The Art Of Celebration is a humble attempt to bring back the often disregarded element in worship: celebration. As the group describes, it’s what the Psalmist calls “a joyful noise”. Boasting 13 tracks, this latest offering from Rend Collective gives a very positive and light vibe to the soul.
The first track, Joy, marks an energetic start. Its first line “we’re choosing celebration” is what the album all about. With a greater energy and tempo, Burn Like A Star stands out off the album. It calls us to shine brighter for Jesus, to change the History for His cause. And on the other side, the message of the next song, My Lighthouse, is Jesus shinning upon us. In the darkness, He is the One who leads us through, our peace in our troubled sea.
Musically speaking, The Art Of Celebration is superb in production. Embracing their native origin, Rend Collective chose their Irish folk instruments to give life to the songs. More Than Conqueror stands out in terms of this. The collective instruments in a slow pace complement the message and the vocals. And speaking of vocals, the most vocally-driven song in the album is All That I Am, an exhortation of the life of worship found in Romans 12:2.Laying aside the folky sound, Strength Of My Life, is the most mainstream-sounding cut in the album; finely orchestrated but generic in structure.
The album ends with its title track Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration), which is kind of ironic for me. I assumed and expected it to be the most joyous of all joyous cut in the album, but in the end it’s the most solemn. The song is all about the freedom that Christ has given to humanity when the veil was torn, when He said, “It is finished”. It has given us the freedom and access to approach the throne of Grace in worship. What I love most about this song is the theological richness and truth found on its lyrics. It is the most “worshipful” track on the entire album, and also my favourite.
Indeed, Rend Collective is no longer an Experiment. So far, The Art Of Celebration is their best and finest. Though some of the songs are not lyrically and theologically in-depth, still, they afford us a unique and different way of worship, with an element of celebration.