For the last decade, NEEDTOBREATHE has been delighting Christian music fans with their folk-rock-style music. Lead singer Bear Rinehart's trademark vocals create an emotional music atmosphere that allows fans to connect to NEEDTOBREATHE's music intimately.
Having recently released their new EP, Hard Cuts: Songs from the Hard to Love Sessions, I thought it time to share a handful of the NEEDTOBREATHE's can't-miss songs. And it's not just incredible vocals or elite musicianship; these songs are treasure troves of encouragement and biblical truth. If you've been a fan awhile or you're just getting into this amazing group, these six songs should be in heavy rotation.
Starting off with a new single from the Hard Cuts EP, "Cages" is a moving power ballad about tackling life on your own, without the love of God: "I went looking for attention / In all the wrong places / I was needing a redemption / And all I got was just cages." The song resonates with me. Whenever I think I know better than God, I fail miserably. He's always quick to remind me that I need Him to succeed.
Galatians 5:1: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."
NEEDTOBREATHE's hit single, "Testify," from the 2016 album Hard Love is an invitation to worship God openly and passionately. I take this worship song as a call to action to share your testimony with the world.
2 Timothy 1:8: "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God."
3. "A Place Only You Can Go"
"A Place Only You Can Go," from the 2011 album The Reckoning, is a very touching piece about brokenness. The well-written lyrics are very intimate. I can imagine Jesus hugging one of his hurt children tightly singing, "Oh, I know this song won't do / Enough to prove my love to you / In my heart you'll always know / There is a place only love can go."
Psalm 6:2: "Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony."
4. "Keep Your Eyes Open"
Also from The Reckoning, NEEDTOBREATHE's smash hit, "Keep Your Eyes Open," shares a message of encouragement: "Just past the circumstance / The first light, a second chance / No child could ever dance the way you do, oh / Tear down the prison walls / Don't start the curtain call / Your chains will never fall until you do."
Isaiah 41:10: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
NEEDTOBREATHE has seen much success come from "Multiplied," the standout from their 2014 album, Rivers in the Wasteland. In fact, it earned the band a Grammy nomination. When I hear "Multiplied," I think of ballads like Bryan Adam's "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You," Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," as well as other legendary love songs.
But unlike those songs, "Multiplied" is a love song to God, not to that special someone. Come to think of it, all love songs are worship songs: "God of mercy / Sweet love of mine / I have surrendered to your design / may this offering stretch across the sky / And these hallelujahs be multiplied."
Psalm 95:1 "O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation."
NEEDTOBREATHE released a couple of versions of "Brother," a song also featured on Rivers in the Wasteland. One with Gavin DeGraw, one without. I love it when Christian artists go beyond industry borders to collaborate with mainstream musicians. I'd like to see more of it.
Granted, NEEDTOBREATHE has already seen much mainstream success. (Most recently, pro wrestling giant WWE used "Be Here Long," a song from Hard Love, in a tribute video to the late Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka.) In itself, "Brother," was a very successful song on Christian radio. It broke Billboard's Top 100 and peaked at 98.
Psalm 27:5 "For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock."
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