Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS

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His Mercy is More: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
****

This is the first time hymnwriters Matt Boswell and Matt Papa have recorded an album together. Recorded live with a full band and the voices of the audience worshipping with them, His Mercy is More: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa is a gift to the church. The album includes some well-known hymns that are sung in churches such as “His Mercy is More”, “Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor” and “Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery”, as well as some hymns that have not been previously recorded. The two have been writing together for the past 10-12 years. This album will be on my list of top albums for the year.
Below are a few comments about each song:
His Mercy is More – This song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa and inspired from one of John Newton’s letters.
Key lyric:
Praise the Lord!
His mercy is more.
Stronger than darkness; new every morn;
Our sins, they are many, His mercy is more.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and Reviews of The Search by NF, and Wilder Wood by Wilder Woods
  • Music Quotes
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

Magnificent, Marvelous, Matchless Love – This song about God’s love was written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Matt Papa, Aaron Keyes and Luke Brown. It was first recorded by Keith and Kristyn Getty on their 2018 EP The North Coast Sessions and was also included on the 2018 Sing! Psalms: Ancient + Modern (Live At The Getty Music Worship Conference) album. The song has an infectious joyful chorus, is driven by a good drum beat and features some nice guitar.
Key lyric:
How great, how sure; His love endures forevermore.
Magnificent, marvelous, matchless love. 

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery – This song was written by Matt Boswell, Michael Bleecker and Matt Papa and features Kristyn Getty on vocals.
Key lyric:
See the price of our redemption
See the Father’s plan unfold
Bringing many sons to glory
Grace unmeasured, love untold

Sing We the Song of Emmanuel – This song was written by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Stuart Townend. The joyful song took about three years to complete. It features some excellent guitar work and choral singing of “Gloria” to end the song.
Key lyric:
Glory shining for all to see
Hope alive, let the gospel ring
God has made a way, He will have the praise
Tell the world His name is Jesus

My Savior’s Love (What Tongue Could Tell) – This song was written by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Keith Getty. The song features keys, drums and guitar.
Key lyric:
My Savior’s love
What could compare
What tongue could tell my Savior’s love

Lord from Sorrows Deep I Call (Psalm 42) – This song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa and was included on the 2018 Sing! Psalms: Ancient + Modern (Live At The Getty Music Worship Conference) album. The song features piano and strings.
Key lyric:
And, oh, my soul, put your hope in God
My help, my Rock, I will praise Him
Sing, oh, sing through the raging storm
You’re still my God, my salvation

Let the Nations Be Glad – This song was written by Matt Boswell, Aaron Boswell and Matt Papa. The song features drums and guitar.
Key lyric:
Let the nations be glad
Let the people rejoice
For salvation belongs to our God
Let the whole earth be filled
With the praises of the Lord
For salvation belongs to our God
Let the nations be glad 

Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor – This song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. The song features keys, drums and steel guitar.
Key lyric:
We will hold fast to the anchor
It will never be removed

Lord Have Mercy (For What We Have Done) – This song was written by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Aaron Keys, and James Tealy. The song features, keys, guitar, organ, and light drums.
Key lyric:
In thought word and deed, we’ve failed You our King
How deeply we need a Savior

The King in All His Beauty – This song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. The song features keys and drums. The song builds toward a powerful third verse.
Key lyric:
Bring praise and honor to His courts
Bring wisdom, power, blessing
For endless ages we’ll adore
The King in all His beauty

How Rich a Treasure We Possess – This joyful song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. The song features guitar and drums.
Key lyric:
The penalty was paid in full
The spotless Lamb was slain
Salvation what a priceless gift
Received by grace through faith

Christ is All – This song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. The song features guitar, keys, drums and a guitar solo mid-song.
Key lyrics:  
Christ is all Christ is all
And my song will ever be

Come Adore the Humble King – This beautiful song was written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. The song features, organ, piano, light percussion and strings.
Key lyric:
Fall oh fall before the one
Who in mercy left His throne
Christ the Lord God’s only Son
His glories now we sing
O praise the humble King

Watch this short video in which Boswell and Papa discuss their writing process and some of the songs on the album.

The Search – NF
****

The Search is the fourth, and perhaps the best, studio album by NF. It is the follow-up to 2017’s Perception. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard Top Albums chart, as did Perception. The twenty-song album was written by and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt, unless otherwise noted below. The album features NF’s hard-hitting music and transparent and vulnerable lyrics. Below are a few comments about each song:
The Search – This hard-hitting track was the second single released from the album. He’s been dealing with some things. He admits that he had breakdown last year and saw a therapist. He’s been searching, leaving his burdens, but admits that he brought some with him. He’s been looking for the map to hope. As the song ends, he’s back, the search is beginning, so enjoy the trip.   
Leave Me Alone – This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. Profitt adds backing vocals on the song. The song has Nate wanting his fame to leave him alone. He addresses his OCD and doesn’t need advice from his doubts right now.
Change
– This song features backing vocals from Debi Selby, Nicki Conley, Jason Eskridge, Moiba Mustapha and Travis Cottrell. The song opens with brief backing vocals, and then goes into a driving beat. He’s addicted to pain and has mood swings. He doesn’t like new things. He’s looking for change but never wants to commit. Saying we need change is easy, but change is hard to do. He felt suicidal last year. This year, he might do something different like talking to God more.
My Stress – The song opens with Nate singing that some days he just wants relief from his stress and negativity. Then he begins to rap about pressures he is facing and his insecurities. He’s a hostage to his own pride. He wonders what he would do if he only had a short time to live. Would he call his Dad and tell him he loves him?   
Nate
– This song has Nate passionately talking to his younger self, preparing him for what is coming. He got the idea for the song when he spent four days in therapy from depression, disconnected from the world after the first leg of the Perception tour. He tells his younger self that life is hard. If you have questions or need advice, talk to God because he’s the only one who listens. He references incidents from his childhood and parents, and tells his younger self that making millions won’t make him happy.
Time (Extended)
– This song opens with strings by Jeremy Larson. Nate then sings over keys that even if she says she hates him and they go to bed angry, he’s sure everything will be alright. He promises he is changing. He then raps that he just needs more time to show her he is worth it. He says that he is the definition of “wreck” if you look into his soul, which comes out the most when he feels he’s in a vulnerable place.
Returns – This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. Nate seems to be directing anger at a fellow rapper. The song is hard-hitting and confident, with Nate displaying some fast rapping skills.
When I Grow Up – This was the third single released from the album. Nate talks about his dream growing up of being a rapper, rather than going to college and getting a job.
Only – This song was written by NF, Tommee Profitt, King Henry and Sasha Sloan with Sloan also contributing vocals.  He doesn’t need a lot. He just wants to find his peace. He wishes that he would pray more often and put more time into his faith. He loves his job, but hates the fame that comes with it. He can’t be the only one who is lonely tonight, needing company and comforting.
Let Me Go – This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. Jeremy Larson adds the opening strings. Nate talks about his dark side. His vocals grow more intense as the song progresses. He prays to God to ask if hope is real. Is he Hell-bound, or will he find Heaven?
Interlude – This is a brief track in which Nate talks about how he was spiraling during the successful Perception album and tour.
Hate Myself
– This song features keys and some excellent percussion. Nate questions his calling by asking if this is really what he was born to be. Late nights are the worst, when he has had suicidal thoughts. He’s not a spokesman, but a broken record. He prays to God with arms open. If this is it, then he feels hopeless.
I Miss the Days – Backing vocals on this song are provided by Debi Selby, Nicki Conley, Jason Eskridge, Brooke Griffith, Moiba Mustapha and Travis Cottrell. Nate looks back on his childhood, when he had a smile on his face, wasn’t so caught up in the small things, and didn’t overthink his life. He wonders what happened to him. When did he start to believe that he wasn’t worth it? He feels he’s blessed, but cursed as well. The song builds powerfully toward the end.  
No Excuses
– This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. It’s a high energy song in which Nate says he was self-taught. He has no excuses. He displays some fast rapping skills on the song.
Like This – This song was written and produced by NF, David Garcia and Saint X.
This song features some excellent percussion. He wastes too much time on things he can’t fix. He holds things inside that he can’t forget and that he thought he could let go. He feels more together when he’s a mess. He’s feeling too much like his old self, backsliding.
Options – This song was written and produced by NF, David Garcia and b | r z.
This hard-hitting song, which is a reminder that he still spits, has Nate saying that these are the options. And even if the record doesn’t sell a copy, he’s going to do it as a hobby. He’s not quitting unless the Lord tells him to.
Why – This song was the first single released from the album. It was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. The song features some excellent percussion. He wants to be great, but he gets in the way of himself and thinks about everything he could never be. He holds his issues up for all to see. A lot of people know him, but they don’t know him well.
Thinking – The song was written and produced by NF and Saint X. This song features some excellent percussion. The first verse could be to his wife. He is vulnerable and the person he’s singing to has the keys to open all his secrets. They have always been there when he’s low, to help pick up the pieces.
Key lyric:
To most, negative thinking makes you a pessimist, but
To me, negative thinking means I’m just realistic

Trauma
– This haunting and ballad features piano and strings from Jeremy Larson. This could be a song addressed to God or his wife. He is helpless and needs them with him. He needs their hand as he’s drowning. Traumas surround him. He yearns for peace and to be found.
Time – This was the fourth single released from the album. See “Time Extended” above.

Wilder Woods – Wilder Woods
** ½

This is the first solo album from Bear Rinehart, a founding member and lead singer of NEEDTOBREATHE, one of my favorite bands. The album and band are both named after his two sons Wilder and Woods. Rinehart has said that there are two distinct sides to the album. The Wilder side, which comprises most of the album, is all about love, flirtation and desire, while the Woods side is more serious and reflective. The song “Religion” falls onto the Woods side, and will surely get much discussion as to its meaning.
Musically, the album is a blend of soul, R&B and pop and features his excellent vocals. The album was recorded in East Nashville with producer Gabe Simon.
Below are a few comments about each song.

Light Shine In – The opening song was written by Rinehart, Simon and Austin Jenkins. It starts quietly with acoustic guitar, before keys are added. It then quickly builds powerfully with guitar and backing vocals. For twenty years (the length of time he was in NEEDTOBREATHE), he was completely blind to all of his fears. Sometimes he wishes he was lost, as there’s nothing worse than being found. His plea is for the children of broken men to let their light shine in. The song ends with the acoustic guitar that opened it.
Sure Ain’t – This song was produced by Simon and Josh Bruce Williams, and written by Rinehart, Williams and Andy Albert. It is a love song directed to his wife Mary. The song features electric guitar and drums. If she thinks she might kiss him, it sure wouldn’t break his heart.
Someday Soon – This song was written by Rinehart. It features acoustic guitar, keys, strings, and backing vocals. Rinehart uses a higher range vocal, similar to Amos Lee, for part of the song. Someday soon these worries will roll on. He could use a reminder of what forgiveness is for. He encourages the person the song is directed to not to give up on the Kingdom, they’ll still be let in.
Key lyric:
Don’t think the battle’s over just ’cause you say “Amen”
Supply & Demand – This easy-going R&B flavored love song was written by Rinehart. It opens with keys and features drums, backing vocals and a memorable hook.
Electric Woman – This love song was written by Rinehart. It features light percussion and light guitar at the beginning, picking up the beat on the chorus with a catchy drum beat, some higher range vocals and backing vocals. The electric woman is sending shocks through his body. He wants to be her electric man. He’s never been good at letting her go.
Mary, You’re Wrong – This R&B flavored love song to Rinehart’s wife was written by Rinehart and Simon. The song features keys, light percussion, guitar, organ, strings, and light backing vocals. She’s wrong if she’s thinking he would ever want to leave.
Feel – This mid-tempo love song was written by Rinehart, Simon and Kevin Griffin. The song features keys, bass, backing vocals, drums, backing vocals and a guitar solo mid-song. He wants to know if he is bound for rejection or all of her affection. He’s not going to cut and run. He wants to know if she feels the way he feels.
Hillside House – This mid-tempo love song was written by Rinehart and David Leonard. It features a good bass line, light guitar, drums, and backing vocals. It’s hard to think of their hillside house without her around. So, while they’re still young, and while they still can, he’s gonna wrap her up in his arms again.
What Gives You The Right – This love song was written by Rinehart, Simon and Trent Dabbs.  This song brings back some energy after a few slower songs, featuring guitar, drums, backing vocals and organ. What gives her the right to come and rescue him knowing that he would trust her, even if it meant his life.
Key lyric:
I never planned for surrender
But I’m a fool for your splendor

Religion – This song was written by Rinehart and Simon. It features acoustic guitar and backing vocals. The song could be taken as Rinehart’s departure from the faith. We don’t know who he might be directing these lines to:
You’re a temptress, you’re to blame
For the guilt I can’t displace
Though there’s winters and summers
And so much has changed
You’re the fortress for my shame

Rinehart grew up as a pastor’s son. He sings:
I was born in the shadows of preachers and saints
I was raised in a house of God
But the blood on my lips and the dirt on my face
Is all the religion I’ve got

She’s a needy harlequin
Built by greed and selfish men
Though it’s easy to love her for all you discover
She’s bound to fall again

“Religion” is a confusing song that will surely lead to much discussion about its meaning. It might refer to a dead faith, a rejection of religion, frustration with today’s churches, venting about money and institutions and what they do to the Gospel, venting about the church’s role in creating shame, etc.


Come behold the wondrous mystery
Christ the Lord upon the tree
In the stead of ruined sinners
Hangs the Lamb in victory
by Matt Papa, Matt Boswell and Michael Bleeker

How great, how sure; His love endures forevermore.
Magnificent, marvelous, matchless love
by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Matt Papa, Aaron Keyes, Luke Brown

This, the pow’r of the cross:
Son of God—slain for us.
What a love! What a cost!
We stand forgiven at the cross
by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

This week’s song of the week is “Christ the Sure and Steady Anchor” from the excellent new album His Mercy is More: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. Listen to the song here.

Christ the sure and steady anchor
In the fury of the storm
When the winds of doubt blow through me
When my sails have all been torn
In the suffering, in the sorrow
When my sinking hopes are few
I will hold fast to the anchor
It will never be removed

Christ the sure and steady anchor
While the tempest rages on
When temptation claims the battle
And it seems the night has won
Deeper still then goes the anchor
Though I justly stand accused
I will hold fast to the anchor
It shall never be removed

Christ the sure and steady anchor
Through the floods of unbelief
Hopeless somehow, o my soul
Now, lift your eyes to Calvary
This my ballast of assurance
See His love forever proved
I will hold fast to the anchor
It will never be removed

Christ the sure and steady anchor
As we face the wave of death
When these trials give way to glory
As we draw our final breath
We will cross that great horizon
Clouds behind and life secure
And the calm will be the better
For the storms that we endure

Christ the shore of our salvation
Ever faithful ever true

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 39 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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