Jesusfreakhideout.com: All Above North “How Great It Is To Be Broken” Review
The early 2000’s was an amazing time for music: rock had evolved into so many denominations and expressions that it collided with pop, hip-hop, country, etc. Furthermore, worship music started to grow and change into a more mainstream sound leading to the explosion of Hillsong, Passion and Crowder, among other progressive pioneers. These incredible trailblazers have led to an ever-growing number of worship artists and bands. Adding to that growing fold is Australian based indie band All Above North with their debut album, How Great It Is to Be Broken.
The album is a collection of worship and inspirational songs for the Christian life, however, those lines tend to be blurred as humanity always has an object of affection and worship. Songs like “Your Love” and “Hope” and “Your Love is Unbreakable” reflect on the depravity that is ingrained in the human condition and the separation that it causes between God and His creation. Furthermore, these tracks are balanced out with an honest and heartfelt plea for God to draw the believer closer to himself. While these tracks and others like “Oh What a Day,” “My Desert Heart,” and “Please Don’t Forget Me” sing to the Lord, they are more introspective and not necessarily worship songs, per se.
On the contrary, “I Worship You Forever (Psalm 145)” is a pure song of worship and could even be used in gatherings of the church. As lead singer Jon Tiddy sings, “I exalt you God and Father, you’re compassionate, slow to anger, great in faithful love,” he pulls from scripture while utilizing U2 style instrumentation to create a beautiful track. The title track, “How Great It Is to Be Broken,” continues this same style but with a bit more epic arrangement, concluding the album in a solid fashion.
Overall, All Above North makes a great effort and has a lot to offer listeners. There are some incredible moments of genius, but with 90% of the songs on the album topping out at over 5 minutes each, listeners may not have the stamina or time to digest the album in its entirety. In addition, musically, the album is very reminiscent of U2 or early works from Coldplay, which may draw or repel listeners, but for this reviewer it is extremely intriguing. As AAN continues to grow and mature in songwriting, we may see some excellent music coming from the band. Make no mistake, How Great It Is to Be Broken is a good album–the instrumentation and production are top notch–it just needs to be honed in a little more to make it a great album. Nevertheless, we should all look forward to seeing the future of All Above North as the band evolves.
– Review date: 11/11/17, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com