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JFH Staff Review


Mack Brock, Covered EP
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Mack Brock
Covered EP



Genre(s): Worship
Album length: 5 tracks: 26 minutes, 11 seconds
Street Date: March 22, 2019


READER RATING:   


It's not a good sign when your album cover is more creative than the music within. But such is the case with Elevation Worship's Mack Brock and his new EP, Covered. The nifty thrift store, vintage vinyl packaging of the album seems to suggest a scrappy indie rock record, but the "paint-by-numbers" modern worship of the tracks within is not nearly as inspired. It's a tough thing to have to offer a criticism of sincerely-made worship music, but as long as there is money being charged for an album, an honest analysis is warranted.

Brock has been a creative part of such notable worship songs as Elevation's "O Come To The Altar" and "Do It Again", but, alas, his solo work seems to be lacking the notable melodic twists and memorable lyrical moments of those songs. While there is nothing particularly grating or poorly done here, the six mid-tempo worship songs on Covered glide by without much impact.

Opener "I Am Loved" offers a nice intro with layered keyboards and Brock's fine voice, but it fails to launch into any memorable melody or rhythmic structure. The lyrics are solid however, with Brock stating sincerely, "There is no disappointment in Your eyes / There is no shame there is only pride / I am loved / Father, I'm loved by You."

"After Me" is also a pleasant, if tepid, song. Continuing the theme of the Lord pursuing his children, Brock uses a nice bit of ocean imagery when he states "When I'm anxious / and I don't know what to do / You remind me that my future is with You / 'Cause like a river rushing out into the sea / Your presence runs after me / After me." "Still In Control" samples lyrics from the classic hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" to nice effect, and with a slightly varied tempo, the song breaks out of the mid-tempo rut. "King Of Heaven" likewise surges in energy (comparatively speaking), and features a good congregational melody. The ending title track is pleasant, with fellow Elevation vocalist London Gatch joining Brock for a duet. But the song slides by without making much of an impact.

Much of modern worship music being put out today has a distinct "formula" in its writing and production, with certain beats that need to get hit and boxes that need to get checked. Mack Brock mines this formula well, but in doing so has made an EP of songs that sounds and feels like everything else out there. Given time and experience, there's no doubt that he will make something truly memorable and unique. The talent and will are there. But, alas, Covered is not that record.

- Review date: 3/22/19, written by Alex Caldwell of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

JFH Staff's Second Opinion



Mack Brock has had a hand in writing many memorable songs as a member of the Elevation Worship team. Songs like “Only King Forever,” “O Come To The Altar,” “Here As In Heaven,” “There Is A Cloud,” “Do It Again,” and “Resurrecting” have been sung at churches worldwide. Now, hot on the heels of his solo debut, Greater Things, released in late 2018, he drops five new songs on the Covered EP. Lead song “I Am Loved” begins the EP on a decidedly mid-tempo groove that the EP rarely strays from in all five tracks. This is clearly Brock’s sweet spot, but perhaps “King of Heaven” would have been a better opener to begin things with more energy. This is more a preference thing, and is likely not an issue for those listening to the song piecemeal, but worth noting nonetheless. Lyrically, it contains a needed reminder of how loved we are, though he shares from an individualistic perspective making the song more a personal declaration than a corporate one. Again, not a problem per se, but one that tends to dominate this release, and a majority of the worship genre. “After Me” has a tasteful amount of autotune to pair with strings as he proclaims, “like a river rushing out into the sea/Your presence runs after me.” It's another comforting reminder that we, as believers in Christ, are “hemmed in” by the reassuring presence of God. “Still In Control” is this reviewer's favorite song of the project, as it is begun by a light guitar strum, synth swells, and addressed to Jesus directly, utilizing inspiration from the hymn “It Is Well.” He sings triumphantly, “My God is still in control/and still He reigns on His throne/though mountains may tremble/and sea billows roll/I’ll sing it is well with my soul/My God is still in control/My God is still in control.” The aforementioned "King of Heaven” adds some needed pep to an otherwise sleepy set of songs but, unfortunately, has little new or unique to say, falling prey to lyrical cliché. “Covered” ends the EP in a subdued, yet pleasant, note as Brock is supported by female harmony to close the album. The long and the short of it is that Mack Brock has released five well done songs, but they do little to stand out. This is frustrating, too, because clearly he has songwriting chops, and nothing here is egregiously bad; it's just unfortunately average. Perhaps this could have been remedied with a longer set of songs, further fleshing out of lyrics, or more musical risks taken, but for now, this reviewer can only recommend this EP to fans of the genre, or Mack Brock himself. If you are looking for something unique, or the cream of the crop in the crowded genre, you would do best to look elsewhere. - Review date: 3/21/19, Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

. Record Label: Sparrow Records; Capitol Christian Music Group
. Album length: 5 tracks: 26 minutes, 11 seconds
. Street Date: March 22, 2019
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3

  1. I Am Loved (7:12)
  2. After Me (feat. Lindsey Sweat) (4:11)
  3. Still in Control (4:57)
  4. King of Heaven (4:39)
  5. Covered (feat. London Gatch) (5:12)

 

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