Gateway Church - Extravagant Love [Review]
Gateway Church. No, not that one. This is Gateway Church in Franklin, TN. And no, they aren’t related.
Out of this seven year old church plant comes Extravagant Love, a new worship album helmed by Worship Pastor Michael Farren (Pocket Full of Rocks, Here Be Lions, author of numerous songs, including “Let it Rain” and “Let the Worshipers Arise.”). And yeah, we’re a little late in telling you about it, but this album is so good, you’ll forgive us. I promise.
One might assume that an album birthed near Nashville, TN would have songs that were penned by some of the best songwriters around. And you’d be correct. With writers like Michael Farren, Kyle Lee, Dustin Smith, Jennie Lee Riddle, Jack Mooring, Krissy Nordhoff and others, this collection of congregational worship songs is one of the best I have enjoyed listening to.
No joke – every single song on this 8-song album is solid. But, as in every collection of great songs, we all have our favorites!
“Everlasting Arms” features Kyle Lee on lead vocals, and is one of my favorite songs on the album. Packing a strong and catchy melody, every hopeful lyric seems to stick.
“Wide Eyed Wonder” is one of my favorite worship songs right now, period. The lyrical composition is masterful, including verse two: “You may search us and reveal all of our idols. You may crumble all our pride down to our knees. But just one glimpse of you is worth more than our treasure, overwhelming and outshining everything.” So good!
“When I Have You” packs some powerful lyrics as well, with lines like “What is power if you don’t breathe it” and “What’s this moment, without your presence in this place?” Lyrics like these remind me how central God is to our lives, and that without Him, things seem to fade. “Never Runs Dry” features one of my favorite bridges in recent memory, and hearing “Your Great Name” from the lips of the author gives this well-known song a fresh, new life.
I kinda wish I could take some more time to touch on every single song on this album, but alas, our time is running short. The main takeaway is this: Extravagant Love is one of the most complete, through and through congregation worship albums I have put my ears on.
This is a live recording, and you can hear how authentic every note and every lyric is. Yes, the songcraft is stellar. Yes, the arrangements are pleasing to the ears. But above all else, this is an album full of recordings of a church worshiping together in authenticity. It’s hard to beat that.
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