Release Date: July 17th 2012
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Kari Jobe- The Acoustic Sessions EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
Kari Jobe, worship leader at Gateway Church, has been mightily busy of late. With her sophomore album Where I Find You, releasing in early January 2012, and the recording of said album in Spanish that released in April, as well as a Christmas record planned in October or November this year; Kari nicely places an acoustic EP in between, filled with hits and singles from her previous works. Acoustic albums are tricky as sometimes the magic and message that the artist intended is massively altered and destroyed. But Kari’s five down to earth and acoustic guitar driven tracks showcase her superb voice; and it seems each of these tracks are enhanced- and given a whole new meaning! This year is Kari’s year- she can do no wrong, and I’d like to see her gain a Dove Award (or two or three!) next year. She thoroughly deserves it!
Kari’s first single “We Are” starts of the proceedings, and this gem of a song is even more powerful in the raw and emotional setting with the piano and acoustic guitar giving Kari’s #1 hit a earthy and intimate feel. With Kari’s pristine and immaculate vocals bringing music to my ears, I can’t help but say that this song is a perfect opener; and with lyrics such as ‘…We are the light, we are the light, we are the light, so let your light shine brighter; we are the light, we are the light, we are the light, Jesus…’, it’s hard not to feel pride for Kari as she shares her heart for Jesus! The current single “Steady My Heart” is next; and once again, feels much more homely and is fun to listen to! Played with light drums, and piano and an acoustic guitar; it’s still easy to sway your head, hands and feet to, to dance; and Kari’s vocals are beautiful as always; as are the lyrics ‘…And I will run to You, You’re my refuge in Your arms, and I will sing to You cause of everything You are…’ in the bridge, which are what stuck out to me in this version. A song about Jesus our Healer, and our Refuge; this creative EP is refreshing to listen to, and has me singing along!
“Find You On My Knees”, “One Desire” and “Here” are the rest of the five tracks; each one building upon the other in mood and tempo. “Find You On My Knees”, an uplifting song co written with Matt Bronlewee, about how God is there and shows up during the times that seem to be the hardest and most difficult to us; is now a piano and cello based ballad as opposed to the electric guitar; yet the message of coming to a God full of promises during our brokenness can never be more prevalent and relevant. This is a ballad worthy of multiple listens, regardless of the form; with Kari declaring that ‘… You lift me up, You never leave me thirsty; when I am weak, when I am lost and searching, I find You on my knees…’ I iterated in my review of Where I Find You that “One Desire” was a favourite of mine, and this fact does not change in this EP. This cello and guitar driven emotional vulnerable track of surrender to Jesus, co written with Jason Ingram; shows Kari at her best vocally, and the stripped down close setting enhances the vocals all the more. With such an abandonment and an uninhibited freedom; Kari’s simple yet profound words ‘…In Your presence, Lord I will find my strength, You’re the breath in me, You’re my everything…’ give this song the edge amongst the others. This is worship at its raw brilliance! The final track “Here” bears testament to that fact. Mostly identical; this purely piano track, co-written with Leslie Jordan and David Leonard, simply speaks out that Jesus is present amongst us. We aren’t alone so we don’t have to be afraid of anything. We can ‘…find His peace and know you’re not alone anymore, He is near…’ A grandiose and flawless finish to a well accomplished and brilliant album!
As bonus tracks though, there are two in studio acoustic music videos of “We Are and “Steady My Heart”. While I can go on describing about them, how about you watch both of these uplifting and motivational videos below?
Is 4 albums from Kari doable? Well, from listening to the quality of the 3 released so far, I say yes! A shoe in for a nomination for a Dove Award next year (female vocalist, anyone?), it is clear that no matter what mode of instrument is played, Kari sounds brilliant! And to top it all off; the focus of Kari’s songs is not on her, but on Jesus! So go and buy the album- what more encouraging do you need? And while you are listening to some Holy Spirit-anointed worship; anticipate Kari Jobe’s Christmas album releasing soon…
- We Are
- Steady My Heart
- Find You On My Knees
- One Desire
- Steady My Heart (Acoustic Video)
- We Are (Acoustic Video)
Favourite Tracks: Steady My Heart, One Desire, Here, We Are (Video)