Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Patient Kingdom – Sandra McCracken
****

I have to admit that I’m a late-comer to Sandra McCracken, being introduced to her music at the 2018 Gospel Coalition National Conference and the last few Getty Music Sing! Conferences. I also really enjoyed her 2019 Christmas album, one of my favorites of last year.
This new album of worship songs features 9 new songs, and a reimagined hymn, all written or co-written by McCracken. The album, which was produced by Ben Shive and Tyler Chester, was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with friends collaborating and recording across four states.
Patient Kingdom is an excellent album, which I’m sure will end up high on my “Best” list for 2020.
Below are a few comments about each song:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of Over the Rainbow: The American Standard EP by James Taylor
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics


I Will Sing – This song about singing about the Lord’s great love (Psalm 89:1), has an easy going pace, and features piano, light bass and light drums, acoustic guitar and backing vocals.
Key lyric:
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever
I will sing of the Lord’s good love
   
You Are With Me– This song features piano, drums, acoustic guitar and backing vocals. Our hearts may be heavy and tired in this valley. Sorrow may last for a night, but in the morning, the joy of the Lord breaks in with the light, and we know that He is with us.
Key lyric:
You walk beside me, through darkest valleys
I know You are with me

You Are The Word – This song has a nice play on the word “Word”. We can trust God’s word (His promises) in the pain as the Lord, the Word (John 1:1), will make all of this work for our good (Romans 8:28). He was broken, buried and raised, and we give him praise. McCracken’s vocals have an echo effect, and are backed by light acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and light drums.
Key lyric:
You gave me Your word
You gave me Your word
You are The Word

On High Places – This song features some nice drum work, acoustic guitar, and backing vocals. Fear has been an old friend, solitude has been a teacher of the truth, and peace has been a steady covering.
Key lyric:
On high places, here we go
We will rise, we will rise
And pass through shadows, take it slow

I Am One – This worship song features drums, acoustic guitar, piano, a guitar solo, and Citizens on backing vocals, and would be a good one to sing in a worship service.
Key lyric:
I am one with You in Light
I am one with You in Fire
I am one with You in Love
I am one with You in Glory

Lay My Worry Down – This song features guitar, drums, and backing vocals. We are confident that we can take our anxious fears and turn them over to our Father, resting in His mercy.
Key lyric:
Dark is the night, deep is Your love
Great is my need, You are enough

Thirst No More – This song about the living water that only Jesus provides (John 4:10), features acoustic guitar, drums, backing vocals, and piano.
Key lyric:
Thirst no more, thirst no more
Thirst no more, come and drink

Patient Kingdom – This beautiful song features acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and light drums. In the midst of the chaos, slow us down Lord and let love do its work.
Key lyric:
Let my soul rise up to meet You
As the day rises to the sun
Let my soul rise up to meet You
Let that patient kingdom come

Into The Harbor – This song features light drums, organ, acoustic guitar and backing vocals. In our trouble we cried out and the Lord heard us. He has provided the safety we have been longing for.
Key lyric:
Into the harbor You guide us, O Lord
Into the safety are Thy distant shore

Be Still My Soul– This song is a new version of the hymn written by Jean Sibelius, with a new bridge added by McCracken. The song features organ, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, and some nice backing vocals.
Key lyric:
Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to thy God to order and provide;
in every change He faithful will remain.

Best songs:
All


Over the Rainbow: The American Standard EP – James Taylor
*** ½ 

This EP includes three songs recorded during James Taylor’s American Standard album sessions, but not included on the original album. Read my review of American Standard – one of my favorite albums of 2020 – here.
Here are a few brief comments about each song.
I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face – This song was written by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner. It was included in the 1956 musical My Fair Lady. The cast recording of My Fair Lady was one of Taylor’s parent’s favorite records. The song features strings, bass and acoustic guitar.
Never Never Land – This song was written by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It was included in the 1954 musical Peter Pan, starring Mary Martin. The cast album was a favorite from the Taylor family record collection. The song features acoustic guitar, bass and light percussion.
Over the Rainbow – This song was written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. It was included in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. Taylor’s solo guitar version of the song includes Yip Yarburg’s original introductory verse, which is rare.


  • Christ Our Hope in Life and Death (Songwriters Edition). Watch this performance of “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death” performed by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell Jordan Kauflin, Matt Merker and Matt Papa at the recent Sing! Global
  • Herman Miller. Check out the music video for “Herman Miller” by Andy Mineo.
  • My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness. Watch this performance of “My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness” by Keith and Kristyn Getty, performed at Hidden Trace Farm. The song is from the Getty’s new album Evensong: Hymns and Lullabies at Close of Day.
  • Upon Him (Acoustic). Here is the video for the acoustic version of “Upon Him” by Matt Redman, from the new EP Let There Be Wonder (Acoustic).
  • Little Drummer Boy. Enjoy the music video for “Little Drummer Boy” from for King & Country, from their new album A Drummer Boy Christmas.
  • Christmas in Florida. Watch the video for “Christmas in Florida” by Social Club Misfits, featuring Matthew West.
  • Amen. Watch this performance of “Amen” by for King & Country, featuring Lecrae at the 2020 Dove Awards.

Jesus Your Name (Acoustic) – Matt Redman

This week’s song of the week is “Jesus Your Name” from Matt Redman’s new Let There Be Wonder (Acoustic) EP. Watch a performance of the song here.
Here are the lyrics to the song, written by Redman, Lindsey Sweat, Joshua Silverberg and Jacob Sooter.

Oh Your name, is my first defense
And Oh Your name, is my last amen
It carries me when I cannot stand
It reaches me when I reach the end

Jesus Your name, when the whole world shakes
Jesus Your name, I will ever praise
My battle cry every night and day
I’ll sing Your name over everything
I’ll sing Your name over everything

Oh, Your name, is my greatest strength
It fights for me and it won’t relent
I cast my cares, every burden fall
For there’s one name that can bear them all

Jesus Your name, when the whole world shakes
Jesus Your name, I will ever praise
My battle cry every night and day
I’ll sing Your name over everything
I’ll sing Your name over everything

In every storm, You’re the Prince of Peace
The Lord of all, You are Heaven’s King
I’ll sing Your name till my last breath here
Then I’ll sing again with my first breath there

Jesus Your name, when the whole world shakes
Jesus Your name, I will ever praise
My battle cry every night and day
I’ll sing Your name over everything
Oh yes, I’ll sing Your name over everything
Jesus, I’ll sing Your name over everything
My God, I’ll sing Your name over everything

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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