Singer-songwriter Malachi’s Ministry, the project of Joe Malachi, releases his new EP, For the Most High, a five-track collection of songs with spiritual significance and universal appeal.
Produced by Philadelphia-based guitarist Gabriele Guma, For the Most High blends elements of rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B, and spoken word into an interrelated series of compositions.
“Praise Be” rolls out on radiant, emerging tones topped by a luminous guitar that adds a prog-rock flow to the tune. Malachi’s gentle, mellifluous vocals imbue the lyrics with soft numinous surfaces. The feel and mood of the song are both relaxing and compelling.
Flavored with hints of reggae and hip-hop, “Mercy” travels on a thumping-lite, swaying rhythm and shimmering guitars and percolating accents as Malachi displays his vocal range, shifting from smooth melodicism to a delicious rapping flow.
A personal favorite because of its heavy, growling guitars riding crunching percussion and a thick bassline, “Christ Alive” thrums with rumbling, muscular energy. The lyrical message encompasses valuing time, understanding your personal needs, overcoming obstacles, following your heart, and standing strong.
Talking about “Christ Alive,” Malachi shares, “The inspiration for the lyrics came from my reconnecting with Christ again, especially as a teacher, and how that experience helped me to focus on manifesting my goals. Yet the song is not preachy and meant for everyone, regardless of what you believe.”
Traveling on a contagious R&B rhythm, “God Alone” features a low-fi guitar as Malachi’s soulful vocals imbue the lyrics with entrancing timbres, vaguely reminiscent of Leonard Cohen. At once sumptuous and alluring, this track reveals smooth, polished textures.
“Psalm 57” written by David, closes the EP. The first half of the psalm sees David petitioning God to save him from his enemies, while in the second half, David has centered down into God, and anticipates divine deliverance.
Backed by sheens of glowing music, Malachi reads the psalm, investing the words with David’s movement from anxiety and fear to spiritual tranquility.
With For the Most High, Malachi’s Ministry merges the engaging savors of secular music with the transcendent power of devotion.