of our nothingness and vulnerability before God. Written and sung by Amanda Cook, this track is a bold declaration of faith to a God that is for us and not against us; a perfect combination to Kristene DiMarco’s It Is Well, the next song. This is not a new rendition of Scriven’s classic hymn, but it delivers just the same message. The weight of the atmosphere of worship joined by heavy instrumentation, and DiMarco’s breathy vocals make the song my favorite cut.

Previously recorded at her latest live solo album, Majestic, Kari Jobe’s Forever is one of the album stand-outs. It is a good decision for them to add this magnificent track to the song line up. There is no doubt to the impact that this song is bringing to the congregation, for it is the longest worship moment on album, spanning eleven minutes and a half; this may not be your most radio-friendly choice but it really stirs the faith within. Other prime tracks include Gretzinger’s piano-laced We Dance, and Jenn Johnson’s faith-filled Come To Me.

Truth be told, tracks of spontaneous worships don’t really have functions, especially to the worship team. And You Make Me Brave has three of these. As a matter of fact, there are also lots of these on Bethel Music’s preceding albums. Yes, they are good to listen at, but I think they should not count them as songs on their future releases.

You Make Me Brave, literally, is both timely and timeless record for every Christians. It teaches us to trust in God whatever the situations are. It tells us to fear not as we navigate through uncharted territories; for God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I believe, the songs on You Make Me Brave will speak powerfully to any listener; and will surely give strength to weary souls.

Disclosure: A review copy of You Make Me Brave was provided for review by House of Praise, from whom you may purchase the album.
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