Byron Cage has been responsible for some of my all time favourite songs… From ‘The Presence Of The Lord Is Here,’ ‘Thou Art A Shield For Me,’ ‘There Is A Name’ and ‘Lift Him Up,’ to ‘I Will Bless The Lord,’ ‘I Give You Praise’, and ‘Faithful To Believe’…
With that said, when I picked up ‘Memoirs Of A Worshipper’ I expected to find more new favourite’s.
Starting off in a totally different fashion to albums past, ‘Gratitude’ is a worship song that immediately got me in a thankful mindset… In a time where there’s a lot of focus on us and what we want I was glad to hear a song that compels us to be grateful and give God thanks. Mumen “Mookie” Ngenge’s smooth, rich tone was refreshing to hear and complimented the song perfectly.
My favourite song on the project is ‘Out Of Them All,’ which sounds like a classic feel good, “get your praise on” style choir song that will have church rockin’ on a Sunday morning. The thick harmonies and colours as they blend with each other and the message of the song will resonate with anyone who loves great Gospel music. The vamp took me right in and the soprano’s are really some sky high notes as they sing “He can, He will, deliver, me out of them all.” Musically, this is my favourite song on the album… Stabs, exuberant lines and solid grooves galore had me putting this song on repeat.
‘Victory’ continued on the high of ‘Out Of Them All’ and really came to life when Fred Hammond was introduced bringing his unique tone, melody lines and energy to the song.
‘Great & Mighty’ is an awesome worship song… Every time I listen to it, I find myself with my hands lifted up, eyes closed and worshipping God. The simple lyrics “Great and mighty is our God” reminded me not how great God is but more so how great His love is, that such an awesome God would have time for us… Simply mind-blowing. The refrain “… Yeah, mighty is our God, mighty is our God…” really got me worshipping and filled with humility because of the love of God which in turn compelled me to worship. I can easily imagine this song being a favourite in times of Praise & Worship in churches.
Good anyhow feat. Clifton Ross is one for the Traditional Gospel music lovers. It was great to hear Ross on this song. His passionate delivery and silky, smooth voice caressed each note and perfectly complimented the song in a Clark Sisters-like way. Again it sounded like a choir backing Cage and Ross than just a Worship team giving that real Traditional Gospel feel.
The album finishes with ‘Troubles Away,’ a great reminder that we can “Wave our troubles away,” with the because of the grace and mercy in our lives and serves as an encouragement and uplifting for those times when we’re feeling down or the burdens we’re carrying seem to be getting too heavy to carry.
My standout songs are definitely ‘Out Of Them All’ and ‘Great & Mighty’ which are both songs that will find themselves in regular rotation when I want to give God a crazy praise and when I want to throw my hands up in complete surrender in Worship.
At first I didn’t really like the album but after a few listens it grew on me. I don’t think ‘Memoirs Of A Worshipper’ is Byron Cage’s strongest album orhas as many “big” songs on it as his other albums but I really enjoyed it. I think the choir sound adds a nice touch and in a time where everyone is backed by a Worship team/ensemble, that big vocal sound will be welcomed as something different and something fresh.
I did expect a little more from an album called ‘Memoirs Of A Worshipper’ through the songwriting and overall concept and delivery… Maybe a journey or a collection of experiences and encounters… But even with that said, I was led into great praise and heart-felt worship while listening to the album.
Reviewed By Matt Brooks