Worship Central is rapidly becoming the UK’s equivalent to Hillsong or Passion, releasing regular live worship albums from a collection of the biggest names in UK worship – Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon, Nikki Fletcher and Luke Hellenbroth. They seem to have settled into a rhythm of releasing an album roughly every 18 months, and this is the 3rd release under the Worship Central banner.
Set Apart opens with the infectious anthem The way which is full of energy and continues the current trend for worship songs to have a dance vibe to them. The chorus “Jesus You are the Way” is one that will be stuck in your head for days after hearing it.
Things calm down a bit from the high energy opener, Stand up is a call to take your place fighting for revival with confidence for Jesus is with us, and our God is a mighty fortress. Cant’ stop your love is another song full of deep theology about how nothing we go through can stop God’s love for us and has a great questioning chorus that asks “where can I go from your presence? I am surrounded, I will not walk alone” which is a great reminder that no matter what we face God is with us every step, and is a great example of the time of song on this album – songs with a message and theology that remind us of great truths about God rather than just being love songs to Jesus.
Title track Set Apart picks reminds us we are set apart for God above and is a song where you can really get lost in worship the God of glory we are set apart for – it gives space with instrumental sections to really engage with God rather than the words of the song.
Purse me is another slow paced reflective song along with Awesome is He which is a reminder of God’s awesome power. Worthy of it all is a song of surrender, pledging to follow Jesus regardless of the cost for He is worth it all, a great song of commitment.
There are as usual a couple of spontaneous songs on this album which are more open worship than songs that could be used by the church, but are good to listen to, in particular the prophetic Wide Open spaces which is a prayer for those who don’t know the Father, that prodigals would could home.
Dead things to life is a reminder that we can take courage for out of the ruins God makes us whole and is a great reminder of how we can have hope in dark situations. Enough light lifts the tempo with a reminder of Jesus’ faithfulness and the light that He brings.
The final regular song on the album Singing over us is a powerful reminder of the compassion and forgiveness God has for us, and how His perfect love casts out every fear.
Strangely for a live album you don’t hear much of the crowd, but that isn’t really a problem. Slightly disappointingly unlike the previous two releases from Worship Central this time there are no rap bits of any of the songs, although from conversations with friends it seems I was the only person who enjoyed those so that could explain their absence here.
This is a very good album with deep theological lyrics and songs that could easily be used in local churches and is a great showcase of the talents available in the UK worship scene. It is an album of well written, powerful, catchy songs that deserves to do well, and interestingly will be sold in HMV alongside regular mainstream albums – well worth adding to your collection.
Available: October 27th