by Sam Robinson
Manchester natives Rivers & Robots are ready to unleash their third album All Things New. The group originally started as a solo project for lead singer Jonathan Ogden back in 2010, but have now grown to become a four-piece band. All Things New is the first studio recording from the expanded Rivers & Robots, and it’s a sweet collection of worship jams firmly fixed on Jesus and the new creation that he enables us to enter into.
The album begins with upbeat opener We Have Overcome. Filled with guitar picking and handclaps galore, it sets the scene that this album is pointing to the age to come: ‘Hallelujah! We will be with you!’
Perfect Love delights in the joy we experience now that Christ dwells with us by his Spirit. It contains a danceable groove founded on a fantastic bass line and electronic glitches. This track is sure to be a live favourite – if it’s not already!
The next few songs focus on Jesus and his right to be praised for eternity. White As Snow strips things back to just vocals and guitar and speaks of our scarlet sins being washed white. Fall Down is a surprising summer jam, with glitches, loops and a super-chilled vibe. It paints a picture of everything – all creation – falling to their knees before our Lord Jesus.
You Hear Me is a beautiful track, and speaks of the power of prayer, now enabled by the Spirit: ‘Now I speak straight to the King above all kings, and I know that you are always listening.’ I was taken aback a little by this song as it made me realise that there’s not a whole lot of songs about prayer. But I’m thankful for this one!
The standout track for me on All Things New arrives halfway through the record with In the Family. Musically, it slinks along with gorgeous piano and real jazz vibes. It brings to the table our adoption and new identity in Christ – that we are now forgiven, and called his sons and daughters. ‘I was a slave to sin but I no longer live, for it’s you who lives in me’.
Another jam arrives on Shepherd of My Soul, soaked in electric guitar and evolves to feature strong drums and heavier sounds. It’s about surrendering everything of ourselves to Jesus. It transforms towards the end into a big rhythmical breakdown as Jonathan sings about God making all things new. Light Will Dawn brings back a danceable groove, and Voice That Stills the Raging Sea closes the album with a reflective, near seven minute slow dance.
All Things New is without a doubt one of the most exciting records of the year so far and packages together so many beautiful scripture-inspired images of Jesus on his throne, and all bowing down before him. Rivers & Robots have a real heart for the gospel and spend this whole album pointing to Jesus. Don’t miss out on this wonderful release. I’m giving this album four out of five stars.
All Things New by Rivers & Robots will be released Tuesday, 8th July and will be available as a free download at comeandlive.com. You can still support the band by purchasing the album (with bonus tracks) on Bandcamp and iTunes. Read our interview with lead singer Jonathan Ogden about the album here.