Jake Isaac & i = CHANGE ‘Break These Chains’ Live Recording Review

Jake Isaac & i = CHANGE Break These Chains Live Recording Review

On a cold winter’s night in London, an icey frost filled the air, numbingly bitter as snow tried to fall, people from all over the UK filled St Marks church in Kennington for the i = CHANGE live recording.

St Marks wasn’t much warmer than outside, however from the greeters on the door and the overall vibe of the people in the room was warm and also expectant.

St Mark’s had a classic charm from the big pillars to the smaller features that have stood the test of time bringing a sense of history and a feeling of being in a purpose built house of worship. The lighting that was used enhanced these features and created a great atmosphere for a worship experience.

Muyiwa (Muyiwa & Riversongz) was the compare for the night and set the tone breaking the ice with his unforced and natural humour (especially with “the beans joke” – You had to be there…).

Prayers from Jake’s Pastor and members of the i = CHANGE team got our minds focused and hearts ready to worship with the final prayer coming in the form of the i = CHANGE song ‘As We Seek Your Face’“As we seek your face, pour out your Spirit Lord… You are welcome here, make Your glory known…”

As Jake and the i = CHANGE came I could see that they were raring to go and lead us in worship which from the get-go seemed like more of a priority than the actual recording. There were many great songs sung on the night but I’ll focus on the one’s that really stood out to me.

I found the first song (‘Have Your Way Oh God’)hard to catch at first, due in part to not being able to hear much of the vocals but it once I caught it, it stuck with me and now, a few days later I’m still singing, “Have your way oh God, have your way oh God, here and now in our midst have your way… Have your way oh God, have your way oh God, in our lives evermore have your way…”

‘King Of Heaven’ really warmed the place the place up with the crowd instantly

singing along with the intro “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh…” This song definitely had a praise anthem feel and really got the crowd jumping up and down, doing the infamous “kangaroo bounce” (made famous by the audience members at Hillsong concerts) and it’s congregational nature really engaged us in a unified, corporate praise as we sang, “I lift my voice to the king of heaven, my soul bless The Lord rejoice and be glad, I lift my voice to the king of heaven, hallelujah, hallelujah…”

There was a moment on the night when God’s presence was free flowing in the room and Jake was encouraging us to worship, not to the sound of a song but from our hearts… “We’re waiting, we’re waiting, till the over flow, till the overflow, let your fire fall…” – ‘The Overflow’ a song for those moments of being consumed in the presence of God and yearning for more of him.

Andrea-Louise took the led on ‘Here In Your Presence’ a beautiful song, set to a marching beat and atmospheric melodies which simply says, “Here in your presence I find myself again, have Your way, have Your way… My heart is wide open, come fill me up again, have Your way, have Your way…”

This song ministered to me and reminded me that I really get to know me when I get to know God and spend time in His presence.

JC Henry took the vamp, which saw him passionately sing, “My heart, my mind is for You Jesus, for You… My love, my life, is for You Jesus, for You…” and saw the intensity in the room increase with people in a place on abandonment in heartfelt worship in the presence of God.

The title track ‘Break These Chains’ featured Martin Smith (Delirious?) and his quietly confident, whilst sensitive approach to worship as he sang, “Break these chains, that bind us, break these chains that hold us back, that hold us back… Take these chains our Saviour, in Your name we’ll rise and stand, we’ll rise and stand…”

There was an eruption of bellowing worship at what was possibly the pinnacle of the night as every voice sang with hands upraised, “Jesus, Jesus is alive, is alive, Jesus, Jesus You’re alive, You’re alive…” which reverberated around St Mark’s making it a chamber of worship.

During the intermission we heard from Les Isaac (Jake’s dad) who spoke about his work with the Street Pastor’s and the impact they are having and the desire to recruit more young members to have an impact on their generation… Jake’s Pastor also spoke to the younger generation (during the intermission) about his generation putting an emphasis on success and material gain, sometimes at the expense of their faith and encouraged the younger generation to keep our eye’s on the prize, which is Jesus and make Him our priority.

Both of these presentations really seemed to echo Jake’s heart which to see his generation rise up and live for God whole-heartedly and worship Him in Spirit and in truth and to be socially responsible and impact the world we live in.

When Jake and the i = CHANGE emerged for the last section of the night they took us into praise with the synth driven, Pop/Worship offering ‘Be Lifted Up’ which would work just as well in church on a Sunday morning as it would on the radio… “Be lifted up, Jesus be lifted up, have all the praise and the glory, have all the praise and the glory…”

It wouldn’t be an i = CHANGE recording if Muyiwa’s deep baritone voice didn’t feature somewhere and it did on ‘Emmanuel (God With Us)’ with its call and response, vigorous and African feel which was contrasted by JC Henry’s range , runs and falsetto addition to the song… “With this song we will bring all glory, honour and all praise… To the Lamb that was slain for us but now forever reigns… Emmanuel, Emmanuel, God with us, always with us…”

Jake ended the night on his acoustic guitar leading the crowd in popular worship songs, which engaged the crowd and was a great way to end the night.

Throughout the night there was an innocent awkwardness and purity… The set wasn’t overly polished and perfected but it was organic and was a reflection of a group of young people who have a heart to worship.

For the most part, ‘Break These Chains’ has so many musical influences, Indie Rock, Folk, Soul, Pop, contemporary Praise & Worship and more create the soundtrack to this album.

I eagerly anticipate the ‘Break These Chains’ album… It will serve as a resource to the church with strong songs for worship services that will sound just as good with a full band as they do with just an acoustic guitar.

When I first heard the title ‘Break These Chains’ I immediately thought about freedom from slavery or being bound be the devil and asking God to set us free, free to live an abundant life or free to receive all of the blessings God has for us etc… However as the night went on and the songs penetrated my heart I think I began to understand what ‘Break These Chains’ is all about… The chains could represent sin, shame, heart-ache, pain, un-forgiveness and all of the things that stop us from connecting with God in worship in Spirit and truth and by breaking them release us into deep intimacy with God and the relationship He longs to have with us.

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