Prime Cuts: I Say Yes, Rest On Us, Protector
Overall Grade: 4.25/5
In times when many are still buried under the depression brought about by the pandemic, we need songs that boldly proclaim the risen Jesus with faith. Kim Walker-Smith has been doing just that in her Revival Nights tour. Since it was a mini tour with only a few selected dates, not many of us get to hear her. This is why Walker-Smith has decided to release this EP so that we can experience the power of Jesus through these songs.
Though Revival Nights has been marketed as an EP, with the eight songs clocking in at one hour and nine minutes, the record feels more like a full-length album. What is most fascinating about this record is that Walker-Smith does not just tackle her own material. Rather, on top of her own songs, she has had included one new song as well as covers by Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Maverick City Music & UPPERROOM, Josh Baldwin, and Cody Carnes.
Kim Walker-Smith's take of Maverick City Music & UPPERROOM's "Rest On Us" is a glimpse of heavenly worship. Calling upon the Holy Spirit to rest on us, Walker-Smith sings with so much earnestness and passion that you can't help but worship along. The theme of the Holy Spirit continues with Tasha Cobbs Leonard's "Your Spirit," where Zechariah 4:6 is set to music. Worship leaders looking for a song that is cruci-centric will do well to include the anthemic "My King Forever" (originally by Josh Baldwin).
Besides digging into the repertoire of contemporary worship music, Walker-Smith also resurrects a few of her older cuts. "I Have Found," which was first recorded for her 2008 album Here is My Heart, gets revived here. This time around, Walker-Smith sounds more confident. Also, her voice possesses more gravitas than on the initial recording. Last year's "Protector" gets a more extended treatment with Walker-Smith offering a commentary on the impact of the song.
"I Say Yes" is the only "new" song on the set. And it bears all the marks of why we love her music: it's powerfully executed boasting a dynamic chorus of commitment to Jesus, However, there's one major weakness: this EP is so "sanitized" with overdubs and re-recordings that it sounds too "perfect." Though it's supposed to be a "live" record, it doesn't sound like one. This is a perennial problem in CCM. Too many albums are touted as "live recordings," but they are so polished that it sounds more like a studio effort. In a genre that sings about truth, is such an approach to "live" music justifiable?