Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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Out of Body – NEEDTOBREATHE
****

Out of Body is NEEDTOBREATHE’s seventh studio album, and first since 2016’s Hard Love. The album debuted at #1 on iTunes Top Albums chart. It is also the band’s first album as a trio – Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica), Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass, percussion), and Josh Lovelace (backing vocals, piano, organ), following the departure of founding member Bo Rinehart. The album was recorded in Nashville with producers Cason Cooley and Jeremy Lutito. Five of the eleven songs were released in advance of the full album release.
The band has said that the album is about their journey toward their true selves. This is a strong album, one of my favorites of 2020. As you would expect, the lyrics are vulnerable, and the musicianship and production are excellent. Below are a few comments about each song:

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More of this review and a review of Precious Memories Collection by Alan Jackson
  • Music News
  • Song of the Week Lyrics

Mercy Shore – This song was written by Bear Rinehart and Tyler Burkum. It features piano, organ, pedal guitar, banjo, bass, drums, backing vocals and a memorable chorus. His arms are tired and weary, and his wounds are on full display. There’s no place he feels safe. He’s lost in the waves that crush him. He’s been battling a broken heart, but one day he’ll wash up on mercy’s shore.
Key lyric:
I see the light but never find the surface
I don’t know if I can swim no more
White knuckles and wild horses
One day we’ll wash up on mercy’s shore

Alive – This song was written by Seth Bolt, Josh Lovelace, Bo Rinehart and Bear Rinehart. This joyful song is upbeat musically, and features organ, piano, bass, guitar, backing vocals and some excellent drums. Someday his body is going to come to a rest, but for now, he wants to chase a vision like he’s running downhill.
Key lyric:
These hills take longer than we think to get down
So I’ll get used to living with my feet off the ground

Hang On – The song, along with “Seasons” were the first to be released by the band as a trio. The song was written by Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. The band has said that the song is about the feeling you get when good things in life happen for the first time, and remembering the bravery and vulnerability it took to be present in those moments. The song is upbeat musically, and features keys, drums, guitar and backing vocals.
Key lyric: So hang on to the light in your eyes and the feelings 
Survival – This was the third song released from the album, and was recorded during the pandemic. The song was written by Cason Cooley, Jeremy Lutito, Josh Lovelace and Bear Rinehart. It has an older NEEDTOBREATHE rock and roll feel to it, and features Drew and Ellie Holcomb on vocals. The song opens with acoustic guitar, and then adds drums, backing vocals, keys and electric guitar.
Key lyric:
I am a man in need of
A constant revival
Jesus, come quickly
I need You for my survival

Child Again – This song was written by Cason Cooley, Emily Weisband, Jeremy Lutito and Bear Rinehart. It features synth, guitar, backing vocals, bass and keys.
The song is a prayer. God is his hope and innocence. He is free like a river and a child again.
Key lyric:
I wanna hear your voice
In the rain and wind
I wanna know it’s safe to be
A child again

Out of Body – This song was written by Cason Cooley, Jeremy Lutito and Bear Rinehart. The song has a good beat, and features piano, guitar, children’s choir, bass, drums and backing vocals. He prays for God to take him out of his body and mind. He wants to know how God made him and be given God’s mystical eye.
Key lyric:
I wanna see my world in a new light
I wanna drift through the fields where the moonlight’s bright
I wanna lose myself in the full of light
I wanna know how it looks from the other side

Who Am I – This was the fourth song released from the album. The song was written by Jordan Reynolds and Thomas Rhett. Bear Rinehart has said that it is a song about the fight to accept, embrace, and trust that the greatest love requires nothing in return. The song works equally well from the perspective of divine and human love. The song features keys, backing vocals, drums, guitar and a passionate lead vocal.
Key lyric:
I push You away, still You won’t let go
You grow Your roses on my barren soul

Banks – This was the fifth song released from the album. It was written by Bo Rinehart, Trent Dabbs and Bear Rinehart. The band indicated that it is a song about the women in their lives. The song is their way of saying that they support them, and that there’s nothing more beautiful than watching them effortlessly become the very thing they were made to be. The song features acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass and drums.
Key lyric:
I wanna hold you close but never hold you back
I’ll be the banks for your river

Riding High – This song was written by Cason Cooley, Josh Lovelace, Bo Rinehart, Seth Bolt, Trent Dabbs and Bear Rinehart. The song has a driving modern country music beat, beginning with acoustic guitar before going into a full band sound, with excellent harmonies, vocals, drums, guitar, organ, and piano. He’s been living on the tip of his tongue and by the roll of the dice. If it’s going to be done, it’s going to be tonight. They might go out trying, but they’ll go out riding high.
Key lyric:
Bad decisions, they don’t feel bad at the time
Consequences, they don’t always fit the crime

Bottom of a Heartbreak – This song was written by Chloe Gasparini, Jayson DeZuzio, Neil Ormandy and Bear Rinehart. The song, which builds powerfully, features a passionate vocal, piano, percussion, bass, backing vocals. He’s feeling trapped with no escape. He wants to be well and to change, and needs a lot of time and a little space.
Key lyric:
There’s nowhere to hide
Where you feel safe
At the bottom of a heartbreak

Seasons – This song was released with “Hang On”, as the first songs from the new album. It was written by Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Josh Lovelace and Seth Bolt.
It was inspired by the story of close friends who went through tough time with fertility and adoption struggles. The song features bass, excellent vocal harmonies, mandolin, drums and keys.
Key lyric:
We won’t be here forever
Just a moment then we’re through
We can’t be shifting with the sands
Like seasons always do

Best songs:
Hang On
Survival
Who Am I
Banks
Child Again
Riding High
Seasons


Precious Memories Collection – Alan Jackson
****

This collection of Alan Jackson’s traditional gospels songs includes his two previous gospel albums 2006’s Precious Memories and 2013’s Precious Memories: Vol. II, along with two additional songs – “It’s All About Him” (inspired by his wife’s book of the same title) and “That’s the Way” (which he sang to his wife at their wedding), for a total of 28 songs and nearly an hour and a half of music. The songs feature Jackson’s smooth country vocals over a stripped-down backing consisting primarily of piano, acoustic guitar, light drums and backing vocals. The songs include such favorites as “Amazing Grace”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Blessed Assurance”, “Softly and Tenderly”, “The Old Rugged Cross” and many more. This collection will be a joy for those who love the great old hymns of the faith.


  • Carrie Underwood Gospel Album. To be released prior to Easter, Carrie Underwood has announced that she will release her first Gospel music album, My Savior, a companion to her Christmas album My Gift.
  • New Jon Foreman Music. Switchfoot leader Jon Foreman’s new album Departures will be released February 12. Watch the video for “Education” from the album.

Softly and Tenderly/Ashokan Farewell” by Kristyn Getty, Vince Gill, Ellie Holcomb and Sierra Hull

This week’s song of the week is “Softly and Tenderly” by Kristyn Getty, Vince Gill, Ellie Holcomb and Sierra Hull, from Keith and Kristyn Getty’s album Evensong: Hymns and Lullabies at the Close of Day. Watch the lyric video here. “Softly and Tenderly” was written by Will Lamartine Thompson and adapted by Keith Getty. “Ashokan Farewell” was written by Jay Unger.

Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me
See, on your portals He’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling O sinner come home

Oh! For the wonderful love He has promised
Promised for you and for me
Tho’ we have sinned He has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling O sinner come home

Gently He leads those who carry their young ones
Shepherd for you and for me
Surely His goodness and mercy will follow
Ever with you and with me

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling O sinner come home
Calling O sinner come home

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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