Being part of a mega-worship movement whose sound has circumnavigated the globe must be an inspirational place to be. However, it also throws up a challenge for those within the Jesus Culture posse to stand up and sound different. Justin Jarvis has attempted to do just that with his debut album, which was recorded live on tour with the band.
Familiar dynamics and patterns permeate each of the ten tracks, which is hardly surprising given the involvement of the JC band and production team. Epic opener ‘Take Heart’ is a perfect example.
What makes this album stand out is Jarvis’ vocal, which has a ‘Chris Martin’ charm, an accelerating vibrato and a noticeable vocal inflection. This draws you in, and every time you listen you begin to like it more.
Many of his songs feature good theological content alongside likeable, catchy melodies.
Modern hymn ‘Heaven’s Light’, prayerful ‘In the Middle’ and the title track with its effective contemporary climb, reveal how distinctive Jarvis is as a writer, both lyrically and melodically.
A one-off dip into this album may not propel Atmospheres immediately into your worship playlist, but it is most definitely a grower.
SUE RINALDI is a singer-songwriter