Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Worship and BelieveWorship and Believe (Deluxe Edition) – Steven Curtis Chapman  
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This is Steven Curtis Chapman’s 23rd studio album and the first worship album in his wonderful career that to date has resulted in 10 million albums sold, 46 Christian radio number one songs, 5 Grammy Awards and an incredible 58 Dove Awards. The album is available in three different formats, the standard edition with eleven studio songs, and deluxe editions including either four or six of the songs recorded live.  I think worship music sounds good in a live format, but you’ll have to decide if the live versions are worth the additional cost.

It was when Chapman was on The Story tour with Pastor Randy Frazee that he first heard about BELIEVE, a 30-week church curriculum that Frazee was working on as the follow-up to The Story. Chapman wrote these songs to accompany the BELIEVE curriculum to be used by thousands of churches, but the songs certainly stand on their own as a worthy addition to Chapman’s outstanding body of work.

Chapman collaborates with some of the best artists in the worship music genre – Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman and Matt Maher, as well as Rend Collective and the drummer for One Direction. Long-time fans will enjoy his signature sounds in these songs addressed to God that I’m sure are already starting to appear in congregational worship.

Below are a few brief comment on each of the new songs:

We Believe – starts with acoustic guitar as Chapman sings of creation praising the glory of God. It builds into a bold song that will sound great in congregational worship.

One True God – a highlight, this track features Chris Tomlin in a song that would comfortably fit on a Tomlin release, as the two artists trade verses in a wonderful song about Christ as the one true God.

Amen – the first single, this high energy song features Rend Collective. It builds with a chorus that concludes in worship with “And all that we can say is….Amen!” for all that the Lord has done for us.

Hallelujah, You are Good – another highlight, this one features vocals from Matt Maher, one of my favorite artists. It’s a straightforward song to God that starts slowly and builds about His goodness. The song has an effective use of strings.

More Than Conquerors – based on the wonderful truths of Romans 8, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. The chorus has the same celebratory sound that “Amen” features.

Sing for You – beginning with acoustic guitar, this song is about the church making a joyful noise to the sovereign Rock of our Salvation. It starts slow and builds to a joyful chorus about glories of His grace and wonders of His love. A choir effectively joins Chapman near the end of the song.

Who You Say We Are – starting with a piano, this is a song of thankfulness to the Father for the greatness of His love and to the Son for the sacrifice He made for us. All we can say in response is “Thank You”.

The Body – we are the body of Christ. This song asks the Lord to empower us to do great things for Him.  He quotes part of the Lord’s Prayer and some lyrics directly from Chris Tomlin’s “God of this City”.

King of Love – starts slowly with just a piano, building with strings and drums, this is a song about believers serving for the Glory of our King Jesus.

We Are Listening – opens with miraculous works of God that take place at His powerful word (creation, healing). This is a prayer for us to hear the voice of our Trinitarian God. It’s a mid-tempo song that builds into a joyful chorus with some good backing vocals.

God of Forever – starts with acoustic guitars and builds to a joyful chorus with some good backing vocals. This is a song to our sovereign God ~ He is the first and last ~ He is forever and has saved us to be forever His. We will forever sing praises to Him.    

music news

  • More than Conquerors. Watch this video of Steven Curtis Chapman performing his new song “More Than Conquerors” live.
  • Jumped Out the Whip. Here’s my favorite song of the year thus far, from Tedashii’s new EP This Time Around.
  • Nonchalant. Check out the new video of “Nonchalant” from Steve Taylor and the Danielson Foil’s EP Wow to the Deadne
  • Fallen Angels. Bob Dylan’s new album is titled Fallen Angels, which will be released May 20. For his upcoming summer tour with Mavis Staples, for every pair of tickets purchased, you will receive a redemption code to get a CD of Fallen Angels.
  • My Victory. Here is the official live video for Crowder’s “My Victory” from the album Passion: Salvation’s Tide Is Rising.
  • Gangland. Check out this video of Lecrae’s song “Gangland” featuring Propaganda from his new Church Clothes 3.  
  • Christian Hip-Hop Radio Stations. For some time I’ve enjoyed listening to Hot 95.9 in Orlando. I recently found NGEN Radio in Houston, and would recommend both of them to those of you who enjoy Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Trip Lee, KB, Tedashii, etc.
  • Newsboys Top 10 Singles of All Time. The Newsboys have had 33 number one Christian songs. The editors of CCM Magazine pick the top ten. See the list and watch the corresponding music videos.
  • Oh The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus by Audrey Assad. Listen this beautiful version featuring backing vocals by Fernando Ortega.

Chris Tomlin Quote

Let your criticism be fueled by compassion. Andy Mineo

I’m guilty, filthy, and stained. But He became a curse, drank my cup and took my pain. Lecrae   

 

Song of the Week – It is What it Is by Lecrae

This is one of my favorite songs from Lecrae’s new mixtape Church Clothes 3. I’m really looking forward to seeing him in concert in Peoria (Illinois) on April 17.

Listen to the song here.

I’m hearin’ screams and they sayin’ we sold out
But I’m hearin’ screams from the stands cause we sold out, it’s so loud
I got one life so I spend time tryna live ’til the next one
If you don’t like it, cool
It is what it is, it is what it is
It is what it is, it is what it is
My plate too full to sample that dish
It is what it is, it is what it is
I’m handlin’ biz, it is what it is
It is what it is, it is what it is

Some like, “I ain’t really feelin’ that bruh
I ain’t with religious rap, bruh”
Some sayin’ it is devil rap
Illuminati-on-another-level rap
Fell flat from heaven went to hell and back, huh?
A lot of radio ain’t givin’ no play, but it’s ok
Cause my day one’s been A-1
Before the co-signs and the pros came
Where you been, been boy, boy?
You ain’t been keepin’ up
Church Clothes 1 and 2, then Anomaly
You probably need to turn your speakers up
And now I’m on my third tape
And I just might drop it on a Thursday
So tell the industry and my enemy
That your man wouldn’t follow in they rules in the first place
Thirty plus in the residential
In the truck feelin’ presidential
With my girl lookin’ detrimental
Killin’ anything tryna to be a side piece out my mental
Outta your mind
You thinkin’ I’m leavin’ my baby by marchin’ for dimes?
You’ll get that curve, you way out of line
Gave her that rock, I’m stayin’ with mine
I keep the huddle mad tight, too many players I don’t trust now
You wasn’t with me on the 4th down, huh?
Then you can miss me when I touchdownChurch Clothes 3
And that’s no shade, no shade
It’s just those games, I don’t play
I’m gettin’ wiser with more age
And realizin’ some gonna hate
And that’s ok

I’m hearin’ screams and they sayin’ we sold out
But I’m hearin’ screams from the stands cause we sold out, it’s so loud
I got one life so I spend time tryna live ’til the next one
If you don’t like it, cool
It is what it is, it is what it is
It is what it is, it is what it is
My plate too full to sample that dish
It is what it is, it is what it is
I’m handlin’ biz, it is what it is
It is what it is, it is what it is

Hold up
Let me get a minute from the flexin’
Foreign cars and the million dollar jets
And futuristic clothes, feelin’ like a Jetson
Cause keep it trill, it ain’t really that impressive
Blessed, but I ain’t frontin’ with the Grammys or the fame
I’m just stuntin’ with my family unashamed
And cats say, “Crae, you done got it all
In the gym workin’ hard, you should show it off!”
Nah, that ain’t never been my forte
“Pride come before the fall”, what the Word say
And I’ve been eatin’ off the wordplay
Working hard on the lyrics that the world play
Remember where I came from in the first place
It’s all a gift, every breath is a birthday
So I spend time tryna find all of these souls lost
Cause it’s a wasted time if I got it all and they souls lost
I ain’t tryna to ball
If that’s what you feel then your goals off
It’s a different game tryna get this truth
Put you on and then go off
So, yeah, I may swag at award shows
Get some jet lag from a tour show
Keep a couple abs on my torso
But none of that is gon’ matter when the horn blow
I ain’t tryna front for them flashin’ lights
Man they had us, life is a gift
So if last night was my last night, them I’m good
It is what it is

I’m hearin’ screams and they sayin’ we sold out
But I’m hearin’ screams from the stands cause we sold out, it’s so loud
I got one life so I spend time tryna live ’til the next one
If you don’t like it, cool
It is what it is, it is what it is
It is what it is, it is what it is
My plate too full to sample that dish
It is what it is, it is what it is
I’m handlin’ biz, it is what it is
It is what it is, it is what it is

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence. I’m married to my best friend. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 100 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people determine their callings, develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. My favorite book is the Bible, and some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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