Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Great Commission – Sing! The Life of Christ Quintology EP – Keith and Kristyn Getty and Friends
****

Sing! The Life of Christ: Quintology is the fourth album to be released from Keith and Kristyn Getty’s Sing! worship music conferences, following 2018’s Sing! Live at The Getty Music Worship Conference and 2019’s Sing! Psalms: Ancient + Modern (Live At The Getty Music Worship Conference) and Sing! An Irish Christmas – Live At The Grand Ole Opry House.
The new album is being released in five separate EPs over a period of several months. The project will follow the five main themes of the 2019 Sing! conference – the Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, Commission, and Ascension of Jesus Christ, and include approximately 30 songs. To find out more about my takeaways from the 2019 conference, held in Nashville, read my article “Reflections From the 2019 Sing! Getty Worship Conference here.
The album was recorded at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center, the Grand Ole Opry House and the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Everything that the Gettys and their musical friends do is with excellence. Throughout, the songwriting, singing and musical performances are of a very high quality, especially noteworthy for a live recording.
The fourth EP to be released is on the Great Commission. Below are a few comments about each song:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and reviews of
    • Covers EP by Switchfoot
    • The Worship Initiative, Vol. 20 by Shane and Shane and Various Artists
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics


Facing a Task Unfinished – The original words to this song were written by Frank Houghton, with music by Samuel Wesley. New words and music were written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Ed Cash and Fionan De Barra. This missions hymn originally appeared on the Facing a Task Unfinished album. Lead vocals are handled by Kristyn Getty, backed the conference choir and the incredible Getty band. The drums really stood out on this song.
Key lyric:
We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

May the Peoples Praise You – This joyful song was written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, David Zimmer, Stuart Townend and Ed Cash, and originally appeared on the Facing a Task Unfinished album. The song is a call to worship and missions. Lead vocals are handled by Kristyn Getty, backed by the conference choir and the Getty band.
Key lyric:
May the peoples praise You
Let the nations be glad
All Your blessing comes
That we may praise
May praise the Name of Jesus

Let the Nations Be Glad – This song was written by Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Aaron Boswell. The song features vocals by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa, and originally appeared on their album His Mercy is More: The Hymns of Matt Boswell and Matt Papa, my favorite album of 2019. The song features drums, guitar, bass and the conference choir.   
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

For the Cause – This song was written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend and originally appeared on the Facing a Task Unfinished album. The song is on the call to missions and the cause of the Kingdom around the world. Lead vocals are handled by Kristyn Getty, backed by the conference choir and the Getty band. The drums stand out on this song.
Key lyric:
Let it be my life’s refrain:
To live is Christ, to die is gain;
Deny myself, take up my cross
And follow the Son

O Church Arise – This song, a call to the church, was written by Keith Getty, Stuart Townend and Andrew Christopher, and originally appeared on the In Christ Alone album. Lead vocals are handled by Shane and Shane, backed by the conference choir and the Getty band.
Key lyric:
And as the stone is rolled away,
And Christ emerges from the grave,
This victory march continues till the day
Ev’ry eye and heart shall see Him.

By Faith – This song, inspired by Hebrews 11, was written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend, and originally appeared on the Awaken the Dawn album. Lead vocals are handled by Kristyn Getty, backed by the conference choir and the Getty band.
Key lyric:
We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight

Best songs
All


Covers EP – Switchfoot 
***

This side project from Switchfoot was recorded during the COVID-19 quarantine period. The band covers six diverse songs, about which Jon Foreman has stated: “There is a commonality in melody, and rhythm, and lyric, and truth that speaks to me even from someone who might look different than myself. This is the beauty of music: it can take us around the world, even when we’re quarantined at home.”
I was not familiar with any of these songs, nor had I heard any music from the artists that are covered here. I approached each song on its lyrical merits and Switchfoot’s performance, which was up to their usual high standards. Here are a few brief comments about each of the songs:
Swim Good – This is a cover of a 2011 song by Frank Ocean. This dark song about a suicide was written by Waynne Nugent, Kevin Risto, Charlie Gambetta and Frank Ocean. It was produced by Tim Foreman and Jon Foreman. The song features bass, keys, guitar and is driven by some exceptional drums from Chad Butler.
Key lyric:
I’m about to drive in the ocean
I’ma try to swim from something bigger than me
Kick off my shoes and swim good, and swim good
Take off this suit and swim good, and swim good, good

Harmony Hall – This is a cover of a 2019 song by Vampire Weekend. The song was written by Ezra Koenig. The song features acoustic and electric guitar, hand claps, backing vocals, and drums. The song, which has themes of power, resistance, and anti-Semitism, is musically more upbeat than the lyrics are.
Key lyric:
And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness
Anybody with a worried mind would never forgive the sight
Of wicked snakes inside a place you thought was dignified
I don’t wanna live like this, but I don’t wanna die

Stupid Deep – This is a cover of a 2018 song by Jon Bellion. The song was written by Travis Mendes, Raul Cubina, Mark Williams, Jon Bellion and Christianne Jensen. It was produced by the Freeman Brothers. The song features guitar, backing vocals, drums and bass. The song speaks to the hole in our hearts, our attempts to fill it, and our continual failure to do so.
Key lyric:
What if who I hoped to be was always me?
And the love I fought to feel was always free?
What if all the things I’ve done
Were just attempts at earning love? Yeah
‘Cause the hole inside my heart is stupid deep, oh, stupid deep

Lucky Man – This is a cover of a 1997 song by the Verve. It was written by Richard Ashcroft. The song begins with acoustic guitar and then builds with drums, electric guitar, bass and backing vocals. The song, which was inspired by Ashcroft’s relationship with his wife, is one that U2’s Bono has said that he wished he would have written.
Key lyric:
Happiness
More or less
It’s just a change in me
Something in my liberty

Lights Up – This is a cover of a 2019 song by Harry Styles. It was written by Kid Harpoon, Tyler Johnson and Harry Styles. The song has a dance beat, featuring guitar, keys, backing vocals, and drums. The song, about freedom, self-reflection and self-discovery, is musically more upbeat than the lyrics are.
Key lyric:
Shine, step into the light
Shine, so bright sometimes
Shine, I’m not ever going back

Sick Boy – This is a cover of a 2018 song by the Chainsmokers. It was written by Tony Ann, Emily Warren, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart. The song features acoustic guitar, backing vocals, drums, guitar and bass. The dark song addresses what if feels like to be alive right now, the struggle of self-identity in a crazy world, and about dealing with anxiety.
Key lyric:
Welcome to the narcissism
Where we’re united under our indifference

My overall assessment is that Switchfoot continues to surprise, not rest on their laurels, be creative, and remain relevant. Jon Foreman’s expressive vocals lead this incredible high energy band. Unfortunately, the songs here didn’t move me like Switchfoot songs do. Although I enjoyed the performances, this is not a project that I will be going back to often.


The Worship Initiative, Vol. 20 – Shane and Shane and Various Artists
****

The latest release from the Worship Initiative features a pleasing combination of excellent songs and performances. Shane and Shane handle lead vocals on four of the songs, with Davy Flowers and Robbie Seay each handling vocals on two songs. I really enjoyed this release. Here are a few brief comments on each song:
Behold the Lamb – This triumphant song was written by Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone and Phil Wickham. The lead vocal is performed by Shane and Shane, and the song features piano, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass and light drums. The song builds powerfully at the chorus.
Key lyric:
Behold the Lamb
The story of redemption written on His hands
Jesus, You will reign forevermore
The victory is Yours
We sing Your praise
Endless hallelujahs to Your holy name
Jesus, You will reign forevermore
The victory is Yours

The Passion – This praise song was written by Brooke Lingertwood, Chris Davenport and Scott Ligertwood. The lead vocal is performed by Dinah Wright and the song features guitar, drums, bass, piano and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
Our chains are gone, our debt is paid
The cross has overthrown the grave
For Jesus’ blood that sets us free
Means death to death and life for me

You Cannot Be Stopped – This joyful song was written by Chris Quilala, Hank Bentley and Phil Wickham. The lead vocal is performed by Davy Flowers, and the song features synth, keys, acoustic guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals. Jesus has triumphed over the grave and the battle is won.
Key lyric:   
Mover of mountains
Breaker of chains
Jesus has triumphed
Over the grave
Sing hallelujah
The battle is won
Nothing can stand
Against our God

His Heart Beats – This triumphant song was written by Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive. The lead vocal is performed by Shane and Shane and the song features acoustic guitar, bass, drums, keys and backing vocals. The song is about Jesus’s heart beginning to beat as he is resurrected. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Key lyric:
He took one breath
And put death to death
Where is your sting, O grave?
How grave is your defeat
I know, I know His heart beats

Jesus, Only Jesus – This song about the sufficiency of Christ was written by Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, Nathan Nockels and Tony Wood. The lead vocal is performed by Bethany Barnard and the song features synth, piano, drum, and backing vocals, building powerfully.
Key lyric:
Holy, King almighty Lord
Saints and angels all adore
I join with them and bow before
Jesus, only Jesus

Christ Our Hope in Life and Death – This new Easter hymn was written by Jordan Kauflin, Matt Merker, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Keith Getty. The lead vocal is performed by Shane and Shane and the song features acoustic guitar, piano, drums, backing vocals, violin, and is about Christ, our only hope.
Key lyric:
O sing hallelujah!
Our hope springs eternal;
O sing hallelujah!
Now and ever we confess
Christ our hope in life and death.
My Victory – This triumphant song was written by Crowder, Darren Mulligan, Ed Cash and Hank Bentley. The lead vocal is performed by Robbie Seay and the song features drums, piano, bass, guitar, and backing vocals, building powerfully. The song is about the victory of Jesus on the cross.
Key lyric:
Oh, Your love bled for me
Oh, Your blood in crimson streams
Oh, Your death is hell’s defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory

Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) – This triumphant song was written by Mark Hall and Michael Bleecker. The lead vocals are performed by Shane and Shane, and the song features acoustic guitar, piano, bass, drums, strings, and backing vocals, building powerfully at the chorus. One day Jesus is coming, and what a glorious day that will be.
Key lyric:
Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

Overcome – This triumphant song about Jesus overcoming the grave, was written by Chris Brown, Mack Brock and Steven Furtick. The lead vocal is performed by Davy Flowers and the song features, guitar, bass, drums, piano and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
We will not be moved
When the earth gives way
For the risen One has overcome
And for every fear
There’s an empty grave
For the risen One has overcome

Christ is Risen – This victorious song was written by Brian Johnson, Mack Brock and Phil Wickham. The lead vocal is performed by Robbie Seay and the song features acoustic guitar, bass, drums and piano and backing vocals, building powerfully toward the end of the song.
Key lyric:
Hallelujah, Christ is risen from the grave
Best songs
Behold the Lamb
Christ Our Hope in Life in Death
Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)
Christ is Risen


  • Forever Jesus. Watch the lyric video for “Forever Jesus” the new hymn written by Stuart Townend and Matt Papa.
  • A White Man’s Lament for the Death of God’s Beloved. Watch the lyric video for this new song from Andrew Peterson.
  • Deep End. Watch the powerful video for “Deep End” from Lecrae, from his forthcoming album Restoration, due in late August.
  • Edge Of My Seat. Enjoy this “Separate Altogether Acoustic” of TobyMac’s song “Edge of My Seat” featuring Cochran & Co.
  • I Will Sing. Enjoy this new song “I Will Sing” from Sandra McCracken.
  • Through Your Hands. John Hiatt and daughter Lilly performed John’s song “Through Your Hands” at the Ryman Theatre in Nashville.
  • Crushing Snakes. Enjoy the new video of “Crushing Snakes” by Crowder, featuring TAYA from Passion 2020.
  • Swim Good. Check out the video for Switchfoot’s cover of “Swim Good” from their new Covers

“Thank You Lord” by Chris Tomlin, featuring Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line
This week’s song of the week is “Thank You Lord” by Chris Tomlin, featuring Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line. The song is from Tomlin’s album Chris Tomlin and Friends, to be released July 31. Listen to the song here.
[Verse 1]
Thank You Lord for the small things
Like me and her on the porch swing
For summer nights and fireflies
And the sound of my old six string
Blessings, on blessings, on blessings, on blessings
If I still got breath in these lungs
And that’s all I need to get down on my knees
And be thankful for all that He’s done

[Chorus]
For my mama, for my friends
For Your love, it never ends
For the songs that make us dance
On this ol’ dirt floor
For my babies, for my girl
For the way they changed my world
Waking up today
Yeah, I just gotta say, Thank You Lord
Yeah, I just wanna say, Thank You Lord, oh nah

[Verse 2]
Yeah
Thank You Lord for the hard times
For lighting the way in the dark times
For pulling me in, forgiving again
The times that I took it too far, I
Gotta thank You for keeping me humble
For picking me up when I stumble
And although I change, You stay the same
And I don’t say thank You enough

[Chorus]
For my mama, for my friends
For Your love, it never ends
For the songs that make us dance
On this ol’ dirt floor
For my babies, for my girl
For the way they changed my world (Changed my world)
Waking up today
Yeah, I just gotta say, Thank You Lord
I just wanna say, Thank You Lord (Oh yeah)

[Bridge]
Praise up, eyes closed
One thing I know (Ooh)
I just wanna thank You Lord, thank You Lord (Thank You Lord)
Praise up, eyes closed
One thing I know
I just wanna thank You Lord, thank You Lord

[Chorus]
For my mama, for my friends
For Your love, it never ends (It never ends)
For the songs that make us dance
On this ol’ dirt floor
For my babies, for my girl
For the way they changed my world (The way they changed my world)
Waking up today
Yeah, I just gotta say, Thank You Lord (Ooh)
(Praise up, eyes closed
One thing I know)
I just wanna say, Thank You Lord (Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh)
(I just wanna, Thank You Lord, thank You Lord, yeah)

[Outro]
Praise up, eyes closed (Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh)
One thing I know (Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh)
I just wanna say, thank You Lord

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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