Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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My Review of 25 in 24

25 in 24
****

The film 25 in 24 documents a crazy dream. It was the dream of Christian band Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman. His dream was to play 25 concerts in 24 hours in his hometown of San Diego. The film is directed by Melody League and is beautifully filmed with many scenes of the San Diego area.
Foreman loves to play music. He is able to connect with people through his music. After Switchfoot concerts, he will meet fans outside the venue to play solo impromptu acoustic concerts.
As he released four Wonderlands EPs – Sunlight, Shadows, Darkness and Dawn a few years ago, he came up with a crazy dream. He would play 25, 3-song concerts in his hometown of San Diego in 24-hour period.  There was much to coordinate, and many variables (musicians, transportation, traffic, weather, etc.). Could he remember all of the lyrics to 75 songs playing for 24 consecutive hours? Could he pull off this ambitious project? He tells us that a beautiful dream is worth chasing, even if you fail.
At 10:00 am on October 24, Foreman started out in his van beginning the realization of his dream, an entire day of song. This film follows Foreman as he fulfills his dream, embracing community one song at a time.
I enjoyed watching Foreman and his fellow musicians (only the cellist played all 25 shows) playing in a variety of locations in San Diego – Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park (with Foreman’s mother Jan), Fidel’s Mexican Restaurant with a Mariachi Band, at Rady’s Children’s Hospital with a high school orchestra, singing “Your Love is Enough” at a wedding reception for the first dance for the bride and groom, on the roof of Ironsmith Coffee Shop, a blistering “Resurrect Me” in show 24, etc. Highlights for me were the concert on Mount Soledad, where they watched the sunrise afterwards, the show at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, and the final show on Swami’s beach, where Foreman went into the Pacific Ocean to surf immediately afterwards.
As the evening went on, people began following them from show to show. When it got late into the evening, the crowds became smaller and the shows more intimate. In the midst of it all, Foreman’s van breaks down.
As Foreman and the musicians finished show 25, it was a celebration of family, friendship and community. This was an event that made people come alive.
Foreman tells us that many times it’s the chase that we are looking for. He was chasing after wonder, looking for his Maker, one song at a time. He stated that journey is where life happens. Not in control but in the chaos.
The film is available online where movies are sold (Amazon Prime, iTunes, etc.). Music fans – Switchfoot and Jon Foreman fans in particular – will appreciate this film.

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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Adore by Chris TomlinMusic Review:

Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship by Chris Tomlin
****

This new live Christmas album was recorded at Ocean Way studios, a former church building, in Nashville, the same location that Tomlin recorded his first Christmas album Glory In The Highest: Christmas Songs Of Worship six years ago. Tomlin is one of my favorite artists, and consistently delivers quality worship songs. In fact, as this album releases he currently has the number Christian song in the country with “Good, Good Father”.

The album features several special guests, including Laura Daigle (who recently won the Dove Award for “New Artist of the Year”), Kristyn Getty, All Sons and Daughters and more. There are eleven songs included, a mixture of new, and traditional Christmas songs with Tomlin’s interpretation.

Below are a few brief thoughts about each song:

He Shall Reign Forevermore – This song was co-written with Matt Maher, who was unfortunately too ill to record it live with Tomlin, which is a shame. The song is still excellent and is the first single from the album. It has the sound and feeling of a traditional Tomlin worship song.

Adore – this worshipful song written by Graham Kendrick and Martin Chalk begins with a piano intro and builds into the chorus:

Adore, come let us adore
Adore, come let us adore Him!
The Lord, worship Christ the Lord
Let all that is within us
Adore

This would be a wonderful song for congregations to sing.

Midnight Clear (Love Song) – Tomlin takes the classic “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and makes it a song of love to Jesus. He sings that Jesus is the love song of God.

Noel – This song features Laura Daigle on lead vocals and is 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 first Christmas album. This time he give Daigle the lead vocal opportunity.

Hymn of Joy – With Ed Cash, Tomlin adapts “”Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel” into this acoustic Christmas hymn of joy.

Silent Night – This song features more of the congregation’s vocals than Tomlin’s. Kristyn Getty reads the famous Christmas passage from Isaiah 9 in the middle of the song.

What Child is This? This song features All Sons & Daughters on lead vocals and is primarily driven by acoustic guitar. I liked when they sang acapella toward the end.

It’s Christmas – This is probably my favorite song on the album. Written by Tomlin and Ed Cash, it’s a fun, jazzy medley with finger snaps that brings in “Away in a Manager” and “Go Tell It on The Mountain”. I loved the horns toward the end of the song.

It’s Christmas!
The angels are singing
And I know the reason,
The Savior is born
 
It’s Christmas!
The bells are ringing
And I feel like shouting
Joy to the world!

A King Like This – Written by Tomlin, Jonas Myrin and Matt Redman, this is an intimate ballad of worship that builds to include congregational singing.

He is Christ the Lord
He is Christ My Savior
I bow my heart before
No other name
I bow my heart before
No other king

Bethlehem – Written with Ed Cash, this ballad builds into the chorus:

Bethlehem
Bethlehem
Behold Your beautiful Savior!
Fall down, worship Him
The King born in Bethlehem

A Christmas Alleluia – This song features Laura Daigle and Leslie Jordan and is a fitting closer. Written with Jonas Myrin, the song builds powerfully into a worshipful song about the coming of our Savior, who has the highest name of all.

This album, like Tomlin, is a wonderful gift to the church. Highly recommended.
musicnews

Song of the Week

Before Our Time by Jon Foreman

Our song of the week this week is Before Our Time by Jon Foreman from his excellent The Wonderlands: Dawn EP. Watch this live solo acoustic performance of the song.

January, February, March
The days are marching forward
April, May, June and July
They fly like a hummingbird

August, September, October
The year is almost over
November, December arrive
Now the year is goneJon Foreman Dawn

Time is illusion
Time is a curse
Time is all these things and worse
But our time is now
Our time is now

Oh Oh Oh Oh
Our time is now
Oh Oh Oh Oh
Let us sing before our time runs out

Time is illusion
Time is a curse
Time is all these things and worse
But our time is now

Oh Oh Oh Oh
Our time is now
Oh Oh Oh Oh
Let us sing before our time runs out


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

Jon Foreman DawnMusic Review 

The Wonderlands: Dawn – Jon Foreman
****
This is the final of four Wonderlands EPs from Switchfoot lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter Jon Foreman, and follows Sunlight released in late May, Shadows in July and Darkness in September. The four “hourly” EPs were to each feature six songs, or one song for each hour of the day – though Darkness actually featured seven songs. Foreman indicated that he wanted “to sneak 25 songs into 24 hours.”

Each song on the project, that has been 10 years and more than 1,000 hours in the making, is co-produced with someone different. So there are 25 songs and 25 producers, certainly a unique approach from the always creative Foreman. He has stated in an interview that his collaborators would send him back their musical response: bass, clarinet, background vocals, etc. His challenge was to put those things together and make it sound like a cohesive statement rather than 25 different projects. Every hour had to be distinct and yet still feel like a cohesive body of work. Foreman celebrated the complete release of The Wonderlands by performing 25 shows in 24 hours in his hometown of San Diego on October 24 (which was in progress as I was writing this review), with proceeds benefiting charities.

Foreman had stated that the Wonderlands EPs would explore themes of faith and doubt, love and frustration, and everything else. I noted that Dawn has more explicit Christian lyrics than the earlier EPs in the Wonderland series. Below are brief comments and favorite lyrics on each of the six new songs:

Inheritance – This song begins with acoustic guitar then builds with light drums, instrumentation and backing vocals. It is a lovely song about the story of his relationship with his wife Emily, whose heart he sings, is a work of art. In the beginning they didn’t have anything to offer each other except for the rest of their lives.

I wanna be rich in memories, not money
Our love is our inheritance, honey

Run Free – This joyful song starts out with Foreman singing a paraphrase of Luke 4:18. It features keyboards, light drums, light brass, strings and backing vocals. Foreman just can’t keep quiet as he invites the listeners to run free and dance like a prisoner released. He sings of the Lord taking our shame away.

Inseparable – This songs is based on Romans 8:35-39, where Paul responds to the question “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Foreman sings of the love of his Savior.

Nothing can keep us away
Nothing can separate

The song features acoustic guitar, light drums, strings and echoing vocals.

When We Collide – This is another song written to his wife Emily. He writes that when they met their world was black and white. He’s waiting for the day when they collide. It features an interesting almost chime sound, light drums and backing vocals.

We’ve got our disagreements
Our separate points of view
But the line that runs between us
Could be the thread that pulls us through

Mercy’s War – This wonderful song has Foreman singing of the wonderful blood of Jesus and how “Because they broke you I am whole”. He sings that he went looking for ways out, but Christ showed him the way in. He thought Christ was a stranger, but instead Christ called him out by name. The song features a slow strumming acoustic guitar, a very likeable clarinet, and choir-like backing vocals.

Before Our Time – The last of the 25 songs in The Wonderlands series is an upbeat song about time with Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek. The catchy musical backing on the song reminds me of the Getty’s “Greengrass” (Irish and Nashville) fusion. About the song, Foreman has said “And then the whole thing ends on another song about the clock called “Before Our Time”, talking about things before our time runs out. And so that’s the way it ends, kind of the way it began, focus on the clock.”

Time is illusion
Time is a curse
Time is all these things and worse
But our time is now
Our time is now

Let us sing before our time runs out

Dawn is a great way to end “the day” with Jon Foreman. It’s definitely my favorite of the four Wonderlands EPs. Highly recommended.

I’ve heard that a box set containing all 25 songs will be released. At this time, the physical editions of Darkness and Dawn and Sunlight and Shadows are available for purchase on Amazon.

Music News:

  • He Shall Reign Forevermore. Watch this performance of Chris Tomlin’s new single from his new Christmas album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship, which he co-write with Matt Maher.
  • Behind the Album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship. Chris Tomlin talks about his new live Christmas album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship, live worship album recorded in the same location he recorded his first Christmas album Glory in the Highest six years ago.
  • New Steve Camp Album. One of my all-time favorite artists Steve Camp recently reported that he is in Los Angeles to work on his new record with friend and producer Tim Miner.
  • I Believe. Watch KB and Mattie perform “I Believe” at the GMA Dove Awards.
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain? John Fogerty performs an impromptu acoustic version of his classic “Have Your Ever Seen the Rain” recently on Conan.
  • It Takes a Lot to Laugh It Takes a Train to Cry – Take 1. Here’s another track from Bob Dylan’s new The Best of the Cutting Edge 1965-66: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12. Read Jon Pareles’ article about the album here.
  • U2’s Boy at 35: Classic Track-by-Track Album Review. Released 35 years ago, Billboard magazine’s Kenneth Partridge looks at U2’s Boy album.

Music Quotes:

  • Whether today seems to go your way or not, it’s always going God’s way. He makes no mistakes. Trust Him. Proverbs 3:5-6. Lecrae
  • We stand before God’s wonder and yet we are disinterested and bored. This should not be. Trip Lee

Song of the Week

Too Much Pride by Don Henley

This song has a gospel flavor and is included on the deluxe edition of Henley’s excellent new album Cass County. Watch him perform the song here.

Common as dirt; as old as sin
The road to ruin, again and again
Oh, how many dreams have bloomed and died
Too much pride

How many heavens are hopelessly lost?
How many tender loves has vanity cost?
Lord, help the soul that can’t be satisfied
Too much pride

You don’t have to be right all the timeProverbs 1618
You can’t go on with all of these axes to grind

So, why don’t you lighten up and let it ride
Too much pride

Empires rise and empires fall
Stick around here long enough, you’ll see it all
Now it looks like it’s gone nationwide
Too much pride

Some people tell you it’s a good thing
Some people tell you it’s a sin
Just like a weed in the garden
You’re askin’ for trouble if you let it in

Now, it looks like it’s gone nationwide
Too much pride
It’s the oldest form of suicide
Too much pride


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

stryperMusic News:

music monkeyMusic Quotes:

  • There is no humility I can manufacture, no penitence I can create that can move the heart of God. True brokenness is a gift from Him alone. Fernando Ortega
  • The Gospel is not enhanced by the dramatic testimony of a movie star, athlete, or recovering addict. Christ’s work stands all on its own. Fernando Ortega
  • I always ask my wife Toni to remind me of stuff, that way when I forget, it is totally her fault. Crowder

Song of the Week

Your Love is Enough by Jon Foreman  

This week’s song of the week is from Jon Foreman’s Wonderlands: Shadows EP released this summer. About the song, Foreman said “I believe in a God who’s bigger than my questions; bigger than my fears and my doubts. I believe He’s not offended by my honest search for truth and that He’s not ashamed or scared when I ask the big questions. The love of the maker and the redeemer of our lost planet is enough. I hope that this song reminds you of the bigger story of grace and redemption.” You can listen to the song here.

Who can satisfy these longings?
Who could wash these doubts away?
Who can save me from my follies
Even when the feelings fade?

Your love is enough
Your love is enough

Who can find me in this darkness?
Who alone can help me stand?
You could find a way to find me
Even love me as I am

Your love is enough
Your love is enough
You’re my harbor in this lonely storm
Your love

Here in my maker’s arms
I find my soul
Here in my maker’s arms
I’m finally home
Here in my maker’s arms
Come home
I’m coming home

Your love is enough
Your love is enough
You’re my harbor in this lonely storm
Your love
Yes, Your love
Your love is enough


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

The Wonderlands DarknessThe Wonderlands: Darkness by Jon Foreman
****

See my Amazon reviews of Sunlight here and Shadows here.

This is the third of four Wonderlands EPs from Switchfoot lead singer, guitarist and primary songwriter Jon Foreman, and follows Sunlight released in late May and Shadows in July. The four “hourly” EPs were to each feature six songs, or one song for each hour of the day – though this EP actually features seven songs. Foreman indicated that he wanted “to sneak 25 songs into 24 hours.”

Each song on the project, that has been 10 years and more than 1,000 hours in the making, is co-produced with someone different. So there will be 25 songs and 25 producers, certainly a unique approach from the always creative Foreman. He has stated in an interview that his collaborators would send him back their musical response: bass, clarinet, background vocals, etc. His challenge was how to put those things together and make it sound like a cohesive statement rather than 25 different projects. Every hour had to be distinct and yet still feel like a cohesive body of work.

Foreman has stated that the Wonderlands EPs would explore themes of faith and doubt, love and frustration, and everything else. Below are brief comments and favorite lyrics on each of the new songs:

Come Home – this is a song that encourages one to come home to where the heart is. I liked the use of orchestration. A key line is “And nothing hurts worse than hope that’s deferred”.

Looking for reasons to try
A reason to live or to die
Won’t you come home
Back to where your heart is
This is the meaning of life
You were born for the dance not the fight
Won’t you come home
Back to where your heart is

Beautiful, Pt. II – I liked the echo call and response that begins the song. It features acoustic guitar, strings, atmospheric background vocals, light drums and building orchestration. Taylor York and Jon Howard co-produced the song with Foreman. The song represents 11:30pm. A key line states that the makeup covers the pain she can never control.

Look like a funeral, but I see right through
You’re so beautiful, You’re so beautiful

You Alone – Cubbie from Foster The People co-produced the song with Foreman. This song has a quicker pace, and is the most upbeat musically song on this edition of the Wonderlands EPs. It features acoustic guitar and atmospheric background vocals.

You alone, you alone, can heal my soul

She Said – This song begins with piano, light drums and acoustic guitar and then builds musically with atmospheric background vocals as the song progresses. Looking for answers is a theme here.

I hear her talking to herself in bed
All my tears are falling on the floor, she says
I’ve never felt it rain like this before, she says
I’ll sing these black eyed blues into the storm instead
I’ll be waiting for the new eyes to arrive
One breath at a time

Larger than Life – I liked the use of backing vocals and the unique use of strings. It is a song of encouragement to one who is down.

Do you feel the weight again?
Are you feeling like you’re caving in?
You’re larger than life my friend
You’re bigger than what you’ve been
Are you running away again?
Are you feeling blown by the wind?
You’re larger than life

June and Johnny – This song, which references singing June Carter and Johnny Cash songs as they drive down the highway, is a simple love song featuring acoustic guitar. The song is a duet with Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, who Foreman collaborates with in his side projects with the Fiction Family.

And I’ll hold you all my life
Like a memory at the back of my mind

Inner Peace – This is the second shortest track at just over three minutes. Lyrically it’s my favorite of the new songs. He is searching for reasons (for pain, rain when he is alone, and longing for justice). He is at war inside, fighting all his life. He has a lot on his mind, and he longs for the water that will make him clean.

Inner peace is hard to find.
Peace of heart and peace of mind

 How can we be ourselves if we don’t know who we are?

Jon Foreman is one of our most creative and prolific artists today. These songs have a great deal of complexity and will reveal more and more after each repeated listen.

We now have 19 songs in the Wonderlands series. The final EP, The Wonderlands: Dawn is scheduled to be released October 23.

Music News:

  • How “You Can’t Stop Me” Became Baseball’s Top “Walk-Up” Song. Andy Mineo’s upbeat rap single, “You Can’t Stop Me,” was crowned the best walk-up song in baseball after a week-long vote and win’s ESPN.com’s inaugural Whammy award.
  • If You Love Her. As I was reading Jena Lee Nardella’s inspiring book One Thousand Wells, I listened to “If You Love Her” by Jars of Clay a few times. You can watch the band perform the song here.
  • Victory. Did you see Yolanda Adams perform “Victory” recently on The Tonight Show?
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice? Jon Foreman covers the classic Beach Boys song.
  • Two New Don Henley Songs from Cass County. With two early released tracks, the former member of the Eagles lets his fans have a taste of what’s to come on his first solo album in fifteen years. “Take a Picture of This” and “That Old Flame (ft. Martina McBride)” — both co-written by Stan Lynch — nod to the place Don Henley called home before “Hotel California.” Listen to both songs here.
  • 14 Best Songs by Andrew Peterson. Dave Trout and Andrew Peterson share their thoughts about each selection.
  • The Burning Edge of DawnNew Andrew Peterson Release. The Burning Edge of Dawn will not be released until October 9. However you can pre-order the album now and instantly be able to download three of the ten new songs. Andrew writes about the three songs: 1) “We Will Survive” is a song I wrote for Jamie about a tough season I went through last year. She has been a steady reminder of God’s good intentions during long months of uncertainty.  2) “The Rain Keeps Falling” is about the same thing—this one was partly inspired by a Luci Shaw poem called “Forecast.” It features my good friend Ellie Holcomb, along with my daughter Skye singing harmony. 3) “The Power of a Great Affection” is the closest thing I’ve written to a corporate worship song in a long time, and tells a little of the story of my life with Jesus. I read somewhere that about 100 years ago, when someone became a Christian they often said, “I’ve been seized by the power of a great affection.” That’s a beautiful sentence if ever there was one. That affection seized me and has never let go.” I’ve been listening to these new songs since last Wednesday and I have to tell you that they are excellent.

Song of the Week

Come Lift Up Your Sorrows

I’ve been significantly blessed by Michael Card’s ministry (music, books, teaching) for more than thirty years. I’ve heard him say numerous times that out of all the songs he’s written his favorite is “Come Lift Up Your Sorrows”, which was originally included on his 2006 album The Hidden Face of God. Watch him perform the song here.

If you are wounded
And if you’re alone
If you are angry
If you’re heart is cold as stone

If you have fallen
And if you are weak
Then come find the worth of God
That only the suffering seek.

Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He’s waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
for He’s wounded too.

He has not stuttered
and He has not lied.
When he says come unto me
you’re not disqualified

When you’re heavy laden
You may want to depart
But those who know sorrow
They’re closest to his heart

Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He’s waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
for He’s wounded too.

In this most holy place
He’s made a sacred space
For those who will enter in
and trust to cry out to him
And you’ll find no curtain there
No reason left for fear
There’s perfect freedom here
To weep every unwept tear.

Come lift up your sorrows
And offer your pain
Come make a sacrifice
of all your shame
There in your wilderness
He’s waiting for you
To worship Him with your wounds
for He’s wounded too.

Music Quote:

Take care of your family, be kind to your co-workers, pay attention to

the downtrodden. These are daily acts of worship. Fernando Ortega

 

The Wonderlands: Shadows by Jon Foreman


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MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

The Wonderlands: Shadows by Jon ForemanMusic Review ~ The Wonderlands: Shadows by Jon Foreman
****

This is the second of four Wonderlands EPs from Switchfoot (my second favorite band, just behind U2), frontman Jon Foreman, and follows Sunlight released in late May. See my Amazon review of Sunlight here.

The four “hourly” EPs will each feature six songs, in total one song for each hour of the day. Each song on the project that has been 10 years in the making will produced by someone different. So there will be 24 songs and 24 producers, certainly a unique approach from the always creative Foreman.

Shadows is darker, both musically and lyrically, than most of Foreman’s work. I’ve only listened to each song a few times. To get the full impact of these songs will take many listens. Below are my initial thoughts on each of the six songs:

Ghost Machine Produced by Jeremy Edwardson. Foreman sings of the ghost machine, referring to it as “she”. This song has a regretful feel. It is somber and features an acoustic guitar. What is the ghost machine he’s singing about? It’s sucking the life out of him. It’ a drug, in his blood and he can’t give her up.

My Coffin Produced by Ryan O’Neal of Sleeping At Last. Foreman wonders early in the song:

Is there someone buried
Beneath this skin?
And is he free when I am lost
In my coffin

The song finishes with:

Resurrection comes
But death comes first

And when I lose myself I’m safe
In my coffin

Fake Your Own Death Produced by Darren King. Features an interesting musical backdrop. With some strings, jazz instrumentation, and light drums I felt it had almost a Sgt. Pepper-like sound at times.

What would you live like if you had died
And been reborn with a second chance to live
Would you lose your fear of being dead?
And be afraid of something else instead?
Maybe you’d be more concerned with living it like you mean

Good For Me Produced by Andrew Wessen and Charlie Peacock (who has a long-time relationship with Foreman and Switchfoot).

This was the most musically interesting song on Shadows. Featuring guitar, drums, horns, it has a great beat to it. That doesn’t surprise me with the creative Peacock’s involvement.

Lyrically Foreman wonders if what he puts in his soul is taking a toll on him. Is it good for him? Does it keep him on his knees? Does it set him free?

Your Love is Enough Produced by Foreman and Seth Mosley. Foreman sings that only God can help him in times of doubt, longing, darkness. His love is enough. In a recent interview Foreman said “It’s a song that chronicles my lifelong battles with doubt and fear. Our roads in life can be painful at times – lonely, dark, and discouraging. But we are not alone.”

Siren’s Song Produced by Eric Owyoung from Future of Forestry.

This song features a nice orchestral arrangement. His love is at the edge of the ocean, wrapped in greens and blues.

Come to the sea
come and have me
my arms are open wide
come to the sea
come and cross me
we’ll reach the other side
come to the sea
come and take me
and have me for your bride
come to the sea
come and listen to the sailor’s lullaby

Again, give this release several listens to get to the full depth that Foreman intends. The final two EPs in the Wonderlands series are Darkness, due out September 4, and Dawn, set for release on October 23.

Song of the Week Unbroken Praise by Matt Redman

This song, from Redman’s new live worship album Unbroken Praise, is one of my favorites of the year. Watch the lyric video of this song.

Praise unbroken
Matt Redman Unbroken PraisePraise unending
Be yours, be yours forevermore

Praise untainted
Praise unfading
Be yours, be yours forevermore
Be yours, be yours forevermore

[Chorus]
Unbroken praise be yours, God, forever
All my praise be yours, God, forever
Lord, take this life, let it become your throne
Unbroken praise be yours

My surrender
My devotion
Be yours, be yours forevermore
Be yours, be yours forevermore

So let my deeds outrun my words

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musicnews

 Brother. Congratulations to NEEDTOBREATHE for topping Billboard’s Christians songs chart with their song Brother, featuring Gavin DeGraw.

Outcry Tour. Trip Lee and Crowder are a few of the artists on this new tour, which stops in Chicago on July 24 and St. Louis on August 4.

Your Love is Enough. Here’s a video of an acoustic version of Jon Foreman’s new song “Your Love is Enough” from his Wonderlands: Shadows EP.


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Music News & Reviews and Song of the Week

music-reviews-tapeThe Wonderlands: Sunlight – Jon Foreman
****

This is the first of four “hourly” EPs from Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman, each featuring with six songs. Lyrically rich and musically diverse, the style will remind you of his four “seasonal” EPs (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter) from 2007-2008 or his music with Family Fiction, more so than it will his Switchfoot output. The songs feature acoustic guitars, strings and layered vocals. There will be one song for each hour of the day and each song is produced by someone different. Foreman has stated that the album has been ten years in the making, as he worked on the songs between stops on tour and between tours. The songs didn’t fit on any of his other projects (Switchfoot, Family Fiction or solo). The project was inspired by a moment in which potential chaos inspired a beautiful moment. Foreman has stated that with a project that is specifically geared toward light and darkness, many of the songs are going to be quite dark.

Here are a few brief thoughts about each of the songs:

“Terminal” – The most musically complex songs on the set. It is produced by Tyler Strickland. Foreman sings that we are fatally flawed in the image of God.

“The Mountain” – Produced by Anton Patzner, the song features acoustic guitar and strings. Foreman sings “I believe you (God) could move this mountain of mine”.

“You Don’t Know How Beautiful You Are” – Produced by Neal Avron. Foreman sings that “We’re the kids who’ve seen the darkness, always looking for light”. Where they are headed is a world apart from where they started. This is a very lyrically rich song. Was originally included in the album for the film To Write Love On Her Arms earlier this year.

“Caroline” – The first single from the project, it’s my favorite song. The opening line is “Caroline, the middle finger queen of the never mind.” It features a harmonica and is produced by Keith Tutt. In the chorus Foreman wonders out loud where Caroline’s heart is today.

“Patron Saint of Rock and Roll” – Produced by Aaron Roche, this song exposes some common counterfeit gods and Foreman sings that Christ alone can save his soul.Sunlight by Jon Foreman

“All of God’s Children” – This is a song that dates back to Switchfoot’s Vice Verses writing sessions. It is a simple song featuring acoustic guitar and strings, as Foreman sings about believing in a world that is beyond him, a world he hasn’t seen. It is produced by Dan Brigham, Jeremy Lutito and Jason Morant.

The Wonderlands: Sunlight has me looking forward to the next EP, which is The Wonderlands: Shadows, due to be released July 17.

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musicnewsUnbroken Praise. The new album from Matt Redman – Unbroken Praise, recorded live in the Abbey Road Studios in London is now available for pre-order. The album will be released June 16. With the pre-order on iTunes you receive “It is Well with My Soul”. Watch this video of the acoustic version of the song from Abbey Road.

  • Sky Spills Over. Watch the new music video of “Sky Spills Over” from Michael W. Smith’s excellent album Sovereign.  

Song of the Week

This week’s song is my favorite hymn, “How Great Thou Art”. The lyrics were written by Swedish pastor Carl Boberg in 1885. In the early 1920’s English missionary Stuart K. Hine wrote the English words and his own arrangement of the original Swedish melody.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: “My God, how great Thou art!”

Sing along with Christian country music singer Wynonna Judd as she lifts up praises to our Lord in the Basilica di San Patronio in Venice Italy.

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MUSIC QUOTES:

  • The church finds its true identity only in reference to Jesus and never to itself. Matt Maher
  • If our prayers or songs of worship talk to the Father with a greater degree of familiarity than Jesus did, then we’re being over-familiar. Matt Redman