Music Review: Jesus Culture – South Africa Tour: Accomplished And Approachable, Or Hits With Heart


Bruce Dennill

Writer. Reader. Singer. Songwriter. Believer. Likes to learn.

All content by Bruce Dennill first published on pARTicipate, republished with permission.
Bruce Dennill



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Jesus Culture: South Africa Tour / Rhema Bible Church, Randburg, Johannesburg               7.5


Conceived as the spearhead of a youth movement, Jesus Culture (the band) has, like Hillsong United and others before them, become a staple of the worship music market, in terms of both songwriting – their contribution to the congregational canon is ever more impressive – and performance terms, setting high standards across the board. Founding member Kim Walker-Smith has a distinctive vocal style that both anchors the songs she sings and viscerally excites the listener, with the other lead vocalist, established solo singer-songwriter Chris McClarney, nearly matching her with his own expressive voice.

Interestingly the seven-piece band makes very little use of vocal harmonies, even from the two lead singers: when Walker-Smith is at the mic, McClarney steps back and vice versa. This is apparently an outcome of the worship leader training at Bethel…

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