Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Forever On Your Side (Niles City Sound Sessions) – NEEDTOBREATHE
*** ½

This EP contains four songs that the band recorded over a few weeks while they were in Fort Worth, Texas with the producer trio Niles City Sound. The EP gives us a good idea where the constantly evolving band is now. Below are a few comments about each of the new songs:
Bridges Burn – This was the first song released from the EP. It opens with piano and hand-clap. Bear Rinehart sings that it’s time for moving on as there are some things you can’t forget. He wants to watch all his bridges burn and dance in the light of a lesson learned. He wants to leave everything that hurts and never go back to the way they were. The mid-tempo song builds gradually over a passionate vocal.
Key lyric:  I need to find somewhere I can believe. I need to know there’s a chance we can be.

Darling – This beautiful song has Bear singing over acoustic guitar. He is singing to his wife, wanting to talk to her on the phone while he’s on the road and she’s at home. He just wants to be home with her, the only thing that carries him through. He acknowledges that it’s hard for her to be at home, taking care of the house on her own. As the song builds, light instrumentation, including some horns and backing vocals supplement Bear’s vocals. Key lyric: I don’t wanna do this alone.

Bullets – This song opens with guitar, and then moves into a rock beat, with drum, organ, horns, keys and backing vocals. The song is about how you can’t put the bullets back into a gun, can’t undo what we have done or said, which is a tough lesson we have to learn.  Musically, it’s the most interesting song on the collection.
Key lyric: Don’t let your heart be stone, don’t be the bitter one.

Forever On Your Side – The closing song was the only song that hadn’t been released prior to the full EP being released, and it’s my favorite song on the EP. It features husband and wife duo Johnnyswim (Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez) on backing vocals. The band has indicated that this song was written for their fans who have been with them since the very beginning. The song begins with guitar and then builds with drums and banjo. The lyrics are uplifting and encouraging. We don’t know what’s around the bend but love knows no end and he’ll be forever on her side. Like Jesus, he will carry her every time because he’s forever on her side. With Johnnyswim joining the band on tour, this song will sound amazing live.
Key lyric:  Take my hand when you can’t see the light, ‘cause I’m forever on your side.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:
 Reviews of Nobody Loves Me Like You by Chris Tomlin and My New Moon by Amos Lee
 Music News
 Music Quotes from Keith Getty
 Song of the Week Lyrics

Nobody Loves Me Like You – Chris Tomlin
****

Holy Roar, Chris Tomlin’s first full-length album since 2016’s Never Lose Sight, which was my top album for that year, will be released October 26. In advance of the album comes this surprise EP, with four songs from the album, plus a bonus track. The songs are produced by Ed Cash and Bryan Fowler.
The album’s companion book “Holy Roar: 7 Words That Will Change the Way You Worship” by Tomlin and his pastor Darren Whitehead of Nashville’s Church of the City, will be re-released October 23.
Here are a few brief comments on each of the songs on the new EP:
Nobody Loves Me Like You – Tomlin’s next single, this song is written by Scott Cash and Ed Cash. It begins quietly with soft guitar and then builds with piano, drums, backing vocals and a joyous chorus about the love of Jesus. Key lyric:
Nobody loves me like You love me, Jesus
I stand in awe of Your amazing ways
I worship You as long as I am breathing
God, You are faithful and true
Nobody loves me like You

Satisfied – This song is written by Jason Ingram, Ross Copperman and Tomlin. Driven by an excellent drum beat, and hand claps, this upbeat and joyful song will sound great on the radio and in concert. Tomlin sings that as he counts his blessings he couldn’t ask for more. In God he is satisfied. Nothing and no one else will ever satisfy. Key lyric:
I count my blessings one by one
Your goodness in my life
How could I ask for more
In You, I’m satisfied

Goodness, Love and Mercy – This song is written by Ed Cash, NEEDTOBREATHE’s Bo Rinehart and Bear Rinehart and Tomlin. The mid-tempo song opens with acoustic guitar and gently builds, featuring some good piano, guitar and backing vocals. It is a worship song based on Psalm 23. Key lyric:
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go

Impact – This song is written by Mitch Wong, Tommy Sjostrom and Tomlin. The worship song begins with piano and strings. It gently builds, as Tomlin sings of waiting, surrender and laying down his defenses, to a powerful bridge in which he sings of love like a mighty river and rushing wind. Key lyric:
As I worship in surrender
I feel heaven drawing closer
As I lay down my defenses
Your love invades
And I brace for the impact

Our God – This song, perhaps my all-time favorite from Tomlin, from 2010 is written by Matt Redman, Jonas Myrin, Jesse Reeves and Tomlin. This is a great song, but I’m not sure why it is included on the EP.

My New Moon by Amos Lee
*** ½

My New Moon is Amos Lee’s seventh studio album, and his first since 2016’s excellent Spirit. The album contains ten new songs produced by Tony Berg. The songs have been described as the product of a period of intense connection and loss, making this Lee’s most personal album as well as his most politically outspoken one as well. The album features contributions from multi-instrumentalists Ethan Gruska and Blake Mills, keyboardists Benmont Tench and Patrick Warren, pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz and strings by Rob Moose. Many of the songs deal with pain and loss. Lee is one of our great vocalists, and he proves it again on this new collection.
Below are a few comments about each of the songs:
No More Darkness, No More Light – The first single from the album, this was a song that Lee had recorded a few times, with different lyrics and a different title. After the Valentine’s Day shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed, he completely re-wrote the song. The song has a graceful African-influenced groove and melody, being driven by drums, guitar and light backing vocals. Key lyric:
Some days it feels so hopeless
Nothing’s makin’ any sense
Flags we raise in praise of ruthless
Supposes innocence

Louisville – This is a song that would not feel out of place on a Springsteen solo record. Musically the band really shines on this song (drums, organ, guitar, piano) along with backing vocals. He’s heading back to Louisville, but that may not be a good thing. Key lyric:
Sweet sacrifice coming for the kill
Now I’m heading back to Louisville

Little Light – This inspirational song is about is Maya (or “Mighty Maya”), who Lee met two years ago in Seattle. At the time, she was 7 years old and had recently been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Amos sent Maya songs to cheer her up on some of the toughest days and to serve as lullabies on sleepless nights. The song features a great R&B beat, with excellent soulful backing vocals, handclaps, guitar and drum. Key lyric:
Let your little light shine
For the world to see

All You Got Is A Song – Lee delivers a great soulful vocal on this song about pain, as she slips away. The drums and keys stand out, as well as the backing vocals. Key lyric:
I’m gonna sing away the pain
Till the morning light will break on through

I Get Weak – This is a more of a laid-back song, which builds near the end. He’s looking for his love who is nowhere to be found. The song features soft percussion, a bass beat and guitar. Key lyric:
Looking for you my love
Always disappear
Like a phantom in my soul
That always feels so near

Crooked – This song finds Lee getting political as he is most likely writing about President Trump, though he writes that he is crooked too. We are all crooked, for “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:23). The song is about propaganda, misinformation and lies.  It opens with what sounded to me like prison shackles and chains, or perhaps soldiers marching. It has a memorable hook, with the emphasis on the biting words. There are some nice strings and piano in the middle of the song. Key lyric:
I read a crooked headline on a crooked page
There’s a crooked leader on a crooked stage
But he seems to think he’s standin’ tall
Turns out it’s all crooked, y’all

Hang On, Hang On – Lee has written that this was the hardest song for him to sing on the album. He wrote the song after losing his grandmother. The song is based on their last evening together. It’s a gentle and touching song, featuring acoustic guitar, piano and backing vocals. Key lyric:
We never left you
Even though you fell far away
Couldn’t hold you
But you didn’t wanna be here anyway

Don’t Give A Damn Anymore – This is an angry song. It’s ambitious musically, with a strong drum beat, and backing vocals. He’s been wrong so many times before, he don’t give a damn anymore. Key lyric:
Devil been a-knocking at my door
Said the angel been calling, but he can offer more.

Whiskey on Ice – Lee offers a tender vocal for this piano-based song about a couple’s struggle as they cope with the death of their son.  The song features light percussion and backing vocals and builds toward the end. Key lyric:
Looking for the light
Finally found your shape
While the sun, it falls
Tumbling down my face
Moonlight crashing in
Like waves on the shore
You are at the gate
Waiting till you find
All the fortune that you lost
That night

Don’t Fade Away – The closing song is about someone fading away, perhaps through dementia, a slow goodbye, and then dying. The song is laid back and somber, with piano, soft percussion, light guitar, bass and backing vocals. Key lyric:
Don’t fade away, don’t fade away
Cause I need you here

Favorite songs: Crooked, Louisville, Little Light

  • Forever on Your Side. Watch the new video from NEEDTOBREATHE of their song “Forever on Your Side”.
  • Summer of Love. “Summer of Love” was one of my favorite songs from U2’s Songs of Experience. Here’s a new remix by Robin Schulz.
  • Fashion Joe. Check out the new song “Fashion Joe” by Gawvi, featuring KB.
  • Hold Us Together. Check out the new video from Matt Maher for his song “Hold Us Together”. The video was shot on the factory floor of the famous Steinway piano factory (Steinway & Sons) in Astoria, New York. Great piano work.

  • There are ultimately no neutral lyrics. All songs share a message about how we should view the world. Keith Getty
  • The words we sing should include thoughts that stir us to action and challenge us with the call of Christ in our lives. Keith Getty
  • We sing because we’re created to, commanded to, and compelled to. Keith Getty
  • Ensure that your church’s song list includes hymns and songs that touch on all the major doctrines and seasons of life, just as the Psalms and historical hymnals do. Keith Getty

 

     Goodness, Love and Mercy – Chris Tomlin

This week’s song of the week “Goodness, Love and Mercy”, comes from Chris Tomlin’s new EP Nobody Loves Me Like You, featuring four songs from his upcoming album Holy Roar. The song is written by Ed Cash, NEEDTOBREATHE’s Bo Rinehart and Bear Rinehart and Tomlin. The mid-tempo song opens with acoustic guitar and gently builds, featuring some good piano, guitar and backing vocals. It is a worship song based on Psalm 23.
Listen to the song here.

Verse 1]
Oh Lord, You’re my Shepherd
You make me lie in fields of green
You lead me by the still waters
You restore righteousness to me
Though I walk through the valley
I will fear no evil thing
For You are with me
And You comfort me

[Chorus]
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go

[Verse 2]
Oh Lord, You’re my Shepherd
You make me lie in fields of green
You lead me by the still waters
You restore righteousness to me
Though I walk through the valley
I will fear no evil thing
For You are with me, God
And You comfort me, You comfort me

[Chorus]
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go

[Post-Chorus]
Oh yeah, wherever I go, wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy

[Bridge]
I’m gonna dwell in the house of the Lord forever
I said I’m gonna dwell in the house of the Lord forever
Sing it with me one time
I’m gonna dwell in the house of the Lord forever
Yes, I will
I’m gonna dwell in the house of the Lord forever
Wherever I go…

[Chorus]
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go
Surely goodness, love and mercy
Will follow wherever I go

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 38 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm 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 2 Corinthians 5:21 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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