Kari Jobe – Majestic [Review]
Back in 2009 I remember the church was buzzing with Kari Jobe’s debut album. Who was this girl, where had she come from? Five years, two Dove Awards and one Grammy® nomination later, Kari Jobe is more of a household name. This month she releases her latest musical offering, Majestic.
Recorded at the historic Majestic Theatre in Jobe’s hometown of Dallas, Texas, the album is quite different from her previous two studio releases. Majestic is closer in feel and sound to the work she has done with Passion or Hillsong, and clearly draws from those influences. Here she is Kari Jobe the worship leader, rather than the recording artist. She is spontaneous and free, enjoying each moment and encouraging those with her to join in worshipping and magnifying Jesus.
This release also differs from her previous albums because it is an all-new collection of songs (only track 10 is a cover). The list of co-writers on the project includes many of the men who have shaped the landscape of contemporary worship today. Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Reuben Morgan, Paul Baloche, and others have contributed and their influence can be heard. Most of the songs here are quite singable and I’m sure the epic first single “Forever” (track 6), anthemic “How Majestic” (track 7) and Hillsongesque “Only Your Love” (track 3) will all find their way onto church songlists over time.
For fans of Kari Jobe’s vocals, “I Am Not Alone” (track 9) will not disappoint, showcasing Jobe’s voice at its most fragile and powerful. But sadly there are no musical game changers here. “Only Your Love” and “Keeper Of My Heart” (track’s 3 & 4) dabble with the synth pop flavour that has worked so well for Martin Smith and Hillsong’s Young & Free. But it does little to distract from the ever-present wall of guitars and wash of keyboards. Soon the album goes back to tried and tested arrangements. This is by-the-book live worship music; reliable and predictable.
Bryan and Katie Torwalt’s 2011 classic, “Holy Spirit” (track 10), brings a refreshing change as Kari shares vocal duties with Cody Carnes, a fellow worship pastor from Gateway. It is a good version of a great song, with a big, country-rock feel.
It is possible that fans of Kari Jobe’s previous studio albums might be disappointed by Majestic, but fans of her work with Gateway, Passion and Hillsong will love it. It’s a well written, well produced worship album, which does what it says on the label.
Here’s the video of “Forever”:
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