AS&D Live Review: Hollywood Jesus

All Sons & Daughters-Live (Erin Warkentin)
For Leslie Jordan and David Leonard, music isn’t just a passion it’s a job. At Journey Church in Franklin Tennessee, where they met and began writing songs together, you can find them leading worship every Sunday. All Sons & Daughters originated from these two leaders’ soulful songwriting and has transformed them into Christian/Indie sensations. They have released several EPs, and only last year, came out with their first album Season One. That album had all of the elements of great Indie talent- the rawness of unpolished voices, not-too-overproduced sounds, and the kind of heart that connects and engages its listeners. In the duo’s second album Live they explore several of their powerful hits and add all new songs to the mix in this corporate worship-style disc.

The thing I love about this album, that really sets it apart from other live worship albums, is that it’s not in a giant arena full of screaming “fans,” who give tired songs a renewed energy. It’s recorded in a chapel and gives the listener the feel that they’ve just walked into church and sat down. It allows the audience to feel a real emotional connection to the music because it is so organic and beautiful. It features several favorites from Season One like “Reason To Sing,” an intimate song about wanting to find hope in a lost time, and “The Poor and Powerless,” which is taken to a whole new level of anthemic greatness in the live version.

The wonderful thing about their songwriting, is their ability to tap into the nature of humanity. So many of their songs admit a sinful nature and a desire to be closer to God. In “Brokenness Aside,” the main chorus explores just that. “‘Cause I am a sinner if its not one thing its another. Caught up in words tangled in lies. But You are the Savior and you take brokenness aside and make it beautiful.” This song is especially moving and powerful in the live album because it has a much more full sound and an army of heavenly voices singing in unison that relays the message so beautifully. In fact, all of the songs seem to be much more rich and fuller sounding than their previous album, so you’re not just getting a live version of an already perfected song. I find I almost liked the live versions of the songs better than the originals because of this quality.

I love the way All Sons & Daughters is shaping and changing the face of corporate worship albums. They are a great addition to the Christian-Indie family and their Live album is just further evidence of their creativity and talent. I give this album a very big 9 out of 10 stars.