Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Perception – NF
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Perception is the third studio album by NF. It’s the follow-up to 2016’s Therapy Session, and it doesn’t disappoint. The album debuted at #1 on both iTunes Top Albums and Hip-Hop/Rap charts. The sixteen-song album is written by NF and produced by Tommee Profitt, unless noted otherwise. The album cover shows NF in a cage, holding six keys—an image that was first displayed in the “Outro” music video.

Below are a few brief comments about each song:

Intro III –  This song starts slowly with the vocal over keys and then builds in intensity with percussion and some voices, before ending quietly with keys. He talks about his old fears, stemming back to when his mother’s boyfriend was physically abusing him his sister.  Key lyric:  Hey, I’m NF. Is it me or the fear talking?
Outcast – This song opens and closes with the sound of keys in a cell door. It begins with synth and then builds in intensity with a strong beat and backing voices. He doesn’t want to fit the mold or blend in with other rappers.
10 Feet Down
– This song is written by Kyd the Band, Maggie Eckford (Ruelle) and NF, and features vocals from Ruelle. The intro and outro of the song are played backwards. The song talks about forgetting the important things as he climbs to the top and gets there. It features a good steady beat, less intense than first two songs.  Key lyric: Yeah, seems like we’re all trying to climb a ladder. It’s crazy what we’ll do to climb it faster. It’s like we throw away the things in life that really matter, just so that we can make it to the top and wonder what we’re even climbing after.
Green Lights
– This song was produced by David Garcia, Tommee Profitt and NF. It was the second single released in advance of the album’s release. The song features a good beat throughout. He has a positive outlook. All he sees for his life is green lights. He’s not going to let anyone distract him.  Key lyric: Who’d have known I’d write something that could change lives? 
Dreams – This song features a slower beat. He reflects on sad days, regret, relationships from Michigan and doing himself, following his dreams.
Let You Down –  This song is written by Tommee Profitt and NF and produced by David Garcia and Profitt. It has a slower beat, and is about his relationship with his father. He’s sorry that he’s let him down. He doesn’t want to be a disappointment to him.
Destiny – This song is produced by BLRZ and Tommee Profitt. It is an intense song, as he raps about fulfilling his destiny. Key lyric: Forget the mansion, I’m in the attic.
My Life –  This song is produced by David Garcia. The song is addressed to his sister, who is probably wasted by 10:00am. They don’t have a lot in common, but both miss their mother. He states that we all make mistakes, that’s just life. Key lyric: Life’s about taking chances, making moves, not about what you did, it’s what you do.
You’re Special
–  This song appears to be about a current girlfriend.  It has a slower pace, with a good beat. He needs a woman he knows he can trust and he has one.
If You Want Love – This song has a slower pace. It opens and closes with guitar. If you want love you’re going to have go through pain and learn how to change. Key lyric: I‘ve always tried to control things, in the end that’s what controls me
Remember This
– This song picks back up the intensity with a good beat. He encourages us to surround ourselves with people that challenge how we think, not people that nod their heads and act like they agree. His biggest failures in life are knowing that he hasn’t tried. Key lyric: I’ve always had a problem with relationships, but that’s what happens when you see the world through a broken lens. 
Know – On this song, he brings intensity, wanting us to know that he’s back with a vengeance trying to be the best rapper that’s ever walked the earth. He’s going to outwork all the others. He wants to know what’s it’s like to be happy and have friends that understand him.
Lie
– Anger comes through on this song addressed to a former girlfriend. She lies,   telling friends one thing, and him another. 
3 A.M.
–  This song is produced by David Garcia. He sings about a past relationship that went bad. Key lyric: Everyone’s your friend when the music start buzzing
I’m closer to the people that were there when I was nothing

One Hundred
–   This song is produced by David Garcia. He’s confident in what he’s achieved as he tells other rappers that he’s here to coach them.
Outro
– The closing song is produced by David Garcia and Tommee Profitt. It is written by Garcia, Profitt and NF. It was the first single released from the album.  Over a synth back, he sings with confidence about his new music he’s about to release.

  • Ashley Cleveland on Rich Mullins. Ashley Cleveland reflects on the life and ministry of Rich Mullins.
  • The Man and His Song. David Mathis writes “In June, I went with two fellow pastors to Tom Petty’s fortieth-anniversary tour in St. Paul. As expected, it was Christ-less, but clean. He played nearly all his biggest hits from the 80s, when he was at his height, but the signature moment for us was “Won’t Back Down.”
  • Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATH Cover Tom Petty. Watch Switchfoot and NEEDTOBREATHE perform Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”.
  • Matt Redman talks with Eric Metaxas. Matt Redman recently was a guest on the Eric Metaxas Show.
  • How Farm Aid Brought Tom Petty Together with Bob Dylan. I attended the first Fair Aid in 1985 in Champaign, Illinois. Thom Duffy writes “Petty and Dylan were among the remarkable lineup of country and rock musicians who played the first Farm Aid in the football stadium of the University of Illinois on Sept. 22, 1985, a bill which also included Nelson’s fellow Farm Aid founders Neil Young, and John Mellencamp, along with Johnny Cash, John Fogerty, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Loretta Lynn, Roy Oribison, Bonnie Raitt and many more.”
  • Glory Song Devotional. Matt Redman’s heart is to bring new songs to the church that sing of God’s glory and fame. Walk through his new Glory Song album and dive further into Matt’s heart behind 7 of the songs on the album with these devotions.
  • Greatest Hallelujah. Watch this video of Matt Redman performing an acoustic version of his excellent song “Greatest Hallelujah” from his new album Glory Song (from atop the famous Capitol Records building in Los Angeles).
  • In the Garden. Watch Alan Jackson perform “In the Garden” live.
  • The Significance of Lecrae Leaving White Evangelicalism.Carl Ellis Jr. joined assistant editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli on Christianity Today’s Quick to Listen podcast to discuss the genesis of Lecrae and John Piper’s relationship, what it means when someone stops identifying as evangelical, and what Lecrae’s actions and words suggest about where the church is on issues of racial justice.
  • New Bob Seger Album. Bob Seger will release his 18th studio album, I Knew You When, November 17. The new set features Seger’s tribute to Lou Reed, a rockin’ cover of Reed’s “Busload of Faith” (listen to it here). Seger also includes tributes to his friend Glenn Frey, in the heartfelt self-penned “Glenn Song”, and to Leonard Cohen with a timely cover of Cohen’s “Democracy”.  Seger dedicates the album to the memory of Glenn Frey.
  • The Gettys Share the Power of Song. Josh Philpot reviews Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church, the new book by Keith and Kristyn Getty. He writes “Sing! is a good little book for Christians to pick up for Bible study or personal reading. The Gettys have a wealth of experience in traditional and contemporary churches, so there’s something for nearly everyone. Readers will be motivated to sing with greater passion on Sundays—and hopefully on weekdays, too.”
  • New Trip Lee Song. Check out “Forever”, a great new song from Trip Lee.
  • Bob Dylan’s Lost Gospel Masterpiece “Making a Liar Out of Me”. Andy Greene writes “”Making a Liar Out of Me” is just one of many revelations from Trouble No More. The set conclusively proves that despite the public outcry over Dylan refusing to play his older songs, the shows were some of the best live moments of his career.”

  • Don’t be pressured by WWJD. Be grateful for WDJD. Chris Rice
  • Worship is the place where the echoes of our past and the echoes of our future meet and are reconciled in the present. Matt Maher
  • If you woke up this morning it’s a blessing! Lecrae

10 Feet Down by NF (featuring Ruelle)

This week’s song of the week is “10 Feet Down” from NF’s chart-topping new album Perception. It features vocals from Ruelle. Listen to the song here.

[Intro: Ruelle]
Cold nights, cold nights, long night
Staring down at an empty cup like
I’ma fill, I’ma fill it up
All night, all night
Ten feet down nearly my whole life
But I’ll be rising, rising up

[Verse 1: NF]
Yeah, I know the person in the mirror’s not a perfect one
I look at him every day and think he’s not enough
My life’s a book that I don’t really like to open up
I’m twenty-six, but I feel like I live in chapter one
I skim through it, I’ve been through it, they laugh at us
You think it’s funny, yeah, laugh it up
I always felt like no one listened to me, that’s how I grew up

Church is where I found God, but it’s also where I learned to judge
Yeah, I had to learn there’s a difference between
What you want, and what you really need
I’ve always been motivated by comments from people tellin’ me
Things they think I’ll never be, and then I become it, this is my everything
There’s so much that goes on in my head that people will never see
You probably be terrified of my memories, don’t lecture me
Let me be, let me see, let me breathe, how they remember me
Doesn’t alter who I am as a person to take my energy, yeah 

[Chorus: Ruelle]
Hard days, cold nights
Staring down at an empty cup like
I’ma fill, I’ma fill it up
All day, all night
Ten feet down nearly my whole life
But I’ll be rising, rising up
Cold nights

[Verse 2: NF]
Yeah, my fans made me who I am, but they also deceived me
I’ve been allowed to live life like I’m already grieving
I’m at a table of lies, but don’t eat what they feed me
My hoodie over my face, so nobody can see me
I’m on a plane, ’bout to fly again
Looking out the window, take a moment to admire it
Wondering how high it is, wonder where the time has went
Then I shut the window and go back to feeling like I’m out my mind again, agh! Yeah, seems like we’re all trying to climb a ladderIt’s crazy what we’ll do to climb it faster

It’s like we throw away the things in life that really matter

Just so that we can make it to the top, and wonder what we’ve even climbing after

I know the feeling of feeling like everything you deal with will never change
That’s part of being a human, yeah
Life’s what you make of it, take it, embrace it, and take it, and savor it
Ain’t about what you did, it’s what you became from it, agh!

[Chorus: Ruelle]
Hard days, cold nights
Staring down at an empty cup like
I’ma fill, I’ma fill it up (Oh, yeah)
All day, all night
Ten feet down nearly my whole life
But I’ll be rising, rising up
Cold nights

[Bridge: Ruelle]
We all want what we never had
The good life doesn’t seem so bad
The good life doesn’t seem so sad
Yeah, we all want what we never had, whoa

[Chorus: Ruelle]
Hard days, cold nights
Staring down at an empty cup like
I’ma fill, I’ma fill it up
All day, all night
Ten feet down nearly my whole life
But I’ll be rising, rising up
Cold nights

[Bridge: Ruelle]
We all want what we never had
The good life doesn’t seem so bad
The good life doesn’t seem so sad
Yeah, we all want what we never had

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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.

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