Los Angeles, CA — Los Angeles native and new artist Stephen B. Steward releases his long-awaited debut album, ENTER YOUR GATES, today May 20th available in stores and online via Central South Distribution.
An energetic worship experience that takes off full speed from the listener’s first press of “play”, the album starts with its enchanting title track “Enter Your Gates.” Navigating listeners through inspiring narratives of worship, the journey is guided by a prominence of scriptural references. From the Psalm 100:4-inspired “Enter Your Gates” to the John 14:6-derived “The Way, The Truth, The Life,” ENTER YOUR GATES lets the Word lead the way. And, lead it does.
Entering praise pathways where tunes like the album’s animated “The Sound of Heaven” ring as hand-clapping celebrations, elsewhere numbers like “Sing Alleluia,” “I Feel Your Presence,” and “I Repent” employ modest instrumentation to keep the message at the forefront. As all of the aforementioned feature simple, elegant arrangements led by piano or string, the songs opt to leave behind the gloss of numbers like “With My Whole Heart” and instead are carried by Stephen’s supple baritone.
The likes of the aptly titled “Something Special (ft. Adetomi Akinbode),” “Jesus Reign (ft. Candace Moore, Gromyko Collins, Carol Dennis-Dylan, and Belle Johnson),” and “I Sense Your Presence (ft. Candace Moore)” see Stephen team with gifted musicians and singers to impart a worship session strengthened by numbers. But, one of the album’s most notable tracks comes in the form of its official second single “Purify My Soul.” A prayer-filled petition for purity, the song’s contemporary decorations only accent the heartfelt lyrics. Calling by name the temptations men face every day, the song’s bold subject matter make it a daring record for Stephen. Yet, through its vulnerability, comes its beauty.
The standout track comes via the Andraé Crouch-assisted lead single “With My Whole Heart.” Boasting a cosmic guitar riff and lyrics that plea to the heart of God, the song shines as a testimony of loving the Lord with one’s entire being. A message that finds itself a mainstay on the album, the tune acts as a well-appointed midpoint on the musical journey that is ENTER YOUR GATES. It’s equally impressive remix, delegated to close the album, offers subtlety without distracting from the message.