Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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A Drummer Boy Christmas – for King & Country
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Australian duo for King & Country, comprised of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, follow their best-selling 2018 album Burn the Ships with their first full-length Christmas album, based around their popular version of “Little Drummer Boy”. The album is comprised mostly of well-known Christmas carols, opening and closing with verses from “In The Bleak Midwinter”. There are two new songs included – “Heavenly Hosts”, and “The Carol of Joseph (I Believe In You)”. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE guests on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and country singer Gabby Barrett guests on “Go Tell It On The Mountain”.
The duo brings their signature high energy sound to these songs. In addition, the album includes two monologues, which fit in well with the album. A Drummer Boy Christmas was produced by Tedd Tjornhom and for King & Country, and co-produced by Benjamin Backus, with Matt Hales handling executive production.
Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of Miracle of Love: Christmas Songs of Worship (EP) byChris Tomlin
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

A Drummer Boy Christmas would be a good addition to your Christmas music collection. Below are a few comments about the two new songs on the album:
Heavenly Hosts – This joyful song was written by Benjamin Backus, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, Aqualung, Tedd T and Tony Wood. The song starts with piano and then builds with bass, strings, drums and choir. The song is about when the angels met the shepherds in Luke 2.
The Carol Of Joseph (I Believe In You) – This song was written by Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone and Aqualung. The piano and strings driven song is about Joseph’s reaction to the birth of Jesus, which reminded me of Michael Card’s classic “Joseph’s Song”.


Miracle of Love: Christmas Songs of Worship (EP) – Chris Tomlin
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Following close on the June release of his successful country music album Chris Tomlin & Friends, Tomlin is back with his fourth Christmas project, which includes two new songs – “Miracle of Love” and “All the World Awaits (Hosanna)”, along with the four songs from his 2019 EP Christmas Day: Christmas Songs of Worship,  and one song from his 2015 album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship. If you have all of Tomlin’s previous Christmas music, you’ll just want to download the two new songs.
Here are a few comments about each song:
Miracle of Love – This upbeat joyful song was inspired by the Tomlin’s third daughter, due this December, and the parallel story of the birth of Jesus. Tomlin has talked about how each line of the song has a double meaning. The song opens with piano, and picks up with drums, backing vocals and a nice use of horns at the chorus. The song was written by Ashley Gorley, Ed Cash and Chris Tomlin.
Key lyric:
A baby born; a baby born
A miracle of love
A gift from God sent to us
From heaven above

All the World Awaits (Hosanna) – This praise song about the coming of the Savior was written by Tomlin, Jason Ingram and Matt Maher. The song begins with guitar and gently builds with piano, drums and backing vocals. The song is inspired by Matthew 21:9 and Isaiah 9:6.
Key lyric:
Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Glory to the newborn King

Christmas Day – This song is written by Ed Cash, Scott Cash, Franni Cash, Martin Cash and Andrew Bergthold. This joyful song features drums, guitar and excellent vocals by Tomlin and We The Kingdom. Classic Tomlin, this song would be a good one for congregational singing.
Key lyric:
Sing all you people
The Lord almighty reigns
Sing every creature of God
Come bless His name
For He is good, for He is good
He was born to conquer the grave
Light of the world
The reason for Christmas Day

His Name Is Wonderful – This song is written by Tomlin and Ed Cash with a chorus taken from Isaiah 9:6. The song begins with Tomlin singing over piano, and then builds with drums, strings and choir.
Key lyric:
Come and adore Him
On bended Knee
He came to Ransom
Someone like me

Little Drummer Boy – This Christmas classic was written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone in 1958. The song features guitar, backing vocals and of course some excellent drum work.
Hope Of Israel – This song was written by Tomlin, Ben Fielding, Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan. The song begins with Tomlin singing over piano, then builds gently with strings and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
God is with us
Christ our Savior
Jesus our Emmanuel
He shall reign our King forever
The hope of Israel 

NoelThis song, originally included on Tomlin’s 2015 album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship, features Lauren Daigle on lead vocals, and was written by Tomlin, Ed Cash and Matt Redman. Tomlin is known for sharing the spotlight with others, such as including Audrey Assad’s “Winter Snow” on his 2009 album Glory in The Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship. Since this recording, Daigle has gone on to great success with her Look Up Child album, which could be the reason this older song was added to the new EP.
Key lyric:
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore

Best songs:
A Miracle of Love
All the World Awaits (Hosanna)
Christmas Day
Noel


  • Here is the video for “Banks” by NEEDTOBREATHE from their new album Out of Body.
  • Sandra McCracken’s Christmas Gets Deluxe Edition. Sandra McCracken’s Christmas was one of my top albums of 2019. Read my review of the album here. The new Deluxe Edition includes two new “acoustic kitchen remixes” of songs that are included on Christmas, “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “Mary’s Arms”.
  • Night Glow. Check out the video for “Night Glow” from Social Club Misfits, off of their new album Feared by Hell.
  • Psalm 121 (I Lift My Eyes). Watch the live recording of this new hymn featuring Kristyn Getty, Jordan Kauflin and Matt Merker from the Sing! Global

Mary’s Arms (Acoustic Kitchen Remix) by Sandra McCracken

This week’s song of the week is “Mary’s Arms” (acoustic kitchen remix) from Sandra McCracken’s new Deluxe Edition of her 2019 Christmas album, one of my favorites of last year. Check out the lyrical video here.  Here are the lyrics for the song:

Verse 1
From the skies above the shepherd’s field 
To the rolling moonlit hills
Come and see the signs, the evidence
Of the mercy now revealed
Here the baby rests in tender form
Helpless to survive alone
Here the King, the Savior Christ is born
With a manger for His throne

Chorus

Now is the time
Songs fill the skies
Redeeming love
A baby child
Resting in Mary’s arms

Verse 2

I will magnify the blessed One
He has done great things for me
Lifted up the lowly from the dust
And set the captives free

Chorus

Bridge:
He shall become wonderful
He shall become counselor
He shall become mighty God
He shall become Prince of Peace

Chorus

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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