River Valley Worship: Million Lifetimes

River Valley Worship is a collection of artists, musicians, and songwriters who are an extension of the vibrant creative culture within River Valley Church. With campuses spread across the greater Minneapolis, MN area as well as an international campus in Swaziland, Africa, River Valley Worship is making a global impact not only through their daily ministries but also through their worship releases, the newest of which is entitled Million Lifetimes.

This twelve track album is their first since being signed by BEC records this past year, and its main heartbeat is centered on the hope that only Christ can bring. Sonically, a majority of the album is along the same musical vein as Hillsong Young & Free, but it is the depth of writing throughout that makes this album better than most of it’s counterparts.
At first listen I began to roll my eyes at the cookie cutter pads, dance groove, and somewhat cliché lyrics of the opening few songs, but then the title track cued up, and what followed were a few of the better songs I have heard on a live worship album in a
quite a while.

“Million Lifetimes” has the typical keyboard loops and four on the floor beat we are all so accustomed to as the foundation of this rhythmic pop anthem, but lyrically sets itself apart as lead worshipper, Ryan Williams, sings about the greatness and wonder of our God in a fresh and creative way. “Hope Has A Name” literally had me up grabbing my guitar to figure out the chord structure so that I could lead this song at my church in the near future. The song begins with a gorgeous piano arpeggio before building into a powerful song of hope. The hook laden chorus will ring in your heart for days. “Clean River” follows, and will find it’s place in your Sunday services as a perfect response to confession as it is not only interesting musically, but also theologically hits the mark of how only the blood of Christ cleanses us.

The album wraps up appropriately with the missional sending song, “The World Needs Jesus,” that calls believers to be the hands and feet of Christ in a world that desperately
needs Him.

I was glad that I pushed through the first few tracks of this album because there were great explorations of God’s mercy and our response on the other side. The dance worship tracks will appeal to a younger generation, but this album surprised me when suddenly the songs seemed to “grow up” both musically and lyrically, and because of this, its appeal became intergenerational. Million Lifetimes is a well written, creative, and meaningful worship release with a fantastic message that our world needs to hear.

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