Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Revival – Third Day (Deluxe Edition)
****

As Third Day looked to celebrate their 25th anniversary as a band, they fulfilled a long-time plan to record a project at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The band (lead vocalist Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee and drummer David Carr), recorded with members of their touring band (keyboardist Scotty Wilbanks, mandolin/banjo/guitarist Trevor Morgan and bassist Tim Gibson). For this “back to their roots” album, the band reunited with producer Monroe Jones, who had worked with Third Day on six previous albums. Jones invited percussionist Ken Lewis to join the sessions and recruited Vance Powell to engineer the album.
The album has an almost “live” feel to it. The songs are simple lyrically, with about half of the songs being written before the band went into the studio and the other half just ideas that principal songwriter Mac Powell had.
On this album, Third Day brings it all together. Mac Powell has one of the best voices in music. Here the musical backing is worthy of his strong baritone, with strong guitars, drums, Hammond organ, horns, backing vocals, and crystal-clear production. Throw in some harmonica, tambourine, finger snaps and hand claps and this is truly a gem. It’s a multi-genre album – combining rock, southern rock, blues, soul, worship and gospel. I loved it from start to finish, and it’s my top album of the year thus far.
Here are a few brief comments on each song:

Revival – This was the first single released from the album and it is instantly likeable. It features a great vocal from Powell, plus piano, horns and backing vocals. It’s just a great overall song. Key lyric: God is gonna move and there ain’t no doubt.   

Gonna Be There With Me – This joyful song finds Powell singing over piano, guitar, backing vocals, steel guitar and horns. It features brief piano and guitar solos.  Key lyric: Lord, it’s always good to know that You’re gonna be there with me. 

Leave This World Behind – This song opens with a Creedence-like guitar. It features some tasty piano, U2-like backing vocals and some excellent guitar work.  Key lyric: All my tears and all my pain, Will be gone in Jesus name

Let There Be Light   This song is destined for heavy rotation on Christian radio. It speaks to God’s creation and man’s fall. Let there be light to bring us back home. The song features some organ, piano and U2-like singalong backing vocals that will be good to sing along with in concert.

Key lyric:
There is one light
There is one savior of the world
There is one hope
His name is Jesus, Jesus

Faithful and True – This ballad opens slowly with acoustic guitar, and then builds powerfully with organ, Lynyrd Skynyrd-like electric guitar and backing vocals. Key lyric: Everything that I ever been or ever hoped to be, It’s all because of You,
Your love is faithful   

Gather Round Now –  This song opens with a swamp guitar and some excellent drums. It is simple lyrically, and builds into a celebration about the Lord, the King of all creation, of every tribe and nation and what He has done for us. Features some excellent backing vocals and horns. Key lyric: One day He’ll return to take us home

In Your Hands – This is another song that could end up in strong rotation on Christian radio. It’s a power ballad that features keys, guitar and backing vocals.
Key lyric: In Your hands, I found where I belong  

Loves Me Like a Rock –  Paul Simon recorded this song with the Dixie Hummingbirds in 1973, and it reached #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. This excellent version features the Oak Ridge Boys on backing vocals (who were originally to do the vocals with Simon), although their vocals are buried a bit in the mix. Features some good organ and horns and a fun acapella ending. I would have liked the Oaks’ vocals to be featured more on this track.

New Creation –  This joyful song features handclap, guitar, horn and backing vocals. Key lyric: Hallelujah, I’m a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come

Nobody Loves Me Like Jesus –  This song features guitar, drums, horn and backing vocals. Key lyric: Nobody in this whole wide world gonna give what I’m looking for 

Anything is Possible –  This encouraging song opens with acoustic guitar and quickly builds featuring percussion, strong backing vocals and horns. Key lyric: Let the Spirit lead and just believe that anything is possible 

Great God Almighty –  This instantly likeable song features harmonica, early Beatles guitar, backing vocals and a great sing along chorus.
Key lyric:
Great God Almighty
Won’t You save Your children
Lord in heaven won’t You lend a hand?
Ain’t no way we gonna do this without You

Devotion –  The closing song on the standard edition is a worship song directed to the Lord. It features guitar, drums, horns, organ and backing vocals. Will be a powerful song in concert. Key lyric: Lord make my life a devotion to You 

You Redeemed Me –  This song features swamp guitar, drums and horns. It’s about what the Lord does in a sinner’s life. Key lyric: You turned my fears and failure to a story of Your grace

The Return – This song about the return of Jesus features drums, guitar organ and horns. Key lyric: Are you ready for the return? 

The Deluxe Edition also includes the radio mix of “Revival”, the original cut of “Let There Be Light” and the first take of “Faithful and True”.

Watch this two-minute video of the band making Revival.

  • New Lecrae Album. Finally! Lecrae’s long-awaited major label debut All Things Work Together, will be released in September. He’ll also be going on tour to support the album.
  • Your Love Defends Me (Acoustic). Watch this video of Matt Maher performing an acoustic version of his new single “Your Love Defends Me”. Love this song.
  • New Music from NF. Watch this music video for NF’s new song “Outro”.
    When Worship Lyrics Miss the Mark
    . In this episode of the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, a listener asks John Piper about a popular “What a Beautiful Name”, a new song being sung in churches today. Piper states “There’s a thread of teaching in some songs today that seems, to me, to lack the gravity of God’s passion for his glory above all else.” He goes on to state “I don’t favor the lyric he quotes. It fits too easily into a theology of a God who created because he was lonely, and then saved people for the same reason. He just can’t be happy without us.”
  • Crowder Video. Watch the new video for Crowder’s song “Back to the Garden”, from his excellent album American Prodigal.
  • Fernando Ortega Interview. Jessie Clarks interviews Fernando Ortega about his excellent new album The Crucifixion of Jesus, his first release in six years.
  • In My Father’s Kingdom. Watch this acoustic performance of Fernando Ortega’s excellent new song “In My Father’s Kingdom” from his album The Crucifixion of Jesus.
  • Local Dad Really Into That Rapper LaCroixThe Babylon Bee, Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire, reports “Local father James MacPherson informed his son Braxton, 15, and daughter Mariyah, 12, Wednesday how much he enjoys listening to rap artist LaCroix, sources confirmed. “His beats are dope,” MacPherson reportedly announced as the family ate lunch together. “Either of you know when his next hot album might drop?”
  • If the House Burns Down Tonight. Watch Switchfoot perform their song “If the House Burns Down Tonight” at the Hollywood Palladium.
  • A Million Lights. Listen to “A Million Lights”, the new single from Michael W. Smith.
  • Judo Video. Watch this video for Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed new song “Judo”.
  • Be Kind to Yourself Video. Watch this video for Andrew Peterson’s excellent song “Be Kind to Yourself”, written for his daughter.

Music Quotes:

  • Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. NF
  • It’s amazing how exercise and extra fries sound so alike. Crowder
  • Nobody ever lies on their deathbed wishing they worked more and spent less time with their loved ones. Lecrae
  • If universities gave credit for reading random articles online, I would have a PhD. Trip Lee

Gracefully Broken by Matt Redman featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard

This week’s song of the week is Gracefully Broken (featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard), the first single from Matt Redman’s new album Glory Road, to be released September 29. Listen to the new song here.

[Verse 1: Matt Redman]
Take all I have in these hands
And multiply, God, all that I am
And find my heart on the altar again
Set me on fire, set me on fire
Take all I have in these hands
And multiply, God, all that I am
And find my heart on the altar again
Set me on fire, set me on fire

[Chorus]
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken

[Verse 2: Matt Redman & Tasha Cobbs Leonard]
My heart stands in awe of Your name
Your mighty love stands strong to the end
You will fulfill Your purpose for me
You won’t forsake me, You will be with me

[Chorus: Matt Redman & Tasha Cobbs Leonard]
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Pouring out my life again
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Oh, gracefully

[Bridge 1: Matt Redman]
All to Jesus now
All to Jesus now
Holding nothing back
Holding nothing back
I surrender
I surrender
I surrender
I surrender

[Chorus: Matt Redman & Tasha Cobbs Leonard]
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Pouring out my life again
Here I am, God
With my arms wide open
With my arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken
Oh, gracefully

[Bridge 2: Tasha Cobbs Leonard & Matt Redman]
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free
Your power and work in me
I’m broken gracefully
I’m strong when I am weak
I will be free

[Chorus: Matt Redman & Tasha Cobbs Leonard]
Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

One thought on “MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

  1. Thank you, Bill, for your detailed review. I really appreciate it. God Bless!

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