Mission House - Self-Titled
Music You Might Want to Consider - M
Ever since I became a Christian, I’ve had a long, complicated relationship with popular worship music. In the beginning, I didn’t listen to any of it. These were the days of Integrity’s Hosanna albums, and while they were all solid doctrinally, they were, well, too old school for my teenage musical palate.
Then came the “Winds of Worship” series. I was newly married at the time, and in an effort to introduce music that we both enjoyed into our home, I bought a few of these live albums (usually recorded in an exotic location, like Sweden or Australia), and at the time, I enjoyed them. I still had a rock and roll heart, so they were mostly on the playlist when we were both home or in the car.
Delirou5? hit the scene in the latter part of the 90s. And I’ll admit, as a young adult, I was in. Fun, ethereal, rock songs with a worship edge. I loved when they would mimic the sound of bands like U2 and Coldplay.
Eventually worship music became an entire subgenre of Christian Contemporary Music, and pretty much every Christian recording artist out there was doing a worship album. They ranged from pretty good, (Michael W. Smith’s “Worship”) to the obvious cashgrab, (The Newsboys, “Adoration), to terrible. (I won’t name names, but you can probably guess.
I got jaded with popular Christian worship music, despite being lured by (and then escaping) the pull of heretical Jesus Culture/Bethel Music for a short time. I started to become more conservative, longing for the hymns of old, more orthodox lyrics, but still played skillfully with production values.
Then I discovered Andrew Peterson, and the Rabbit Room. The Rabbit Room is a loose collection of like minded artists whose goal is to create beautiful things to honor our creator. These are people who find the beauty in poetry, trees, creative fiction, and obviously music. Every year they host a gathering of believers that they call Hutchmoot. And every year, it’s impossible for me to attend.
Then 2020 came. Hutchmoot was held online.
And you better believe I bought a ticket as soon as I could.
Now, I couldn’t take in everything that they offered. I couldn’t attend most of the breakout sessions, or participate in activities like cooking the same meal according to a recipe shared among attendees.
But I did take in the music. There was so much music. Thanks to UTR media, there was an entire channel full of intimate performances from a variety of artists. Of those artists, I instantly connected with the music of Jess Ray & Taylor Leonhardt, collectively known as Mission House.
I don’t have much to say about this particular album, because the music speaks for itself. But the real standout for me is “Never See the End”, and its follow up, “John 6”.
So if you’re like me, disenchanted by modern worship music, give Mission House a shot. Perhaps it will do for you what it did for me - held a mirror up to the beauty of our creator, for all to see.