` Jesusfreakhideout.com: Chris Ritchie, "Release the Dreamers - EP" Review
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JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Chris Ritchie, 'Release the Dreamers - EP'
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Chris Ritchie
Release the Dreamers - EP

Street Date: December 18, 2023
Style: Worship
Buy It: AmazonMP3
Buy It: iTunes



Chris Ritchie is a musician, worship leader, and pastor out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Chris was in an alt/rock band (Salt the Band) in the late 90s and early 00s before submitting his life as a worship leader. Chris is now the lead pastor at Encounter Church Vegas, but has not lost his passion for making music. His new EP, Release the Dreamers, is an acoustic-based worship set featuring five tracks of God's goodness, grace, mercy, and power.

The EP starts strong with "In This City." The subtle overdriven electric guitar that joins the mix in the turnaround before the second verse is a nice touch and adds to the depth musically. Ritchie proclaims, "I see it; I hear it. I feel the trembling under feet. Revival's not coming; revival is already here," in the bridge as he sings about Christ's work. This opening number is definitely in consideration for top track on the EP. "The Sound of Yahweh" follows up and is another solid worship tune. The female vocals that take lead in the back half of the song are wonderful and give a nice tonal shift. "So Good" starts a little softer than the first two songs (even dropping to only piano at one point), but, like those before it, builds to a crescendo on the back half before going into "Amazing Grace" -- which works nicely with the bridge: "Your grace is still amazing; Your mercy's never ending. Your love is like an ocean I'm drowning in…" "Your Burning Ones" is the first track that moves away from the slow-to-big-build formula and stays pretty level throughout. The song has a more laid back feel in general -- including the "la-la-la's" repeated throughout -- and brings back the female vocals for some nice harmonies. The title track is the closer for the EP and brings something new to the table. "Release the Dreamers" has an electronic element that moves from an undertone to more of the feature. This one stands out as a little more unique than the first four, but it still fits in and works well as the closer.

Chris Ritchie has written a very solid worship EP, and any of these songs could be added into most church's worship sets immediately. His inspiration from Bethel Church can be heard, but the EP doesn't feel like a Bethel B-sides album or anything like that. This is a wonderful set of songs that features "In This City" and "So Good" as the clear standouts. Oh yeah, did I mention that the artwork is super cool as well? Fans of modern worship music and acoustic-based CCM should find a lot to enjoy in these five tracks. It's nice to see Ritchie get the opportunity to continue his first passion while still following in what the Lord laid out for him as lead pastor.

- Review date: 12/14/23, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: DreamMaker Music & Film
. Album length: 5 tracks: 26 minutes, 42 seconds
. Street Date: December 18, 2023

  1. In This City (5:03)
  2. The Sound of Yahweh (feat. Sarah Renee Lopez) (6:57)
  3. So Good (6:26)
  4. Your Burning Ones (4:36)
  5. Release The Dreamers (Radio Edit) (3:41)

 

 

 

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