River Valley has previously made three studio projects before this one and is produced by Luke Fredrickson who’s worked with artists like Jeremy Camp.
‘Edge of Heaven’ is a collection of 12 original worship songs performed by their in-house worship leaders who serve across their eight campuses. Many of these songs were apparently written with a focus on specific preaching events planned at River Valley Church for over a year.
‘Edge of Heaven’: about the songs
‘The church is alive’ is a peppy opener singing about our hope in the Lord. It could have been a better song if not for this bridge:
This is what it sounds like
This is what it looks like
This is what it feels like
When the church is alive
To me, this is just plain wrong. A church that’s alive should not just look, sound and feel like a concert—it has to be much more than that.
‘Do it again’ continues the up-tempo start to the album calling out to God to ‘do it again’—not clear as to what it is that He has to do again though. Take these lines for example:
You got me living again
Would you do it again
Would you do it again
For me, the project hit top gear with the third track, ‘I am healed’—a song that’s particularly meaningful for worship leader Ryan Williams who testifies to singing this song through a long and painful recovery from a severe disc problem in his back.
‘I am healed’ is a very well written, expressive song about healing with one of the most powerful bridges I’ve ever heard. It’s sure to get you singing along again and again and again—trust me, don’t miss this song!
‘All for the One who saved me’ is a classy 6/8 tune that nails some really important themes: inviting the Lord’s Presence, surrender and mission. I enjoyed the lyrics on this one.
‘Your Presence’ is a fervent cry to the Holy Spirit to rest His Presence with us and breathe upon us. The song works well with an uncomplicated arrangement and helps give voice to the longing in all our souls.
The title track ‘Edge of Heaven’ is next singing about the hope we have in Jesus as we wait for Heaven. Another standout song on this album.
‘Joy is coming’ is a well written song about the assurance we have in Christ through the trials we may face.
‘Nothing was the same’ sings about how the Cross has made all things new including us.
‘No wonder (roar of the rugged Cross)’ is a beautiful lyric about the Passion of the Lord, resurrection and salvation. It turns out to be is a terrific song especially for worship during the Lenten season—definitely one of the best tracks in this album!
I loved the third verse especially:
I see redemption
Ravage the grave
The triumph of Heaven
Christ Jesus our King
I assumed ‘Then sings my soul’ is a remake of the hymn ‘How great Thou art’, but it isn’t. Except for the first line in the chorus, which sings ‘Then sings my soul’ in the same melody as the hymn. Everything else is different—frankly, it felt weird. Why would you even do this?!
The album closes with two up-tempo songs ‘God’s not done’ and ‘The best is yet to come’.
Here’s the video of ‘I am healed’ to understand how they sound like:
The overall feel of the live recording is quite nice and there’s a genuine sense of community going on here with multiple artists coming together effectively for this project.
The talent is obviously there and the production too is crisp and solid. The slow-tempo songs are especially very good and could easily be used in congregational worship.
What let me down in a few of the songs is the musical style—when I closed my eyes while listening, the arrangements tended to transport me to a club than a worship concert.
But then, if that’s the style that’s working fine at River Valley Church’s eight campuses, who am I to complain!
The River Valley website is generously giving away chord charts for all the songs and a graphics pack for free. In fact, there are two versions of the chord chart for each song—one with regular chords and another using the Nashville Number system.
Head over to http://rivervalleyworship.org/ to grab these downloads.
River Valley has also published song tutorial videos at YouTube apart from standard song videos.
If you need backing tracks for these songs, they are available for purchase at MultiTracks.com.
‘Edge of Heaven’ giveaway!
‘Edge of Heaven’ is now available for purchase at all major digital service providers.
However, you can participate to win a free copy here!
How to enter this giveaway
Two winners will be picked and given a link to download a digital copy of ‘Edge of Heaven’ for free!
This giveaway is over.