‘LION’ embraces the duality of Christ

Highly decorated worship band Elevation releases album ahead of national tour with Steven Furtick.

Emily Coffey, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Elevation Worship released “LION” on March 4. In the last four days, multiple songs garnered millions of plays on Spotify alone, contesting its previous works for its popularity among Christian audiences. Elevation Worship will partner with pastor Steven Furtick for a national tour of this album, ending May 4. 

LYRICAL CONTENT 

In an interview with CCM music, Chris Brown, the lead worship pastor and key writer, admitted that the writing process for this album was not typical for the worship band.  

We didn’t start writing with a particular album or end goal in mind,” Brown said. “We just began to create and capture songs throughout the year and eventually found ourselves with this collection of songs that we loved.

The album reflects this writing process by showing a range from quiet, reflective music like “Dancing (feat. Joe L Barnes & Tiffany Hudson)” to anthemic worship songs that will undoubtedly serve the upcoming tour, like “Might Get Loud (feat. Chris Brown, Brandon Lake & Tiffany Hudson” or “What I See (feat. Chris Brown).” 

The cover art and title further the duality this album possesses by contrasting the opposite natures of God and His actions. Brown elaborated on this for CCM. 

​​There’s a lyric in the song ‘LION’ that says ‘Like a lamb you suffered, but the Lion has arose,” Brown said. “In the wildest plot twist, Jesus conquers death once and for all, but instead of doing it by a forceful takeover, He conquers through crucifixion. The Lion conquers by suffering as a sacrificial lamb.”

BALLADS AND BELIEFS 

“Dancing (feat. Joe L Barnes & Tiffany Hudson)”  begins and ends like a love song, and without the context of the entire album, could easily be mistaken for one—belonging in the center of a Thomas Rhett album. This song stands out as one of the few recorded in the studio, meaning that there are no roaring crowds in the background. The lyrical content could be interpreted as either a song for a newly wed husband and wife or a “love song” from the church to Christ. 

When You walked across the room/ And asked me to dance with You/ You said, ‘You’re the one I choose’/ I couldn’t believe it,” Barnes sings in the first verse. 

Though this is classic for Christian music, it could present problems when listened to by diverse audiences, who might question the potency of the gospel when something so romantic is played in the center of a worship album. However, given enough context, the song is a beautiful exposition of the enduring love of Christ.  

Presenting a similar tone, “Why (feat. Valley Boys)” is a beautiful song that questions and shows the remaining love of Christ amidst failure. 

“Even when I turn my back (You love me)/ Even when I curse Your name (You love me),” Lake and the Valley Boys sing on the bridge. 

The worship band will be touring the midwest and East Coast through May 5. Listen to the album via Spotify and Apple Music.  

 

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