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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
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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 and Reviews

Unbroken Praise – Matt RedmanUnbroken Praise, Matt Redman
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Matt Redman, with the possible exception of Chris Tomlin, is arguably the most influential worship songwriter that the modern church has been blessed with. He chose to record his latest album live in front of an audience of about 300 (who participate in the live worship by singing along), at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London. The album cover features the signatures from everyone who made the album possible (songwriters, musicians, producers, technicians, etc.). Redman stated “”Unbroken Praise reveals a heart not wanting to be beaten down by the things of life, but to actually increase worship in those moments.”

Below are brief comments on each of these wonderful new songs:

Louder – an upbeat song to start the worship, featuring the chorus:

We lift our voices, lift our voices

Make Your praise so glorious, glorious

It is Well with My Soul – features the chorus from Horatio G. Spafford’s 1873 hymn.

Flames – compares our praise offerings to the flame of a fire.

Let all our hallelujahs be Yours

All our hallelujahs be Yours

From the altar of our hearts, O God

Let flames of worship rise

Unbroken Praise – a last minute addition to the recording.

We give our praise unbroken, praise unending to God forevermore

Abide With Me – co-written with Matt Maher. The song also appeared on Maher’s excellent Sinners and Saints album. This is probably my favorite new song of 2015 thus far.

King Of My Soul – an upbeat song that will be good for contemporary worship services. Redman’s desire is to let our lives be undivided in our worship of God.

Songs In The Night – a wonderful song that speaks of the sovereignty of God in the midst of storms. We will wait on the Lord praising Him, confident because He is our peace in the storm.

No One Like Our God – a song that speaks clearly about how there is no one like our God and Savior. His blessing and His love is great. A joyous song that will be wonderful for congregational singing.

The Awesome God You Are – a song that first appeared earlier this year on the Passion Even So Come album. Features the worshipful chorus:

God, let hope arise

And faith become

The fortress of my heart

I will lift my eyes

And see You as

The awesome God You are

Believe You as

The awesome God You are

No Longer I – Uses the refrain from Isaac Watt’s 1707 hymn “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” (sometimes known as “At the Cross”), changing the last line from “And now I’m happy all the day!” to “Now, no longer I but Christ in me”. The refrain was not actually written by Watts, but by Ralph E. Hudson in 1885.

Majesty Of The Most High – a mostly acoustic song. We bow before the majesty, holiness and amazing grace of the Most High God. Just one glimpse of God and we will be changed.

Redman has done it again. He is so very talented in giving the church the gift of songs that we can sing in worship of our God. I’m sure these wonderful songs will be sung in worship services around the world very soon.

musicnews

  • Top 10 Lecrae Songs. Artist Direct has compiled this list of Lecrae’s top 10 songs. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What songs would be on your list?
  • Chris Tomlin Christmas Album. Tomlin recently spent two nights recording his second live Christmas album. I can’t wait!
  • For the Church: Singing Come, Thou Savior, Spread Thy Table. Randall Van Meggelen continues his series looking at the songs from the new Glory to the Holy One album from Jeff Lippencott and R.C. Sproul. You can listen to the song and follow along with the lyrics in this article.
  • Stretch of the Highway. Did you see James Taylor perform this song off of his new album Before the World on The Tonight Show?

Song of the Week
This week we look at “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”, written by Stuart Townend in 1995.

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

music quote 1Music Quotes

  • Jesus doesn’t love me because of my perfect character, He loves me because of His. Lecrae

What you say you believe about God doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make a meaningful difference in how you live. KB