Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Go – John Schlitt
****

I first heard the incredible voice of John Schlitt in 1975 when I was a freshman in college and he was the lead singer of Head East. Their album Flat as a Pancake had two singles that were getting a lot of play on the radio – “Never Been Any Reason” and “Love Me Tonight”. I was excited when I heard that Schlitt had joined the Christian band Petra as lead singer in 1986. During his tenure with the band, Petra earned 10 Dove Awards and four Grammys. Schlitt has been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame as the lead singer of Petra. Now, 45 years after Flat as a Pancake, and at age 70, he has released Go, his sixth solo album, and his voice still sounds amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed this new album, mostly made up of rockers.

Here are a few comments about each song:

Go – This up-tempo song was written by Schlitt and Mark Lee Townsend, with Townsend producing. The song features acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar and drums. Petra’s John Lawry is among those adding backing vocals. The song addresses the question of what our path is. There is no time to stop. Take your shot and keep moving on. An excellent opener.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of
    • United: Live – Newsboys
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics


Feel It – This rocker was written by Schlitt, Scott Bernard and Dan Needham, and produced by Needham. The song features electric guitar, drums, backing vocals from Needham, and a nice guitar solo mid-song. When you feel like you are losing control, all you have to do is to have a little faith.
Takin’ It Higher – This rocker was written by Schlitt, Scott Bernard and Dan Needham, and produced by Needham. The song begins with some nice electric guitar and then drums are added. Needham adds backing vocals and Bernard a guitar solo. The song is about holding on with what you’ve got. Keep pressing on, and never stop. You’ll find your way. No matter what they say, take it higher, every day.
Fighting the Fight – This mid-tempo song was written by Schlitt and Ryan Horn, and produced by Petra’s John Lawry, who also adds backing vocals, keyboards and bass. The song features a nice guitar solo by Paul Brannon. The song is about living the Christian life and fighting the fight with the Lord’s help.
Key lyrics:
Looking forward I will run the race
Heading to the finish line
Where I see You face to face
With angels shouting cheers
I’ll run to the light
With all I got, I’ll never stop
I’ll never give in
I’ll keep fighting the fight
Just Let Go – This rocker was written by Schlitt, Jeff King and Dan Needham who also produced the song, in addition to adding backing vocals and drums. The song features guitar, drums, keyboards and some nice guitar from Jeff King. The song addresses that where we go from here isn’t so clear. Are you willing to let go of what is for what might be? Just grab hold of something new and be set free.
Time Keeps Rollin’ – This rocker was written by Schlitt and Mark Lee Townsend who also produced the song. John Lawry plays keyboards is among those providing backing vocals. The song features drums, guitar and backing vocals. The older you get the faster time moves. You need to know where you’re going to spend eternity.
Where Would I Be – This gospel flavored rocker was written by Schlitt and Chuck Anderson and was produced by John Lawry, who also adds keyboards and backing vocals. The song begins with keys and hand claps, and features guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals. The song addresses where he would be if the Lord hadn’t saved him. Amazing grace keeps setting him free.
Find a Way – This easy-going song was written by Schlitt, Scott Faircloff and Dan Needham, who also produced the song, in addition to adding backing vocals, drums and guitar. The song opens with acoustic guitar, percussion and features some nice backing vocals. It has taken him so long to see the truth and find the Lord, he doesn’t want to waste any more time in finding the road that leads to Heaven.
Fake News – This rocker was written by Schlitt and John Lawry, who also produced the song and added keyboards and backing vocals. The song features guitar, drums, keyboards and backing vocals. He calls on God to help with the fake news we are exposed to.
Key lyrics:
Where is the truth?
Where has it gone?
Where is the trust?
What’s goin’ on? 

Let’s Go – This rocker was written by Schlitt, Scott Faircloff and Dan Needham, and was produced by Needham, who also added drums and guitar. It features guitar backing vocals, hand claps and a guitar solo. The song continues the theme of the song “Go”, when he sings that there is no time to hesitate, it’s time to go.
Not Dead Yet – This rocker was written by Schlitt, Jerry McPherson and Dan Needham, who also produces the song and adds backing vocals, keyboards and drums. The song is driven by drums and guitar by McPherson, and features bass and backing vocals. The 70-year-old Schlitt sings that you might think he’s washed up, but he’s still in the game, just getting started. He encourages all of us to live each moment like it was meant for us.
Best songs:
Go
Feel It
Where Would I Be
Find a Way


United: Live – Newsboys
***

In the spring of 2018, former Newsboys lead singer Peter Furler and former bassist Phil Joel joined the then current Newsboy lineup of Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis for a Newsboys reunion tour. That resulted in the album United, one of my top albums of 2019 (see my review here).
Since reuniting, the Newsboys “United” lineup has played more than 250 concerts to date. Now, less than a year since the release of United, the band has released an EP of five songs (and accompanying videos) from the album recorded on their recent Greatness of Our God tour.
Below are a few comments about each song:
Greatness of Our God – This worship song about the greatness of God, was written by Bryan Fowler, Colby Wedgeworth and Ethan Hulse. Furler and Tait share lead vocals on the song, which was the biggest hit from United. Phillips drums stand out on the upbeat song.
Symphony – This upbeat song was written by Bryan Fowler, Colby Wedgeworth and Ethan Hulse. The voices of Furler and Tait blend well on this prayer, and Phillips’ drums particularly stand out.
Key lyrics:
So, let my life be, let my life be
A symphony, a symphony
Every breath that I breathe
Lord I wanna bring You glory, glory

Love One Another – This song, based on Jesus’ words in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another”, was written by Duncan Sparks, Furler and Steve Taylor, and features Tait’s former DC Talk bandmate Kevin Max on vocals. The upbeat song opens with guitar and then moves right into a good driving beat.
Only the Son (Yeshua) – This worship song was written by Seth Mosely, Peter Furler and Summer Furler. An early version of the song (“Yeshua”), appeared on the Peter Furler Band’s 2014 album Sun and Shield. A new chorus “Only the Sun” has been added. The song features some good guitar from Davis. Tait and Furler share vocals and their vocals blend well on the memorable chorus.
Beautiful Story – This song was written by Andrew Holt, Mia Fieldes and Robert Marvin and features Tait on vocals. The power ballad begins with piano and builds with guitars, bass and drums.
The bridge brings in Romans 8:28 “You work all things together for good.”
Key lyrics:
You write a beautiful story
From glory to glory I believe 

Like Switchfoot, Chris Tomlin and others, the Newsboys have released a live EP of songs from a recent album. The live performances and production on this project are excellent, but if you have the United album, I’m not sure you’re going to want to purchase United: Live, at least the audio version, as the performances don’t differ that much from the original release.


  • Rich. Enjoy this separate altogether acoustic version of TobyMac’s song “Rich” featuring Mr. TalkBox.
  • New Switchfoot. Switchfoot will release Covers, an EP of cover songs on June 19. Listen to “Harmony Hall” a Vampire Weekend cover.

Together (We’ll Get Through This) by Steven Curtis Chapman

Recently, Steven Curtis Chapman recorded a live version of his new song “Together (We’ll Get Through This) on the stage of an empty Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Having been in the Ryman for the 2018 Sing! Conference, I enjoyed this video. Watch the video here.

I can see the panic in your eyes
And I know you can see it in mine
We’ve been through some crazy things before
But nothing like this
You know I’ve always got a lot to say
But this has left me nothing but afraid
And I’ve got one thing I’m holding on to
And it’s your hand ’cause I believe

[Chorus]
Together, we’ll get through this
Together, no matter what it is
There’s no valley too deep, no river too wide
No mountain too steep we can’t climb
Together, we got all we need
Together, just watch and see
We’re gonna make it come what may
Nothing can break us if we stay together

I know it’s hard to fight an enemy
When the sky is too dark to see
And we can even start to believe
We’re fighting with each other
But if we really look deep enough
I believe that we can find the love
And when this storm has finally passed
We’ll see that all we have is what we have

[Chorus]
Together, we’ll get through this
Together, no matter what it is
There’s no valley too deep, no river too wide
No mountain too steep we can’t climb
Together, we got all we need
Together, just watch and see
We’re gonna make it come what may
Nothing can break us if we stay together

We’re gonna get to the other side
You and I, you and I
We’ll look back from the other side
Knowing we made it together
We’re gonna get to the other side
You and I, you and I
We’ll look back from the other side
Knowing we made it

[Chorus]
Together, we’re gonna get through this
Together, no matter what it is
There’s no valley too deep, no river too wide
No mountain too steep we can’t climb
Together, we got all we need
Together, just watch and see
We’re gonna make it come what may
Nothing can break us if we stay together

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 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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