On Nov. 23, Rocketown Records will re-release Exodus, a various artist compilation of original songs that many credit with launching the modern worship movement. First released in 1998, Exodus boasted a who’s who of Christian music artists, including dc talk, Jars of Clay, Michael W. Smith, Sixpence None the Richer and Third Day, among others. The Exodus of 2004 offers all the original recordings plus three new tracks from new artists Nirva, Taylor Sorensen and Robbie Seay Band.
Since before the inception of his label Rocketown Records in 1996, founder Michael W. Smith had dreamed of an album that would pull together many of his friends to participate in a modern movement of worship. Producing the album himself, Smith entered the studio with fellow artists dc Talk, Jars of Clay, Sixpence None the Richer, Third Day, Cindy Morgan, Chris Rice, Crystal Lewis and The Katinas. Planning and recording the album took a full two years, but the end result still stands the test of time six years after its release.
“I still love listening to the album,” said Smith. “It struck such a nerve when it came out, and I have so many of the current artists in the modern worship world tell me all the time how much they were impacted by Exodus. I can take very little credit for that as a producer—the artists on this album were amazing, and I think the songs were all truly great songs.
“But at the same time, it’s like Exodus came out in front of this whole wave of contemporary worship music that we’re seeing now. All the worship that’s happening now is awesome, but I just feel like if Exodus would have come out now for the first time, it would be bigger than we’ve ever imagined. It’s a timeless record, and it deserves another chance to find more fans. There’s something really special about this album—I can still put it on and honestly enjoy every moment. I want other people to have the opportunity to go back, hear this record and take it home.”
The Exodus journey continues Nov. 23 as three new artists join the project with powerful modern worship tracks as bonus material. Rocketown’s own Taylor Sorensen offers a new version of his song, “Sing (Or the Rocks Will Get To)” that features a newly recorded duet with Delirious’ Martin Smith. Sorensen will be joining Delirious as opening act on its October tour of the United Kingdom. Michael W. Smith returns to helm a new track for Exodus, this time the song “Jesus’ Blood” from stunning singer Nirva, who many may recognize from her participation on recent Toby Mac tours and albums. Independent Texas artist Robbie Seay Band rounds out the new material with its original song, “Hallelujah God Is Near.”
Michael W. Smith noted of the new tracks, “I'll never forget being with Nirva backstage at a festival and her talking about her heart for praise and worship. I was so struck by how genuine she was. ‘Jesus Blood’ is a Martin Smith song that we sing at our church all the time, and I thought of that song and Nirva immediately when we were thinking about re-releasing Exodus. Robbie Seay Band also brings a great song, and I absolutely love this guy’s voice. And Taylor Sorensen is Rocketown’s newest artist, and I'm still blown away by his track ‘Sing.’ It's a very unique, mature song, and another great addition to Exodus.”