Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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The Misadventures of Fern and Marty
****

The Misadventures of Fern & Marty is the first Social Club full-album release on Capitol Records after being independent artists, and their fourth studio album overall. The fifteen songs include themes of marriage, family, the grace and love of God and plenty of fun. There are a number of special guests such as Andy Mineo. Unless otherwise noted, the songs were produced by 42 North and Wit.

I really enjoyed this album. Below are a few comments about each of the songs:

Vibes Vibes Vibes – This song is written by 42 North, Wit, and the Social Club Misfits. It features a good beat right out of the box, with Fern and Aha Gazelle trading verses on this autobiographical track.  It includes reference to their being signed to Capitol Records:

Now they say that we great
I just say that you late

Independent so long when the labels would call we thought it was fake

The song closes with a spoken word piece by about what it mean to be a misfit.

Pop Out Revenge – This song is produced by Amarl, and was the first single released from the album. It was written by Amarl and the Social Club Misfits and features some good beats. Amarl, Marty and Fern all take a turn at the lead vocals. Includes another reference to them being signed by Capitol.

Love 4 Real– This was the second radio single released. It was written by Wit, 42 North, Daramola and the Social Club Misfits. It’s a love song about dating, marriage and family. It has more of an easy-going vibe. Fern, Marty and Daramola share the lead vocals.

Who Else
– This is a fun song that features Andy Mineo and includes lines like “Bout to make chubby fellas cool again” and “Come to your door like I’m Newman”. It was originally made for their Friends and Family Tour.  It’s has a good beat throughout, and is my favorite track on the album, reminding me of the excellent collaboration Marty had with Mineo on “Paisano’s Wylin” from the latter’s Neverland EP. The track is produced by 42 North and written by Mineo and the Social Club Misfits.
Different People ft. Tree Giants
– This is a more serious song about relationships, the cost of love, and what it looks like to maintain a healthy relationship, appreciating what you have. It is written by 42 North, Wit and the Social Club Misfits.  It features Tree Giants, who share lead vocals with Marty and Fern. It’s a slower song with a heavy beat.

Maybe
– This song features Chris Baston, who shares lead vocals with Marty and Fern. It was written by 42 North, Wit, Chris Baston and the Social Club Misfits. This song features a slower groove and some autobiographical lyrics:

Wish that I could go and just reverse time
And right wrongs in the worst times
But it’s over now, just verse rhymes
Just pour out what I went through
In the hopes that y’all won’t get caught up
In the same things I got into

How Good – This songs was produced by Ruslan and written by the Social Club Misfits. This is a song about sharing the love of God with others because they have struggles as well.  The song has a great beat, and a hook that you won’t be able to get out of your head.

A Song For Cami – This song was written by 42 North, Wit and the Social Club Misfits. It encourages hard work and was written for Fern’s five-year old daughter. Fern handles the vocals. I liked the quick drum beat and keys. Fern sings that whenever he’s not around they don’t have to worry about him.

One With The New Yorkers
– This song features Amari and Wordsplayed. It was written by Wordsplayed, Amari and the Social Club Misfits. Wordsplayed, Amari and Marty, all of whom have lived in New York City at one time, share the vocals. The idea behind the song is that people lie. We put our best foot forward. On social media we make people think that we are better than we are, but it’s a lie. “I think they live for the ‘likes’”. It opens with piano, and has a slow groove with a heavy beat.

Usual Suspects
– This song features Willow Stephens, who shares the lead vocals with Fern and Marty. It is written by Willow Stephens and the Social Club Misfits. It open with Stephen’s sweet, haunting vocals before going into a rap by Fern. Fern and Marty have said that this can be a life song that gets you pumped up or it can be for a movie trailer.

Time 4 That
– This song is written by the Social Club Misfits and is about their love stories. It opens with piano before going into an easy going vibe with Marty and Fern trading vocals.

Social SZN
– This song is produced by Black Knight and written by Black Knight and the Social Club Misfits. Marty and Vern trade vocals on this energetic track. “I’m about to level up”. The song features a good beat and synths that sound like horns.

Wayyyyy Back
– This song is produced by Ray Rock. It opens with an organ sound, and features a relaxed beat that looks back on their lives when it was much simpler.

I remember days when we used to play back when
Everything was simple, I just wanna go back and
I know the times have changed, but I wish that they all would just stay the same


Misfit Anthem
– This song features Riley Clemmons, who shares vocals with Fern and Marty. The song is written by Clemmons and the Social Club Misfits. The hook samples the hymn “Amazing Grace” by John Newton, and the song is about the grace of God in the lives of the Social Club Misfits.

Extra Wavy – This bonus track is written and produced by the Social Club Misfits.  It opens with Marty stating “This song is loud and offensive”. It’s a fun song with a catchy hook:

They ask us how we do it
Ask us how we do it, woo!
Misfit gang gang

  • If My Nose Was Running Money, I’d Blow it All On You. Check out this love song by the Moron Brothers. It features the memorable line “If my nose was running money honey, I’d blow it all on you”. Priceless.
  • Scandalized by the Substitute: A Response to Young and Gungor. Owen Strachan responds to musician Michael Gungor who called the atonement “evil” and “horrific” on Twitter and Paul Young, author of The Shack, who calls God a “cosmic abuser”.
  • New Passion Album. Worthy of Your Name was recently released. This was the first of the new Passion Conference releases that I haven’t purchased since I’ve been aware of them. Of the 13 songs (and one video) included on the set, five featured Kristian Stanfill on vocals. I downloaded four songs: “Your Cross Changes Everything” by Matt Redman, “Forgiven” by Crowder, “Rule” by Crowder and Hillsong United and “God of Calgary” by Chris Tomlin. The album debuted at #1 on the iTunes Christian charts and 36 on the overall Top Albums chart.
  • Chris Tomlin Leading Worship at Passion 2017. Enjoy this video of Chris Tomlin leading worship at session 3 of Passion 2017.
  • Home. Watch the new video for Chris Tomlin’s latest single “Home” from my top album of 2016 Never Lose Sight. See my review of the album.
  • Are Chance the Rapper and Coloring Book Christian Hip-Hop? Shai Linne writes “As for Chance the Rapper, while I appreciate the artistry and some of the content of Coloring Book, because of what I mentioned earlier, it’s not something that I would recommend Christians listen to.”
  • I Won’t Let You Go. Watch the lyric video for Switchfoot’s song “I Won’t Let You Go” from their album Where the Light Shines Through.
  • How Great. Watch the video for How Great by Chance the Rapper, which uses Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God”.
  • Lecrae Talks ‘Blessings’, Bringing His Faith Into His Music, Keeping Family Off His Instagram & More. Watch this interview with Lecrae from The Breakfast Club.
  • Lord of Eternity. Watch Fernando Ortega, one of my favorite artists, perform “Lord of Eternity”.
  • The Shack: Music From and Inspired By the Original Motion Picture. Lecrae has a song on this album of songs inspired by the film version of The Shack, “River Of Jordan” (feat. Breyan Isaac). There’s also a new version of NEEDTOBREATHE’s “Hard Love” featuring Lauren Daigle).
  • I Can Wait. Trip Lee released a new single – “I Can Wait” – intentionally on Valentine’s Day. Trip describes the song as “It’s a love song. And it’s a song about fighting to honor God when you feel drawn to someone. Fighting for purity.”
  • The Reformation Changed the Way We Sing. Collin Hansen interviews Keith and Kristyn Getty. The interview explores how the Reformers would assess our singing today, how our churches may need to change, and more.
  • The Vague Christianity of Folk Rock. Teresa Donnellan writes “The secular world is brimming with religious ideas and symbols, and Christians are called to engage with and serve the world as it is. The vaguely Christian echoes in folk-rock are, in fact, an avenue to religious interaction with the world. They are evidence that spiritual questions about grace, redemption and mortality are important and that religious language is rich, meaningful and valuable.”
  • Southern Baptist Retailer Removes Black Hip-Hop Artist’s Album That Includes the Word ‘Penis’. Bradford William Davis writes “Popular hip-hop artist Sho Baraka has taken aim at Southern Baptist retailer LifeWay Christian Stores for dropping his album for including the word “penis,” a move that shows a growing tension between the black artist and his white evangelical fans.”
  • Local Church Sings ‘10,000 Reasons’ for 10,000th Time. The Babylon Bee (Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire) reports ““It took singing it an average of just over 38 times each Sunday since the song’s 2012 release to accomplish this wonderful feat,” worship leader Zack Edwards told reporters. “And it’s just as powerful as the first time we sang it.”
  • 30th Anniversary Edition of The Joshua Tree. U2 is releasing a 30th anniversary edition of their classic 1987 album The Joshua Tree. The album will come in several different options, and be released June 2. You can pre-order now.
  • Between Saved & Shot (Gospel Years Outtakes). Possible Bootleg Series Vol. 13, Edited. Speaking of Dylan, I’ve enjoyed listening to these unreleased songs from his “Born Again” period in the early 1980’s.
  • Bob Dylan will release Triplicate, a three-disc studio album on March 31. The album will feature 30 brand-new recordings of classic American tunes. Listen to “I Could Have Told You” and “My One and Only Love”. Of the new album Dylan has said “I am finding these great songs to be a tremendous source of inspiration that has led me to one of my most satisfying periods in the studio. I’ve hit upon new ways to uncover and interpret these songs that are right in line with the best recordings of my own songs, and my band and I really seemed to hit our stride on every level with Triplicate.”
  • Flowers in the Dirt Paul McCartney will reissue his 1989 album Flowers in the Dirt on March 24 as the tenth release in his Grammy winning Archive Collection. The release will come in a few different formats. I pre-ordered the two-disc “Special Edition”, which will include several original demos that McCartney did with Elvis Costello. The two co-write a third of the album. The first two to be released were “That Day is Done” and “My Brave Face”, which you get when you pre-order the digital version.
  • Paul McCartney Joins Ringo Starr in the Studio. The two surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr worked together in the studio for the first time in seven years on a track for Starr’s upcoming album.
  • The African, Hindu and Roman Goddesses Who Inspired Beyoncé’s Stunning Grammy Performance. Katie Mettler writes “As in Lemonade and her pregnancy announcement photos released earlier this month, the singer’s Grammy performance was packed with artistic nods to African, Hindu and Roman goddesses who signify the womanhood Beyoncé has been reflecting in her most recent work.”

Music Quotes:

  • Better to create something that others criticize than to create nothing and criticize others. Lecrae
  • In the daily grind, it’s hard to remember this isn’t all there is. We have to stop and remind ourselves of the home that we were made for. Chris Tomlin
  • Life is meant to be an offering to the Lord. So do all you can with all you have to be all you can be, for the Lord. Tedashii
  • Live for your eulogy, not your resume. Andy Mineo
  • Confession: I wanna be ridiculously great at everything I do. And I’m not embarrassed to admit that. Trip Lee
  • The things of this world that enslave us today—our sin, our circumstance, our mortality—will have no hold over us in eternity. Chris Tomlin


 

Forgiven by Crowder

On our recent visit to Atlanta we worshipped at Passion City Church. Crowder led worship that morning. One of the songs he led the congregation in was “Forgiven” from his excellent new album American Prodigal. Watch the lyric video or this video from Passion 2017.  Watch Crowder tell the story behind “Forgiven”.

I’m the one who held the nail
It was cold between my fingertips
I’ve hidden in the garden
I’ve denied You with my very lips

God, I fall down to my knees
with a hammer in my hand
You look at me, arms open

Forgiven! Forgiven!
Child there is freedom from all of it
Say goodbye to every sin
You are forgiven!

I’ve done things I wish I hadn’t done
I’ve seen things I wish I hadn’t seen
Just the thought of Your amazing grace
And I cry ”Jesus, forgive me!”

God, I fall down to my knees
with a hammer in my hand
You look at me, arms open
Forgiven! Forgiven!

Child there is freedom from all of it
Say goodbye to every sin
You are forgiven!

I could’ve been six feet under
I could’ve been lost forever
Yeah I should be in that fire
But now there’s fire inside of me
Here I am a dead man walking
No grave gonna hold God’s people
All the weight of all our evil
Lifted away forever free
Who could believe, who could believe?

Forgiven! Forgiven!
You love me even when I don’t deserve it
Forgiven! I’m Forgiven!
Jesus Your blood makes me innocent
So I will say goodbye to every sin
I am forgiven!

Forgiven! Forgiven!
Child there is freedom from all of it
Say goodbye to every sin
You are forgiven!

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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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