Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

ALBUM REVIEWS and NEWS

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Album Reviews:

Cinco: The Album – Jim Gaffigan
****

Jim Gaffigan is my favorite comedian. Sometimes called “the clean comedian”, he gives us his common guy take on everyday topics such as his children, belts and morning people. I’ve seen him in concert in the past few years and will be catching him on his new tour later this year. This is the audio version of his fifth television special.
I found this material to be very funny, classic Gaffigan. My favorite bits were on seasons, leaves (my favorite), being fat (of course), binge watching, travel, eating fish, and a hilarious bonus clip about his Dad from 2001.
Included is a bonus disc is Gaffigan and wife Jeannie talking about each of the comedy bits on the special. Although not overly funny, I did find it to be interesting.

Therapy Session by NF
****

I came late to the NF game. It was only after hearing a few of these tracks – “I Just Wanna Know” and “Oh Lord” – on the radio that I decided to pick up the album, and I’m glad I did. Therapy Session is the sequel to the debut album Mansion by 25 year-old rapper NF (Nate Feuerstein). NF has had a difficult life thus far and he writes about that in these fourteen songs. The themes here are dark, and include pain, addiction, loss, depression and his critics. All songs are written by NF and Tommee Profitt, with the exception of Grindin’, on which Marty of the Social Club Misfits contributes.  Most of the songs were produced by Tommee Profitt unless otherwise noted.

Below are a few thoughts on each of the songs:   

Intro 2 – This is a sequel to “Intro”, which was included on Mansion. It is an intense, emotional and real introduction to the album.  He sings “If you’re looking for music with watered down lyrics, I promise that you need to go somewhere else.”

Therapy Session – NF has called this a very aggressive and blunt song, one in which he wasn’t holding anything back. He sings about fans that talk to him about how much his music has helped them and others who have criticized him as he deals with depression and the pressure. The song is intense. It is produced by Tommee Profitt and David Garcia.

I don’t expect everyone to respect it
I don’t expect you to get my perspective
But, what’d you expect from a therapy session? 

I Just Wanna Know – This song is about relationships that have gone bad in his life. He asks “When did you get so cold?”, “What happened to your soul?” “I thought we were close”.

How Could You Leave Us – This song addresses NF’s mother’s addiction to pills, which ultimately led to an overdose and her death in 2009. He calls it the most vulnerable song he has written. He was in tears as he recorded this song. It’s a song of intense pain and hard to listen to. The song opens with keys before it goes into an angry rap.

Breathe – This song features vocals from Brooke Griffith. It is about how he has matured the past year and a half, but also the realization that more is needed. Following the intense opening songs, this is a more a laid-back rap about regrets in a past relationship. A couple of good lines are “Apologies don’t mean a thing if you don’t ever fix it” and “I seem to be the only person that I play pretend with”.

Real – This song is written in response to his critics. He states that it’s “his time”. People want to know where his heart is. He sings that he stands out because he wears his garbage. The song opens with keys before going into a fast rap that gets increasingly intense. The song is produced by David Garcia.

Oh Lord – This song starts slow and melodic, and then builds in intensity. He’s asking if God sees what is happening on earth:

Sometimes I look up to the sky
And wonder do you see us down here    

He states that we don’t call on God when things are going well for us. The song is produced by David Garcia.

I Can Feel It – Even as NF’s life is changing with increasing fame, he looks back to how his life was. This song opens with keys and a slow rap and builds in intensity.

Got You On My Mind – This slow rap is a love song. He’s on the road and misses her. The song is produced by David Garcia.

Grindin’ – This song features Marty of the Social Club Misfits. They are committed to their music, and no other rappers work harder than them

Wish You Wouldn’t – This song is about relationship problems. It starts slowly with keys. He sings that things aren’t working, he’s gotta do something different. She’s angry. They argue. He’s got too many things he’s dealing with. The only thing they have in common is that they have nothing in common. He sings:
I wish you didn’t say things, I wish you didn’t say things
That you don’t mean, that you don’t mean 

The song is produced by The720.

Statement – This is an intense, angry rap directed to other rappers.  It is produced by David Garcia and The720.

All I Do – His identity is a rapper, that’s all he does. And he’s competitive:
I do not look at these rappers out here like
I wanna be ‘em
I look at these rappers out here like
I wanna beat ‘em 

The songs is produced by David Garcia.

Lost In The Moment – This song features Jonathan Thulin. Like the album cover, NF is having a therapy session with himself on this song as he refers to himself in the third person as he deals with his depression, anxiety and music.

  • Lord Be With Me. Listen to song from Lecrae (featuring Johnta Austin) from the Saints & Sinners: Original Soundtrack from Season 1.
  • Bear with Me. Watch the official music video of “Bear with Me” by Propaganda (featuring Marz Ferrer). Also listen to Propaganda’s “Cynical” (featuring Aaron Marsh and Sho Baraka).
  • New Third Day Album. August 4 is the tentative release date for Third Day’s new album Revival, their first since 2015’s Lead Us Back: Songs of Worship.
  • Who Killed the Contemporary Christian Music Industry? Tyler Huckabee writes “The descent of CCM is a reflection of America’s waning interest in Christianity as a whole. The precipitous dropoff in CCM sales has left Christian labels and artists staring into the void alongside their pastors, scratching their heads, wondering where they went wrong.”
  • James Taylor Talks about Sgt. Pepper. Listen to this seven-minute clip from James Taylor about the Beatles album Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • U2’s The Joshua Tree Turns 30. Mike Cosper writes “In the world of pop music, it’s hard to overstate the importance of U2’sThe Joshua Tree. The album’s cinematic soundscapes and themes of longing, loss, and hope are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago, when the album first released.”
  • U2: The Concert was Great–a Little Preachy, but Still Great. I agree with Denny Burk when he writes “This was a fantastic concert, and we enjoyed every minute of it even if it was a bit preachy. We didn’t come for that anyway. We came for great music delivered by one of the best bands of all time. That is what we got, and it was a fantastic show.”
  • KIDZ. Check out the official music video for KIDZ by Andy Mineo, Wordsplayed & Magic & Bird.

Music Quotes:

  • If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection. Lecrae
  • No matter how great our problems may seem, our God is even greater. Chris Tomlin
  • Every time I meet joyless and harsh religious ppl I’m so confused. Andy Mineo


 

I’ll Find You by Lecrae (Featuring Tori Kelly)

 

This week’s song of the week is from Lecrae, featuring Tori Kelly. It is Lecrae’s third single from his forthcoming new album, which his anticipated by the end of the year.  Here is the lyric video.

About the new song, Lecrae wrote: “Life is a precious gift. A gift we often take for granted until it is threatened. Pain can be a haunting reminder to appreciate every waking moment. So we wrote a song to share our hope in the midst of that pain. At the time of this song’s composition, some of our loved ones were battling cancer. We wanted to encourage them to hold on and tell them we are here waiting, hoping, praying, and fighting with them. Some have been released from their pain forever, others are still fighting. Hold on…”

Just fight a little longer my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But, when you got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find You
I’ll find You
I’ll find You
Just hold on, and I’ll find You
I’ll find You

I’m hanging on by a thread
And, all I’m clinging to is prayers
And, every breath is like a battle
I feel like I ain’t come prepared
And death’s knockin’ on the front door
Pain’s creepin’ through the back
Fear’s crawlin’ through the window
Waiting for em’ to attack
They say “Don’t get bitter, get better”
I’m working on switching them letters
But, tell God I’mma need a whole lotta hope keeping it together
I’m smilin’ in everyone’s face
I’m cryin’ whenever they leave the room
They don’t know the battle I face
They don’t understand what I’m going through
The world tryna play with my soul
I’m just tryna find where to go
I’m tryna remember the way
I’m tryna get back to my home
But, I can’t do this on my own
That’s why I’m just trusting in You
Cuz’ I don’t know where else to go
And, I don’t know what else to do

Just fight a little longer my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But, when you’ve got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find You
I’ll find You
I’ll find You
Just hold on, and I’ll find You
I’ll find You
I’ll find You
Just hold on, and I’ll find You

They say fear haunts
And pain hates
I say pain strengthens
And fear drives faith
And, I don’t know all of the outcomes
Don’t know what happens tomorrow
But when ocean of doubt comes
Don’t let me drown in my sorrow
Don’t let me stay at the bottom
I feel like this hole is too deep to climb
I’ve been lookin’ for a way out
But I’ll settle for a peace of mind
Picking up the pieces of my life and hopin’ that I’ll put together something right
Some of ya’ll is all I need
Help me stand and fight
Devil trying to play with my soul
I’m just tryna find where to go
I’m trying to remember the way
I’m trying to get back to my home
But, I can’t do this on my own
That’s why I’m just trusting in You
Cuz’ I don’t know where else to go
And, I don’t know what else to do

Just fight a little longer my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But, when you’ve got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find You
I’ll find You
I’ll find You
Just hold on, and I’ll find You
I’ll find you
I’ll find You
Just hold on, and I’ll find You

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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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