Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Leave a comment

Music Reviews
Hard Cuts: Songs from the H A R D L O V E Sessions (EP) – NEEDTOBREATHE
****

NEEDTOBREATHE has stated that one of the hardest parts about finishing their chart-topping 2016 album H A R D L O V E was determining which songs had to be cut to get down to the twelve songs for the album. This new EP contains six songs, two of them alternate versions of “Hard Love”, along with four songs that were cut from the original album.
The EP contains two new versions of “Hard Love”, one featuring Serena Ryder and one featuring Andra Day. Along with the version featuring Lauren Daigle from The Shack: Music From and Inspired By, this makes three versions of the song released since the album was released last year, which seems to be a bit of an overkill.
Below are brief comments on the other four songs:
Waiting – This song was produced by Dave Tozer and NEEDTOBREATHE, and written by Bear and Bo Rinehart. It is a keyboard driven song with a strong drum beat, backing vocals and a good guitar solo. He is haunted by a woman, who keeps him waiting, shaking, trembling, and chasing mistakes that he made. It’s my least favorite of the new songs.
Count on Me – This song was produced by Dave Tozer and NEEDTOBREATHE, and written by Tozer, Bear and Bo Rinehart. This song features a strong drum beat, keys and some backing vocals. Thematically it is similar to “Brother” from their excellent Rivers in the Wasteland album. It features encouraging lyrics.
Everybody needs a pick me up
You can count on me
 
Walking on Water – The last two songs of the four new ones were my favorites, starting with “Walking on Water”. This song will appeal to the band’s Christian fan base as it will remind them of Peter walking on the water to Jesus in Matthew 14. It starts slowly and then builds powerfully and joyfully on the chorus with a with a strong drum beat and backing vocals. There’s no turning back.
Can’t see nothing at all
But Your outstretched arms
Help me believe it
Though I falter
You got me walking on water

Cages – This song was produced by Ed Cash and NEEDTOBREATHE and written by Bear and Bo Rinehart. It’s another song that the band’s Christian fan base will resonate with. It starts as a piano-driven song, with light drums. He was looking for attention, was needing redemption but all he got was cages. It then builds powerfully with drums and guitar. They reference their 2009 album The Outsiders, stating that they’re a band of outsiders.
I’m in a prison for a man gone wrong
But I’ve found a future, this is not my home     

Saints of Zion – Jeff Lippencott & R.C. Sproul
**** 

This new collection of sacred music for the church from Emmy-nominated composer Jeff Lippencott and respected theologian R.C. Sproul, is their follow-up to their excellent 2015 release Glory to the Holy One. Similar to that release, these songs feature beautiful choral and orchestral arrangements suitable for congregational singing as well as private devotion. Sproul writes “Worship is the highest goal for believers. The Lord saves us so that we will worship Him, and we realize our greatest purpose as we worship God in truth, beauty, and holiness.” The goal of this second collection of hymns and sacred music is to help the church offer worship that is true, good, and beautiful.
The lyrics looks at various aspects of biblical truth – as an example: Saints of Zion (Hebrews 11), Create, O God, a Pure, Clean Heart (Psalm 51), Grace of God (Ephesians 2), Psalm of the Shepherd (Psalm 23), Veni Domine (Luke 2), Magnificat (Luke 1), The Word Made Flesh (lyrics from the Ligonier Statement on Christology), Ways of the Righteous (Psalm 1), Hear Me, Lord (Psalm 30), He Works His Will (Ephesians 1), Where He Is Now (John 14) and The New Jerusalem (Revelation 21). For the most part, the music is written by Lippencott and the lyrics are written by Sproul.
The music is arranged, orchestrated, and conducted by Lippencott. The Kansas City Chorale is conducted by Charles Bruffy and the Ligonier Festival Orchestra Concert Master is Joni Hanze. The recording is produced by Dirk Sobotka. The recording took place at Sproul’s home church of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Florida and The Cathedral of St. Peter in Kansas City, Missouri.
I recently listened to this new recording several times while on long walks, taking in God’s beautiful creation. The lyrics can be a bit difficult to make out, so a suggestion would be that as time allows to get a copy of the lyrics in front of you and follow along with these songs that bring glory to our Creator. I look forward to singing some of these songs at future Ligonier conferences.

  • Fernando Ortega Gives Us Jesus. Trevin Wax recently sat down with Fernando Ortega for an hour-long conversation that ranged from worship and liturgy to theology and art. His newest album, The Crucifixion of Jesusis the first in a series that will follow the Christian year. Read my review of this excellent new album.
  • All My Hope. Listen to this new version of Crowder’s excellent “All My Hope”, featuring Tauren Wells.
  • Singing Isn’t Just for Sunday. Steve Guthrie interviews Keith Getty about reinvigorating the Christian practice of singing, in congregations and families alike.
  • “In My Father’s Kingdom” by Fernando Ortega. In this “Behind the Songs with Kevin Davis”, Fernando Ortega shares the significance of communion moments in his song “In My Father’s Kingdom”, from his new album The Crucifixion of Jesus.
  • Gracefully Broken. Watch the lyric video for Matt Redman’s new single “Gracefully Broken”, featuring Tasha Cobbs Leonard.
  • New Crowder Video. Watch the video for “Prove It” by Crowder, featuring KB. The song is on Crowder’s excellent album American Prodigal.
  • New KB Song. Listen to KB’s “Monster” featuring Aha Gazelle from the upcoming album Today We Rebel, to be released October 20.
  • March. Watch the video for Sho Baraka’s new song “March” featuring Melissa T, written for the Frequency Conference 2017.
  • Watch the official music video for “Dive” by Social Club Misfits (feat. Beam).
  • The Blackout. Watch this video for “The Blackout” from U2’s forthcoming album Songs of Experience.
  • U2 on The Tonight ShowU2 debuted their new song “You’re the Best Thing About Me” from their forthcoming album Songs of Experience on The Tonight ShowSeptember 7. They also performed “Bullet the Blue Sky” from their classic album The Joshua Tree.

  • Mistakes are opportunities to grow. Lecrae
  • The same God that hears you in the sunshine is the same God that will answer you in the storm. Lecrae
  • He keeps showing us who he is. When will we believe him? Trip Lee

You’re the Best Thing About Me by U2

This week’s Song of the Week is the first single off of U2’s long-awaited Songs of Experience album, which is expected later this year. Songs Of Experience is the companion release to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence, the two titles drawing inspiration from a collection of poems, ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience’, by the 18th century English mystic and poet William Blake. While Songs of Innocence charted the band’s earliest influences and experiences in the late 1970s and early 80s, the new album is a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to the singer’s heart; family, friends, fans, himself.  The new single features a sleeve image by Anton Corbijn of U2’s guitarist The Edge’s daughter Sian Evans.

Watch the lyric video of the song here.

Watch the band perform the song on The Tonight Show on September 7 here.

When you look so good
The pain in your face doesn’t show
When you look so good
Baby, you don’t even know

Well the world is ours
And every door smells of fresh paint
When the girl in pull
Says it’s friction that makes you a saint

When we feel enough
That it’s children that can teach
When you’re free enough
To wake up on a bed of beach

You’re the best thing about me
The best thing that ever happened to a boy
You’re the best thing about me
I’m the kind of trouble that you enjoy

You’re the best thing about me
The best things are easy to destroy
You’re the best thing about me
Why am I, why am I

Why am I holding you
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, you are the best ever
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, ever happen to me
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, you are the best ever
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, ever happen to me
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, you are the best ever
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
Why
Why am I walking away
Why am I walking away

I’ll be crying out
How bad can a good boy be
Shooting off my mouth
That’s another great thing about me

I got everything
But I feel like nothing at all
There’s no risky thing
For a man who’s determined to fall

You’re the best thing about me
The best thing that ever happened to a boy
You’re the best thing about me
I’m the kind of trouble that you enjoy

You’re the best thing about me
The best things are easy to destroy
You’re the best thing about me
Saved me from myself

Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, you are the best ever
Holding you best
You, you are the best
Holding you best
You, ever happen to me
Holding you best

I’m honestly in love with the way you dance
I’m honestly in love with you

The best thing
The best thing

Advertisements

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s