Unveil, Jeff Deyo’s new worship album, releases on Tuesday, May 22. I have been a huge admirer of Deyo’s worship music ever since his days with the old-school SONICFLOOd many, many years ago. And it won’t come as a surprise to those who know me well that I was eager to place a pre-order on Unveil so I could get access to pre-release mp3s of the album.
Over the years, Deyo has been one of the few modern worship artists who has been willing to truly pull out the plug when it comes to unapologetically integrating a full, driving modern rock sound into worship music. That sound, together with Deyo’s passionate lyrics, have resulted in Deyo’s previous albums having a near permanent presence in my car’s CD player.
Deyo’s latest effort reflects a new level of maturity in two ways. First, while Deyo has never written music with the lyrical sophistication of – say – a Jason Morant (which is okay – simple, passionate lyrics work well in his music), this album definitely has a few thought-provoking moments. Here are a couple of my favorite lyrical moments, from the slow-building ballad entitled Glory:
Creation groans for that great day/when heaven and earth collide
With praise we walk against the night/this battle we have won/because of Christ our savior-king at last it will be done
I’m also impressed with the way Jeff’s music seems ready-made for worship events. These aren’t radio-songs that can be adapted for church purposes. They are songs written for live worship experiences that are adapted to an album format. Every chorus, every pre-chorus, every bridge feels faithfully assembled with an eye toward deployment of the key musical moments in a live worship experience, often with what I expect will be great results.
There are a few things I wish were different musically. In several instances, I would have preferred a more straightforward, consistent mix throughout the songs, rather than an effort to place some variation in the instrumentation. Also, the first pre-chorus in I Forever seems to just fall apart before the band reaches the smile-inducing, richly harmonic chorus. But those are minor complaints. Unveil may be the deepest, best-sounding effort from Jeff Deyo yet, and it will be an important component of my personal devotional life for many months to come.
You can listen to parts of the album here.