Before the year ends, Melbourne, Australia-based worship band Planetshakers released their newest live praise and worship album, This Is Our Time. Boasting 15 tracks available in Standard and Deluxe editions, this new record is their second album for 2014. But it is no longer surprising, for they have done this a lot of times before. Their diligence and gift in songwriting is wonderfully shown through the years.
It is undeniable that “This Is Our Time” marks a new season for Planetshakers City Church, for the message of the songs on this record shows just that. Their music is like no other; and it has captured the hearts of people across the globe. Their mission to empower generations, to win generations, is prophetically manifested on their projects.
The title cut, “This Is Our Time”, opens the album with an energetic praise which has become the signature of the group. More than any other Christian artists, Planetshakers have resourced the church with a plethora of praise songs which the people, especially the youths love to sing. Celebration continues with the singing of the next track, “Joy”, and “My Heart Is Alive”. These songs offer a variety of instrumentation which will surely awaken your senses and lead you to dance for Jesus.
Previously heard on their Endless Praise album as a studio recorded track, “Leave Me Astounded” marks the first worship song on this project. Being one of the prime cuts on the preceding album, this new version is a very congregational one unlike its first release. Worship Pastor Sam Evans has given the song a ‘churchy’ treatment which is good.
“Covered”, the fifth track, is one of the simplest songs on This Is Our Time yet the most theologically-rich. Written by two big names in the field of worship songwriting today—Israel Houghton and Planetshakers’ very own Joth Hunt, this song declares Christ’s atonement and His grace given to humanity. Being said that it’s a co-write with Houghton, “Covered” is the carrier single of his upcoming 2015 album, “Alive In Asia”. And speaking of God’s amazing grace, another Hunt-written song by the same theme is “It’s Your Love” which for me is the album’s most congregation-friendly song because of its familiar and easy to learn melody and lyrics.
One of the tracks you don’t want to miss in this new album is the faith-stirring “The Water Is Rising”. Instrumentally and lyrically-brilliant, this is one of the album’s prime cuts. It speaks of God’s power and ability to do miracles and bring healing.
Born out of a spontaneous worship, Natalie Ruiz’ “Kiss Towards” on their “Endless Praise” album is one of my favorite tracks; and I believe This Is Our Time’s “Holy” is also a track birthed out of the spontaneous worship. Though lyrically short, its different atmosphere captivates the very heart of the people as they sing: holy…holy…holy. And if you’ve been carried away by the ethereal moment brought by “Holy”, their cover of the Gaither classic “He Touched Me” is simply magnificent. Surely, your spirit will be filled with joy and your heart overflow as you listen to it.
Joth Hunt’s gift in songwriting is so astounding. As a matter of fact, he has written the majority of the songs on Planetshakers’ recent releases. “Look To You” is just one of the tracks in the album that catches the listener’s attention at first listen; and it’s Hunt-penned. This is, I think the most appealing and catchy track on This Is Our Time, and also my favorite. Before the album ends, Joth’s co-write “Abba, Father” leaves the message of our Heavenly Father’s love towards us.
Overall, This Is Our Time is an excellent album to end 2014 and to start 2015 with praise. I must say that this album is one of 2014’s best releases, and Planetshakers’ best, so far. They always set the bar high. There is just one thing that I pray their team would work on for their future releases, that is to write songs that are more theologically-rich. I believe people today need songs that are sound and full of theology, songs that will draw them closer to God, to the knowledge of who He is.