Album Review: Planetshakers’ Outback Worship Sessions

Known worldwide for their high-sounding rock-electronic dance music, Planetshakers from Melbourne, Australia has recently released their newest praise and worship album called “Outback Worship Sessions.” Featuring some of their biggest hits re-crafted by Grammy award-winning producer Ed Cash, this new album presents a “very different” Planetshakers. Far from what we are used of them, this new studio album is a beautiful rest from blasting guitars and electronic-synths effects to the arms of a very organic and intimate acoustic worship.

For the record, this is not the first time Planetshakers have made an acoustic album. In 2008, they have released the outstanding 14-cut “Beautiful Saviour: Acoustic Series [Volume 1],” and because of which, I have an enough idea how will Planetshakers sound without the swirling synths and electronic effects. I must say that the simpler musicality and lesser backing are the elements that separate “Outback Worship Sessions” from their preceding albums. These things have given each of the songs an emphasis vocally.What I love most about this release, aside from its intimate worship setting, is the message that it conveys, which shifts from one song to another. Songs like “Like A Fire,” “Spirit of God,” and “Leave Me Astounded” are all prayerful songs that ask for God’s spirit to come, move and saturate. Notice that on the fourth cut, “My Soul Longs for Jesus,” the message shifts to hunger, thirst, and longing for Jesus, while the succeeding tracks show the aftermath of a Holy Spirit indwelling—a life of endless praise.

“My Soul Longs For Jesus,” a song written by Ed Cash, is my most favorite track in the album. Sung by Sam Evans, this song is more of a hymnal in structure. I just love how the song goes, its every aspect—theologically rich and musically simple yet spirit-moving. Another theologically deep, faith-stirring song is “Made For Worship.” A worship ballad highly infused with very enticing folksy music—also sung by Evans.
The new treatment of the band’s loudest hits is also a very notable thing—all are made even better. These tracks include “Endless Praise,” “This Is The Day” (now features a female vocal), and “This Is Our Time.” “Nothing Is Impossible” is also worth mentioning for its newly added verse, which goes this way: “Speak to every limitation, victory is my declaration. The same power that raised You from the grave, is in me, so I will give you praise!”

As usual on their every release, Planetshakers has again set the bar high. “Outback Worship Sessions” is a complete album—very raw and honest, faith-stirring, musically brilliant, theologically rich, and most of all, very congregational. These elements are hardly found complete on worship albums these days. I am so grateful to say that Planetshakers never fails to amaze me. They are literally breaking every limitation.I strongly recommend this worship album!

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