Jonathan Miller's debut EP King Of All is an impressive entrance into the world of congregational worship music.
The Kensington Temple worship leader wrote the seven tracks over a period of 15 months.
Songs such as Come Let Us Worship and This Is Our King aren't dissimilar to tunes released by better-known names such as Matt Redman and Chris Tomlin. But what is striking about Jonathan's songs is that they are of a quality not dissimilar to the both Redman's and Tomlin's early works.
In aiming to produce a top quality album, the songwriter employed the talents of professional musicians and producer Paul Burton. This push for professionalism has meant that King of All doesn't sound like a debut independent project at all. With Jonathan's unique sound powering through strong songs, the EP sounds like it has the backing of a major label behind it. In reality, this is an independent release.
Spending his teenage years in Kansas City and sitting under the ministry of the likes of David Ruis and Kevin Prosch, Jonathan has spent many years of his life singing worship songs. But it wasn't until he moved back to the UK that his passion for worship was really unlocked. Were it not for the encouragement of the people at Kensington Temple, this EP may never have been created.
Jonathan's lyrics are always God-centred and he clearly desires that his songs be used in a congregational setting. "You displayed your power / You perform your wonders / Eyes and ears were opened / Captives were set free / You revealed your glory / Light expelled the darkness / You embrace the cross / Now you wear the crown" he sings in the title track.
The EP's greatest strength could also be its greatest weakness. It's great to have congregational worship songs set to pop/rock music. But critics will argue the Western Church has already written plenty of such songs. Jonathan's songs have clearly excited his home congregation. How far these tracks will travel outside of Kensington Temple remains to be seen.
There's no reason why Jonathan can't go on to write many more songs like these and perhaps even gain the backing of a major label. He has a talent for crafting words and music that encourages the Church to praise God. Thirsty in particular stands out as a track full of life and longing. This Is Our King also has a great rhythm to it.
Although the EP lacks a track that really grabs the attention from the get-go, a close listen will reveal plenty of material that other worship leaders can both use and be inspired by. And if you're someone who loves to listen to worship music as you go about your day, this is by far the best independent release you'll find this winter.
King Of All is available now on iTunes