The worship experience is something that many a mainstream church takes very seriously; providing music that is personal, inclusive and above all else relative to the society for which it is ministering to.
Indie duo Zak and Amy, are bringing their translation of worshipful music to the masses with their latest release, I Will Say Yes. Opening the album is the semi-epic “You’re Welcome Here,” inviting the Holy Spirit to let His glory fall. Musically, the track has all of the elements for a climactic moment but by the time it hits, it feels like a lackluster hyped moment. “I Will Say Yes,” “How I Love You,” “All Power” and “Can You See Him Now?” continue with the same tone but with a stronger flow and performance. “You’re the Only One” shows a softer acoustic side to the duo, which is a welcomed sound; Zak’s vocals fit this style very well.
However, the song, at first listen, gave a message that wasn’t discernible if the track is a love song to a spouse or an affectionate ballad to the Lord. The only line that truly makes the message crystal clear is the line, “All my hope is in you, oh Lord.” If that one line was removed, it would be a solid love song for a coffee shop performance. The album concludes with two remixed tracks, “The Light” and “Everything I Have,” that may have been considered to not cohesively flow with the rest of the album.
On the contrary, in my opinion, they seem to continue in the same thread and don’t truly seem like remixes. The former track has elegantly layered synths that complement Amy’s vocals very well and match the lyrics well as she sings of glorifying the Lord while going through “the fire.” The latter, and final, song has a more ethereal sound that plays off theme of surrender very well. Musically it may seem melancholy but the introspective reflectiveness in the lyrics makes it a strong ending for the album. Overall the production quality of I Will Say Yes is extremely high; Zak and Amy have the musical fortitude to create a solid release.
Unfortunately, the album doesn’t truly grasp the listener by the shoulders and make them want more. It’s lyrically steady but not solid; they feel more like simple overly-personal prayers that are set to music. Some critics of that opinion may reference the book of Psalms in comparison but while the psalms may reference the emotional response of the writer, they even more so reflect on the character of God. There is a time and place for those moments, but it felt like this album somewhat drowned in them.
Nevertheless, Zak and Amy are solid artists that we’ll more than likely hear from again in the future. This may not be the best introduction to the group but the future is bright for these two.