CD Review & Give Away: Brian Wurzell – Grace Ocean

On this blog I especially desire to support indie worship music and Brian Wurzell’s “Grace Ocean” is something you need to know about. Out of Chandler, Arizona there is something taking place and a church leader and worship artist like Brian artfully strives to capture that story. At the end of the post, if you comment you can win one of two copies of “Grace Ocean.” Here is my take on the project.

The first song has a nice hook on the title song “Grace Ocean” making it a good opener, with a “missional” theme. I am tired of “oh ohs” in so many songs out today but, no worries. It’s fun to sing those sometimes and tasteful here. “Never turn away” mixes some nice dissonant harmonies, reflecting the tension of the idea of this song and reminiscent of some cool 80s riffs in the keyboard work.

“Sing” has a “loop” feel to it, which helps the syncopated drums pull you along. But, the song really could be applied simply and perhaps should be. “Shining” says “in troubled times we choose to hold you high… “ leads the way into a song about hope. “Floodgates” crunches some open acoustic guitar vibe that stands out to me on the album as fresh with a stark contrast to the chorus. I can imagine this song working fairly well in a modern worship set, while also being great in the car just when I need it.

“The floodgates are open wide, every need you will provide The floodgates are open wide, your grace has flooded into my life.”

Listening to a CD all the way through, the interlude “Inhale” is much like the Selah in the book of Psalms—as is the later “Exhale”. Give listening through a CD a try sometime!  “Great Redeemer” is another stand out with the strongest “singable” hook, combined with a very clear and well-articulated theological theme.

Great Redeemer, take our weaknesses and show yourself strong, show yourself strong Great Redeemer, making right out of all we have made wrong, all we have made wrong

“Father’s World” is a tastefully simple arrangement of a classic traditional hymn. I know worship leaders always look for modern renditions that bridge history to today. I give this CD a 3.5/5 rating and recommend it to worship leaders and worshipers alike looking for something modern, unique and fresh. Few CDs like Brian’s “Grace Ocean” take you somewhere as a whole, so especially this is a good road-trip album in my opinion.

Comment below and you can be one of 2 to win a CD! (Winners announce in a week.)

**(ADDED THUR. 2/24) BONUS TO THE 2 WINNERS!

My friends at Mighty Bright are offering the 2 winners this week each a $24.99 value Mighty Bright Duet Music Light!!

There is about 30 plus hours left, so comment to enter! Just leave a comment.

** (Feb 26 UPDATE) Alex and Rob are the WINNERS…thanks for all for participating 🙂

 

 

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Rich Kirkpatrick

Rich Kirkpatrick

Writer, Speaker, and Musician. Rich Kirkpatrick was recently rated #13 of the “Top 75 Religion Bloggers” by Newsmax.com, having also received recognition by Worship Leader Magazine as “Editor’s Choice” for the “Best of the Best” of blogs in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

29 comments

  1. Sounds like a great CD! Would love to give it a listen!Barry Westman

  2. Sounds great Rich! I love all things indie, especially worship music. John Mark Mcmillan and Eddie Kirkland are two of my personal favorites.
    Talk to you soon bro!

  3. OK guys, the odds or good for you so far. But, there is still a week left. Brian did a great job on the “Grace Ocean” CD.

  4. I’ve heard a few of these tracks. Great album and a great guy. Hook it up Richy

  5. Will the winner receive a physical CD or a digital iTunes download or…?

  6. I’m a big connoisseur of indie worship music and would love to have this CD in my library. You should also check out Jason Zerbin twitter.com/jasonzerbin and Benjamin Dunn twitter.com/benjamindunn Found them in the last few weeks and am really loving em. They are both on iTunes.

    1. Eric, thanks for the shout outs for Zerbin and Dunn and participating in the giveaway!

  7. hey rich,looks like a good album. i’m always looking for some good indie worship tunes. good to get out of the four chord repeats every so often 😉 haha! thanks for the heads up!

  8. Did Jeremy really say, “comment for the CD giveaway”? Did I really just quote another comment so that I could be in the running? yes, and yes. Love you Rich!

  9. I don’t want my name in the hat for a CD, but I reviewed this too (on my blog & for the worship community) and I must say that I not only like HIM (seems to be a GREAT DUDE) but my whole family is really blessed by his music. I’ve cast “Grace Ocean” and “Great Redeemer” before some of our musicians to see if they’d like to introduce them soon… great songs!

  10. I wanted to clarify for my readers the rating system I am using in 2011. It is 0-5.
    0-Do not buy it
    1-Poor effort
    2-Lacking, but perhaps worthy
    3-Good, worthy effort
    4-Excellent effort
    5-Rare/Amazing/NO one gets this (except Gungor’s “Beautiful Things”
    So, I am saying with a 3.5/5 rating that “Grace Ocean” is SURELY “Good and nearly to the excellent level”–QUALITY.
    I hope that clarifies for some of you.
    Thanks for participating!
    RK

  11. Nice! I look forward to hearing it!

  12. Thanks for the review. I like the idea of the inhale and exhale “Selah” moments you described in the CD. The words of “Great Redeemer” grabbed me, too. I’l definitely have to check it out (whether I win or not).

  13. Hey! I just met Brian at WPPI and would LOVE to own his new CD! Thanks for the contest!

  14. I would love to have the opportunity to experience some new worship music! Very excited for the opportunity! Thanks Rich!

    1. Jennifer, thanks for participating in the give away! We will at the end of Friday close and draw 2 winners.

  15. I like winning free things. Especially music related things.

  16. Free CD, sounds good. I would love to have a listen. Thanks Rich

  17. Sounds like a great CD. Heard great things about it. Would love to get it.

  18. I watched the launch concert online for the album; was pretty cool. Still haven’t gotten around to buying, so winning would be super sweet! Thanks for the opportunity, Rich. (We still need to do that Skype call.)

  19. I saw Brian live recently and he was great! Would love to win his CD. And I’m a musician and could put those lights to good use.

  20. I follow this man on twitter – he is awesome. Almost as awesome as Rich…almost.That music light is a nice addition to this contest – Hope I win!! 😉

  21. Alex and Rob are the WINNERS. Thanks for all for participating! 🙂

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