Prime Cuts: Your Church is Alive, Bless the One (with Matt Maher), Space (with Amanda Lindsey Cook)
Mack Brock is the go-to guy these days when it comes to contemporary worship music. This is why a string of who's who in the genre can be found co-writing or singing with Brock on his sophomore solo album "Space." Such a red-carpet of collaborators include various members of Hillsong Worship, Matt Maher, Phil Wickham, Chris Davenport, Jason Ingram, Amanda Lindsey Cook and others. This doesn't come as a surprise as Brock has crafted some of today's most sung worship standards including "O Come to The Altar," "Resurrecting," "Here As In Heaven," and "Do It Again."
Despite dropping numerous singles and EPs, "Space" is only Brock's second solo outing since leaving Elevation Worship. These 8-new songs, co-produced by Brock and Aaron Robertson, were recorded live in August at Brock's home base of Charlotte, NC. Originally planned to be recorded with a live audience at his church before the global pandemic, "Space" was taped at a special location called Haven Place, the ministry center for best-selling author and Proverbs 31 Ministries' founder Lysa TerKeurst.
After writing classics such as "Still in Control," "O Come to The Altar," and "Resurrecting," are there any songs of that calibre on this new record? The short answer is no. Brock still retains the same formula that brought him to fame: namely high-adrenaline power ballads and stately stadium-made anthems. But this is also the problem with the album, it's simply too formulaic. Sure, a track such as "Your Church is Alive" sounds animated when it's played loud in a large church setting, but the words sound so cliché and tired, an irony for a song that speaks of being alive for Christ.
"Bless the One" fits the bill for what could be a power ballad that Hillsong Worship or Passion would cover, but the lyrics are shallow to say the least: "Bless the One who reigns forever/Bless the One who ransomed me/From death to life there is no other/Bless the only risen King." Troubling though is that Hillsong Worship's former leader Marty Sampson has a hand in co-writing "Your Presence is a Promise." Did Sampson co-write this song before or after he confessed that he was no longer a Christian? Reflective of Sampson's current spiritual status, the song belongs more in the divine love song category than a biblically-soaked offering of praise.
The title cut "Space" tries to deviate from the forumla as Brock joins vocals with Amanda Lindsey Cook on a pop-folkish entry, which is okay. "Still I Will Praise" tries to be another "Still in Control," except that the melodic hook isn't quite as defined. After churning out song after song within a short span of time, Brock should give his craft a bit of a hiatus and soak in more of scripture and Godly teaching. Too often many of the songs don't have enough poetic and biblical nuances, making them come out as bland and trite.