After four years of taking musical detours by creating diverse worship music for different genre’s, Redding, California’s own Bethel Music once again returns to its roots with their 2016 release, Have It All. This huge, 16 track album contains new songs for the modern church with the theme of total surrender being the pulse that drives this entire collection. The album features new cuts from such worship writers and leaders as Leeland, Jeremy Riddle, and Cory Asbury, just to name a few.
The song that gives exposition to the main theme of the album most prominently is the title cut, “Have It All,” led by Brian Johnson. Starting off with an intimate acappella introduction, this slow pensive ballad finds a vulnerable Brian Johnson emptying his soul before God in utter surrender.
Leeland adds his unique vocal style and writing to the album’s most catchy burner, “Lion and the Lamb.” The musical imagery and lyrical painting used in this track are nothing short of poetic genius. Another excellent example of the sheer artistic quality of Bethel Music is Jeremy Riddle’s “Be Enthroned.” This big song has a gorgeous cinematic introduction that draws us into this dramatic presentation of worship as we hear about why God alone is worthy of our worship.
Many of the songs on this collection were written out of real-life experiences, such as Jenn Johnson’s Grandmother’s death. The experience left her broken and inspired her to write the
synth-driven atmospheric ballad “Heaven Come,” which speaks of how God is the great healer of broken hearts. The hymn-like “Greatness Of Your Glory” will appeal to those who appreciate a more structured approach to worship with its multiple verses and subtle chorus, while those who prefer more of a free-worship approach will fall in love with the intimate and expressive, “Sweet Praise.”
Some of the songs, especially at the end of the album, tended to run together, and the arrangements were a bit dry, but overall this album lived up to its name. Have It All is a statement of surrender and hunger to not just bring an offering of praise, but for us to become a living sacrifice of worship every day before God. Welcome back to your roots Bethel. We, the church, thank you.