In 2006, a young and fresh red-headed kid named Leeland Mooring and his band burst onto the scene as one of the most promising young talents in the Christian music industry. 10 years and a handful of albums later, Leeland, (Now a duo with newcomer Casey Moore) is back with his first worship album in more than five years entitled, Invisible.
While it is exciting to finally hear a studio release from our old friend Leeland, his signing with Bethel music has certainly changed the familiar sound we were used to. This is a new Leeland with a decidedly more electronic/pop bend instrumentally, but thankfully his raw passion for worship leading and unique vocal style still keep the album from drowning in a sea of mediocrity.
“Lion and the Lamb,” which was released on another Bethel album earlier this year, gets a bit of an upgrade this go around simply because of Leeland’s vocals. “Ever Love You” is probably the one song that sounds most like the Leeland of 10 years ago and is one of Invisible‘s top tracks. The chorus has a memorable melody and Leeland’s vocals soar over the driving drums and ethereal guitars.
“The War” reminded this reviewer of something done by a group like The Afters. Electronic fused rhythms set a palatable foundation while Leeland’s vocals dance in the air above reminding us that the battle over sin and death is not ours, but rather God’s who has already risen victorious. One of the more refreshing songs on the album is “Son was Lifted Up,” featuring Brian Johnson on vocals. This duet provides a decent change of pace, and is an uplifting worship song.
I was expecting a lot from this album based on previous Leeland experience that I have had. This album has some nice moments but kind of left me flat in some spots as well, and honestly the only thing that kept it afloat is Leeland’s vocal prowess. This album has a lot of songs that most worship teams can emulate, but I was disappointed by the lack of artistic integrity that we have come to expect from Leeland. It is too bad that marketability sometimes has to trump individuality and honest, heart-felt worship, but honestly that isn’t Leeland’s fault. Go pick it up.