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The Brilliance - Brother [Review]

The Brilliance - Brother [Review]

By Jolie Ozbun on February 17, 2015

David Gungor and John Arndt of The Brilliance have had a close friendship since their childhood, which inspired them with the name for their latest album, Brother, to be released on February 17th, in preparation of Lent. The culmination of the desire to bring their talents together on the stage has resulted in a liturgical offering of modern worship with soothing sounds for the soul.  

The group has signed on with Integrity music after producing four albums. The Vice President of A&R, Adrian Thompson, says, "They bring the beauty of art into our worship--the atmosphere literally changes with their music; as it cuts across denominations, cultures, and ages." Worshipful music does have the power to cross the divide of all generations, as it brings us together with one purpose: to lift up the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

The album begins with the self-titled song, "Brother," that calls us to love our enemies as if they were our brother, sister, or mother. Just like the Bible mentions in Luke 6:27, “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." In the song, the music and vocals have a nice campfire-like, acoustic quality that reminded me of my summer youth camp. On the last night we each laid a stick on the fire to signify one thing that we were repentant of; I dare say, when it comes to loving our enemies, there comes a point in time when we are all in need of laying down our pride on the altar of sacrifice. Enough said.

The next piece, "Now and at the Hour," establishes a melodious quality that transcends us with powerful lyrics of the interwoven attributes of the trinity. The song has a beautiful harmony with vocals, that would make a great segue into Holy Communion during the church service. Next, John Arndt leads out with piano in the song, "Yahweh," which also has a sweet blend with the strings section, in the middle, and then ends with the piano as a reprise. The underlying theme of His immutable character is shown as the song reflects on the names of God: Yahweh/He is God; Hosanna/Our Savior, and Jehovah/Our Lord.  

The next two worship songs really stand out to me both melodically and rhythmically because of their superior musical style.  "Breathe" and "Does Your Heart Break" again have that sweet blend of the strings with piano and rhythm sections, as well as moving lyrics that tug at your heart.  The lead vocalist does a superb job with vocals, and personally, his voice reminds me of Michael Buble. I think if he were as convincing as Michael was in the song, "I'm Feelin' Good," that he would definitely knock it out of the park here.

The exuberant feeling of vitality you get when listening to the tracks definitely puts you in a mind of worship. I would love to see churches playing some of these videos of The Brilliance in action in worship services as sometimes a certain element is lost in a live performance, and it doesn't seem to do the original version justice.

"Love Remains" and "Prayers of the People" would both be good song choices for corporate worship for their singable, moving lyrics, and overall spirit-filled messages. "Love Remains" has a good message of God's steadfast love that is being renewed day by day in the lyric, "Through my weakness, you are strong." I like the interesting, and uninhibited mix in the song, "Make Us One," and David Gungor hits the mark with his vocals in this finale. I loved the last song on the album, "May You Find A Light," as it paints the picture of our journey, as in Pilgrim's Progress, which is an allegory of the Christian wandering through life.  

Overall, I think the instrumentation on The Brilliance's latest album is fabulous, and a good way for us to incorporate more orchestration into our worship services. The calm, relaxing vocals along with God-breathed lyrics also touch us at the core of our being, with the good intention of becoming profoundly memorable to us.

Disclosure: A copy of this album was provided by the record label or artist for review purposes. The iTunes widget above is a part of an affiliate program. If you purchase the album through the widget, a small percentage of the sale will benefit All About Worship.

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Jolie Ozbun

Jolie Ozbun

Jolie has served in the church most of her life performing in worship teams, at church retreats and conferences. She has also served as a youth Sunday school teacher and a children's/youth choir leader.  She has ministered outside the church for Save-A-Life as a music leader and counselor, and has performed for nursing homes, shelters, and other churches. She earned her degree in English with a minor in music from Bob Jones University. Currently, she works as an adult reading teacher, and spends her spare time singing, songwriting, playing guitar, and enjoying family. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband Greg and their three children.