|Sidewalk Prophets [Live Like That] | Posted March 16, 2012
Sidewalk Prophets initially made a name for themselves at Indiana’s Anderson University where front men and main songwriters Dave Frey and Ben McDonald met. Integrating worship with real life - that is one of the simple truths Sidewalk Prophets has learned to live by. Dave Frey explains: “The name ‘Sidewalk Prophets’ even means that we are common people speaking the truth about life from our perspective as followers of Christ.” They have made an impressive debut on the CCM scene, winning New Artist of the Year in 2010, and garnering multiple Dove Award nominations for Group and Song of the Year. Their debut album These Simple Truths delivered the smash No. 1 singles “You Love Me Anyway” and “The Words I Would Say.”
Their sophomore album Live Like That releases March 27, 2012 and their lead single and title track is already a hit song and plays a strong part in the overall messaging from the band. With the help of their fans, the album cover encompasses the faces and hearts of people all over the country who have inspired someone to “live like that.” After a brief instrumental intro entitled “Hebrews 12:1,” the piano-based ballad, “Live Like That” opens this very solid album with one of the best songs of the year. If you liked their debut album, you’ll want to pick up this album immediately as it picks up where These Simple Truths left off and takes it up a notch musically. Although there were some tendencies towards a pop country sound like Rascal Flatts on the first album, this album has more of a rock worship sound like MercyMe and Newsboys. Not bad company. “Live Like That” sums up the theme of this great band’s mission which is to reflect Christ in their songs and actions and is a wonderful worship anthem with some Brit-rock guitar work layered throughout, flawlessly produced by Dove Award winning producer Ian Eskelin. “Love Love Love” displays the fun side of this band well as the song features relatable and somewhat unorthodox lyrical references to Love: “it even broke through the dark side of Darth Vader” and “even Chuck Norris can’t defeat it.”
Biblical Truth is woven throughout the remaining standout songs, “Save My Life,” “Keep Making Me,” “It’s Good (Love’s Not Safe),” “Wrecking Ball” and closing ballad “This Is Not Goodbye.” All of these great songs are radio-friendly and potential hits for this great band and are sprinkled throughout the album creating a very enjoyable listening experience. “Keep Making Me” is a piano based ballad in the style of “You Can Have Me” and is my favorite track on the album. The song features Dave’s personal, vertical and honest lyrics being lifted up as a prayer opening with “make me broken, so I can be healed, ‘cause I’m so calloused, and now I can’t feel, I want to run to You, with heart wide open, make me broken.” The stirring chorus has already become a staple in my time of personal devotions to God—“’til You are my One desire, ‘til You are my One true Love, ‘til You are my breath, my Everything, Lord please keep making me.” Amen to that! “It’s Good (Love’s Not Safe)” seems to be inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis depicting Aslan (God) in the song as described in the book and movie—“He’s not safe, but He’s good.” “Wrecking Ball” is a great upbeat rocker in the style of “Just Might Change Your Life” featuring more vulnerable and personal lyrics, “Father, Father, I need to rip out this old tree, Father, Father, the roots of lust and greed, have grown so deep into this ground, I’ve tried so hard to pull them out, on my own, they take the best of me…I need a wrecking ball slamming inside my heart, breaking me all apart…take it all..let me fall into Your hands..where mercy lives, where grace begins.” Amen! Closing ballad “This Is Not Goodbye” is a love letter from God encouraging listeners that “this is not goodbye, I know we’ll meet again, so let your life begin…it’s just I love you, to take with you until you’re home again.” As believers we need to remember that this world is not our home. Like the Grammy Award winning “Blessings” by Laura Story, this song beautifully depicts that we weren’t made for this world, but during our short life spans, God has a plan for each of us “until we’re home again.” The song is a great bookend to the opener “Live Like That” and the album is loaded with that type of profound Truth.
Just like their debut album These Simple Truths delivered the smash No. 1 singles “You Love Me Anyway” and “The Words I Would Say,” I expect similar results for Sidewalk Prophets’ sophomore album Live Like That. The album is chock full of potential radio singles and every song is completely captivating. The surefire hit songs are “Live Like That,” “Save My Life,” “Keep Making Me,” “It’s Good (Love’s Not Safe),” “Wrecking Ball” and closing ballad “This Is Not Goodbye.” Dave Frey says, “This album is a reflection of our journey in music and our desire to live our lives in such a way that it is rooted in a deep passion and love that knows no bounds.” The message of committing to extravagant selflessness and faithful optimism threads its way through every song and Live Like That is on par with the excellent The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe, both in music and message.
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