Review: Jake Hamilton – Freedom Calling


Released May 19 2011

Kingsway

Reviewed By Tyler Hess

I have a story to tell.  About three Summers ago, I went to Disney’s “California Adventure” theme park with a group of friends.  The park is right next to Disneyland and has a ride called “Tower of Terror”.  I had never been there before and my friends really wanted to go on the ride.  They knew that I don’t like roller coaster type rides, so they told me what I would call a big fat lie.  The Tower of Terror was supposedly just like “Haunted Mansion”, which is a very calm, ghostly ride at Disneyland.  What I came to find out a few seconds into the ride was that this tower of lies was nothing like the ghost house, but that it include repeated rising and falling, up to thirteen stories at a time in a free fall manner.  The point was that it was nothing like what I expected it to be.  I wasn’t like to about Jake Hamilton, but his music is the exact opposite of what I would have guessed.

Hamilton is part of the worship team that makes up Jesus Culture, whom we’ve covered around here and a solo artist from that team one might expect to play something acoustic, but similar in nature.  What I found instead was straight up intensity.  Freedom Calling is the recording of Hamilton’s life show and begins with two double digit minute songs with raw intensity that would make fans of Red and Skillet melt faster than ice cream in Hawaii.  The funny thing is that this is still worship music.  It is crazy in your face worship music, but still worship music, just probably not your grandmother’s worship music as it is more likely to excite the younger generation that doesn’t like to sit still just because they love Christ.

The biggest drawback might be that listening to the music in an audio only format loses much of the production in translation.  Yes, you can get a feel for how the show moves from song to song and within the song, but live shows just don’t sound as good on audio as they do when you’re actually there or at least can see it on DVD.  Jake Hamilton’s voice is strained and gets off course much more often than what you’d get from a studio production.  There is a DVD version that goes along with this that I haven’t seen, so that may help, but for the audio only you only get part of the picture.

What is most apparent over the course of the record is that you’re getting a passionate voice from Jake Hamilton, with worship music that sounds a lot like Seventh Day Slumber with a few more guitar solo riffs.

Tracklisting:

  1. War Drums
  2. New Song
  3. Supernatural Revolution
  4. You
  5. Take It All
  6. It’s A Garden
  7. Looking For One
  8. Breakout
  9. Freedom Calling
  10. Darkest Before The Dawn
  11. Hallelujah
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