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Good News by Rend Collective Good News by Rend Collective
Fresh off the success of As Family We Go, Rend Collective's newest album Good News is available everywhere January 19. Listening to the opening tracks "Life is Beautiful,"...
Jesus Is King by Bradley Jesus Is King by Bradley
In the song "Jesus is King," Bradley Bridges lays out his need for Jesus. The song is a bold declaration about the transformation that takes place in the hearts and lives of...
Abide With Me by Sara Abide With Me by Sara
Abide With Me by Sara Groves is a fresh take on the timeless hymns of the church, recorded in Sara's signature style at a 105 year old church converted into a studio, Art House North in Minnesota....

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The Best News | Posted January-22-2018
Fresh off the success of As Family We Go, Rend Collective's newest album Good News is available everywhere January 19. Listening to the opening tracks "Life is Beautiful," "I Will Be Undignified" and lead single "Rescuer (Good News)," it's clear that the themes of clinging to the Good News of the Gospel and coming together in unity regardless of our differences runs throughout this excellent album, the best overall album by one of my favorite bands in any genre.

Good News will have you hooked right from the opening notes of "Life is Beautiful," which really sets the tone for the album. The upbeat song is a reminder that our worship of God should not be based on our circumstances, but based on who God is. Commit your life to Jesus and offer Him your heart and your life as you sing along with this great song: "Life is beautiful, You are the color, life is wonderful, You are the wonder, rejoice, rejoice, in the sunshine, in the sorrow, in the trial, in the trouble, oh my soul rejoice!"

"I Will Be Undignified" captures the energy and sentiment of David dancing undignified before the Lord in a similar exciting musical style as "Celebrate" and "Burn like a Star." You'll find yourself instantly worshipping along with the band during this album, with "I will be undignified" appropriately capturing the joyful essence of their music ministry.

In "Rescuer (Good News)," Christians can all relate to our unending second chances offered by God, captured in Chris's vulnerable and sincere crying out throughout the celebratory song. "Counting Every Blessing" is a surefire hit song which uses the truth of Scripture as reminders of God's goodness. No matter what obstacle and anxiety you are facing, you can count on God's promises in His Word. I get choked up when I pray along with the prayerful lyrics: "I am counting every blessing, surely every season You are good to me." 

Chris's vocals in "Nailed to the Cross" are emotive, prayerful and honest, which makes the words he's singing all the more powerful. Similar to past songs "Simplicity," "One and Only" and "Immeasurably More," Chris cries out "I will preach the Gospel to myself, that I am not a man condemned, when Jesus Christ is my defense. My sin is nailed to the Cross." 

"Resurrection Day" is an encouragement, reminding that regardless of our circumstances, we need to truly be free in Christ. I love when artists take concepts from the Bible and turn it into a catchy song filled with truth: "because You stand in victory, because You crush the enemy, I can get up off the floor. This is my resurrection day... nothing's gonna hold me down."

"Weep with Me" is achingly beautiful, both musically and perhaps even more so lyrically. The song poignantly sings "Yet I will praise You, yet I will sing of Your name, here in the shadows, here I will offer my praise, what's true in the light, is still true in the dark." The beautiful melody and lyrics are sincere and moving as the song cries out "Lord, I believe You weep with me."

Good News is one of the most meaningful and uplifting albums I've ever heard. In this era of bad news, it is so refreshing to hear a celebration of God's Word, of the truth that Jesus gave His life to redeem all that was lost. This album includes a solid mix of folk-style indie tinged worship. The musical and lyrical excitement of Rend Collective's engaging live performance is perfectly captured in these recordings.

The Bottom Line: Good News is Rend Collective's best overall album to date. Do yourself a favor and buy this album immediately.

Song to Download Now:

"Rescuer (Good News)" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Christ-Focused, Imaginative Story-song | Posted December-23-2017
In the song "Jesus is King," Bradley Bridges lays out his need for Jesus. The song is a bold declaration about the transformation that takes place in the hearts and lives of people who encounter the love of Christ, with references to learning the 66 books of the Bible and growing up in a Christian home.

"Jesus is King" is a prayerful and catchy song reminding listeners to live life to the fullest in praise and adoration of our King, Jesus. This song is sure to connect with all listeners who like songs filled with truth and yearning for God. If you like folk-pop style melodies and story-songs from artists like Matthew West, Josh Wilson and Jason Gray, then you should really enjoy Bradley Bridges.

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Bound As Believers | Posted November-17-2017
Abide With Me by Sara Groves is a fresh take on the timeless hymns of the church, recorded in Sara's signature style at a 105 year old church converted into a studio, Art House North in Minnesota. These stripped down musical arrangements help these deep and meaningful songs to shine. 

"For The Beauty of the Earth" is a gorgeous offering to God, setting a reverent tone for the album with its poignant refrain "Lord of all to Thee we raise, this our hymn of grateful praise." Don't miss her gorgeous renditions of "Fairest Lord Jesus" and "Praise to the Lord." Both songs are absolutely incredible prayers, flawlessly delivered by Sara's sweet and sincere vocals layered over textured musical arrangements.

Whatever struggle or depression you are facing, you can know that God is with you, always. The comfort and rest offered by Jesus is beautifully captured in "Abide With Me," where Sara tenderly sings "in life and death Lord, abide with me." "The Love of God" is a gorgeous worship sung with a stirring passion behind prayerful lyrics. You'll worship our King Jesus during the song, in particular the chorus: "O Love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong, it shall forevermore endure, the saints' and angels' song."

I'm emotionally moved by the prayerful songs "Song of Blessing," "What A Friend" and "To The Dawn" as they proclaim my heart's cry to worship Jesus. Those songs and their dependence on God have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of God and His friendship with us. The call to unity and friendship is found woven throughout, also giving us insight into Sara's walk as a fellow believer. Many of the songs, like "Tis So Sweet" and "Lead On Oh King Eternal," also offer emotive and poetic descriptions of what Jesus did for us. 

My personal devotional prayer has been to have more faith, and "He's Always Been Faithful" is my heart's cry and anthem to sing in praise to the Lord, regardless of my circumstances. So many people can relate to the message of this great song, which convicts me to know in my heart the biblical truth from Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:22-23: God's mercy is new each day, and it is not based on our performance. He pours out His mercy despite what we've done; there's nothing we can do except trust in His Son Jesus. Remember the gift of His grace that as followers of Jesus we are sinners saved, morning by morning. The song is a constant reminder for me that "In serving God only and trusting His hand, all I have need of His hand will provide, He's always been faithful to me."

These songs all have biblically-based lyrics that poignantly capture life's simple yet vital messages. I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the prayerful lyrics found in these sacred songs. Sara's vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus. There are several personal songs that melt my heart, especially "Abide With Me" and "Lead On Oh King Eternal." There are several instantly sing-able and worshipful arrangements of classic hymns that you'll want to add to your Sunday morning setlist. I especially recommend "Fairest Lord Jesus," "Praise to the Lord," "Tis So Sweet" and one of my top worship songs of all-time, "He's Always Been Faithful."

The Bottom Line: All of the songs are catchy, reverent and worshipful. Abide With Me is a must-have for your praise and worship collection. This is a great album, a moving and prayerful listening experience which reflects how we are bound together as believers in faith.

Song to Download Now

"He's Always Been Faithful" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Poignant Songs of Adoration | Posted September-14-2017
Aryn Michelle explored multiple different aspects of the music industry before deciding that, more than anything, she wanted to go wherever God would lead her. The result was her debut album Depth, which featured the standout songs "Do the Same" and "Nothing Else Matters." 

Sophomore release The Realest Thing is a concept album inspired by the Christian apologetics book Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig. Each of the songs on the project focus on a different philosophical argument for the existence of God and evidences for Jesus Christ as His Son. 

The album picks up with Aryn's desire to provide words for believers to sing about our Lord, to edify and build them up with her anointed voice and transparent faith. In that way, opening song "The Realest Things" reflects her heartbeat to sing about the attributes and arguments for the existence of God and make an offering of praise to Him, as "If something could be greater than God, it would be God. It would be God, it would be God." 

This thread of God's sovereignty runs through every song. Don't miss "The Question," "Order" and "Good." All of the songs have excellent messages, flawlessly delivered by Aryn's sweet and sincere vocals layered over textured and powerful musical arrangements. 

I'm moved by the prayerful song "Miracle Man" as it proclaims my heart's cry to worship my King, Jesus with evidences for Jesus Christ as God's Son. All of these songs and their dependence on God have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of God and are filled with piercingly difficult truths to believe all of the time. Christ-centered "The Story of Redemption" is an emotive and poetic description of what Jesus did for us. You'll be worshipping right along with Aryn. The word of the Lord doesn't return void, and this song puts God's Word in the mouths of believers, reminding them "Good men can die but they don't rise again, He gave His life and then He rose again."

The Bottom Line: From my first listen, I was totally captivated by this album. I'm really engaged by Aryn's emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics. For me, Aryn brings sincerity and relatable themes that get deeper with each listen. There are no filler tracks, and this is easily one of my top "gourmet" albums of the year. Every song will have you hanging on each word that Aryn tenderly sings. Her vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus. These are truly poignant songs of adoration about "The Realest Things"--Jesus Christ and "The Story of Redemption."

Song to Download Now

"The Realest Things" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Made to Run the Race | Posted September-04-2017
One of my intangible "it factors" that I listen for in selecting my favorite songs and albums is whether I'm moved emotionally. From previous albums by Holly Starr, her songs "Through My Father's Eyes," "God Is" and "Grace for All" all fit that category for me. If you like catchy songs that are scripturally based with relatable lyrics and edifying messages, then you are in for a treat with Human.

The EP was available early by supporting her Kickstarter campaign. It features standout songs about the ups and downs of being human in our Christian walks as followers of Jesus. The cohesiveness of this album is one of the highlights for me, as the thesis statement of the album could be "you were made to run the race" inspired by 2 Timothy 4:7 (NKJV): "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

The songs all connect to the finishing the race as they run in a track order that flows seamlessly from one song to the next. The opener reflects truth about finding beauty on the other side of the "Bruises" that we all carry, with a similar message about identity as "Through My Father's Eyes," which addresses Holly's struggle with body image. The upbeat synth-tinged opener invites listeners into Holly's story and her positive grace-filled messages of hope, starting with the reminder that "bruises aren't what make you who you are."

Preceding the album release, "Run the Race" has already had over 1 million streams online. What's awesome about the upbeat song is that it provides encouragement and personal motivation to fight the good fight of faith and "run the race" of life strong. It also addresses the spiritual fight that we all face daily. God doesn't give us temptations that we can't overcome with the empowering message "don't give up, the prize is up ahead...quiet the fear, focus your eyes, don't you know that you were made to run the race." The song is so good I can't stop listening to it, and the Matthew Parker remix that closes the album is stellar. As you listen to the song, you'll want to get out and "show this world what you're fighting for."

"Human" ties back to our identity with a hook-filled melody and poignant message: "sometimes we need room to be human, maybe we could never be perfect people, maybe that's okay... maybe that's what makes us humans, know that grace is real."

Addressing family relationships throughout the album, "Umbrella" is a love song for Holly's husband Chris, while the moving "Sailing" is a tribute to her late grandmother who Holly Starr was named for. Both songs are touching tributes, wonderful examples of how these songs are very intentional and reflect what has happened in Holly's life since her last album.

Holly's vocals are so strong and pure. Electronic pop music has made a big mark on the music scene, and the production on these ultra-catchy pop songs could easily be featured in mainstream music alongside top-selling artists.

The Bottom Line: If you like female singers that make you think while you enjoy their catchy and empowering songs, Human is for you. I have three young daughters, and this is a solid upbeat pop album with positive biblical messages which is a great alternative to mainstream pop artists. This is easily my top pop album of the year.

Song to Download Now:

"Run the Race (Matthew Parker Remix)" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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A Fitting Farewell | Posted June-21-2017
The City Harmonic has made quite an impact on worship music with their standout anthems "Manifesto," "Mountaintop, "Holy (Wedding Day)," "A City on a Hill," "Praise the Lord" and "Let There Be Light." The band, consisting of front man Elias Dummer, bassist Eric Fusilier, guitarist Aaron Powell and drummer Josh Vanderlaan, are closing their ministry with this selection of standouts from over their career recorded live in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.

"My God" kicks off the biblical focus of this collection and is based on Psalm 121. The song is like listening to David crying out to God with a worshipful chorus: "O, my God / I lift my heart up / whether it's whole or broken / good God I know / You're gonna work it out / So on my heart beats to a beat that I put my hope in / the love of my God pouring out."  That type of lyrical punch can be found throughout this stellar send-off. I can't get enough of "Maranatha." You'll get swept up in the emotion of the bridge, "for the dark and the light at war in me, Maranatha / for the widowed wife / and the orphaned one / Maranatha."

"Yours" is an unashamed declaration of faith to God. Elias Dummer belts out the sincere chorus "You can have it all / It's Yours / all of it / Yours." What a great reminder that everything we have is a gift from God. That truth is manifested in the "I'm Yours" bridge to close out the song. 

"Praise the Lord" proclaims, "Praise the Lord, because in every moment, Jesus Christ is Lord!" Regardless of your circumstances, Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. As the song asks, "Won't you praise the Lord? / There is grace for today / so praise the Lord." We need to remember that "in every moment / Jesus Christ is Lord."

The gorgeous new song "Honestly," the only never-before-heard track on this album, reminds worshipers that "honestly I need to be broken / of all that I have / all that I need is You." My favorite song by the band, "A City on a Hill," is based on the Beatitudes. I love knowing that in my brokenness, I am actually closer to God.

"Mountaintop" is filled with challenging lyrics: "We'll be the glory of our King / in His Kingdom come / we've been to the mountaintop / we've seen the glory of our God / He's here in the valley low / I feel it in my bones / We are the body of our God." "What I Want" lyrically opens with a great thesis statement for the whole album: "May my life speak louder than words / and what I'm saying is Jesus I'm sure / You're what I want."

The Church can all sing along to "Let There Be Light" with the words "Oh Word of God / let there be light / cut through the dark / Oh let there be light / Oh Word of God / let there be light." It is a great message and song for us to celebrate our freedom from sin based on our faith in Jesus. Their megahit "Manifesto" is the type of song I wish I was singing at my church right now. The song boldly declares a statement of faith: "We believe in the one true God / We believe in Father Spirit Son / We believe that good has won / And all of the people of God sing along / Amen." This worship anthem is just the type of infusion that the church needs with its honesty and bold lyrics.

The Bottom Line: Benediction contains fourteen live renditions of upbeat worship songs that celebrate the musical journey of The City Harmonic. The songs are filled with lyrics that point to the wonders of our God, combined with sweeping melodies and infectious choruses that will be replayed in your mind over and over again. I don't often hear an album that foundationally brings me back to when I wasn't a Christian, what I need to strip away from my religiosity and from my use of "Christianese" language. This selection of songs is a fitting farewell and benediction, sending out listeners to live out these songs. 

Song to Download Now:

"Honestly" (Get it on Amazon here.)

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Introspective and Worshipful | Posted June-14-2017
This entire Mosaic EP by independent artist Gordon Gregory feels seamless and intentional. It is the follow-up to his debut Between Redemption and the Pain. Having grown up in South Africa, Gordon Gregory has a unique outlook on life, and it shows in his songwriting.

I have had the privilege to meet and worship with Gordon, and he truly has a passion for praising our God. Right from the opening track "Good Enough" there is an uplifting reverence and joy in worship. The fresh song has an ambient, folk music flow. I'm really engaged by Gordon's emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album.

The next songs "Places I Can't Follow," "Still" and "Abba Father" continue with an engaging ambient rock musical style. The soothing feel is just one of the many attractions to savor about this introspective worship album. I find that all the songs have me pondering eternity and my purpose, such as in the lyrics "Abba Father, come heal my heart to call You by Your name / Abba Father I need You to redeem the space You claim." Something I enjoy is how the songs include vulnerable and prayerful lyrics with instantly singable hooks, such as the sample of "This is My Father's World" included in "Abba Father."

The standout song "Unfettered" is next. Gordon's tender vocals take you on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. The lyrics and vocals are very stirring: "All I know is that when this love captures your soul, you will be unfettered and free."

"Whole" closes out this solid album with a stirring personal prayer about identity which incorporates the album title in the lyrics: "cause nothing's ever worthless in an artist's hands / and I'm a mosaic of a man who's finally found the strength to stand and believe / that I am all of me."

The Bottom Line: I'm drawn to Gordon's sincerity and relatable songwriting. If you want to experience a fresh, deep and completely worshipful album, look no further. I really like Gordon's singing voice as it is very soothing, and his album is great for meditative times of worship. I really enjoy the vibe of this album, and the melodies and lyrics are all solid and biblical. The Mosaic EP is hook-filled with catchy melodies wrapped around very introspective, worshipful and emotional lyrics.

Song to Download Now:

"Unfettered" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Stellar Worship Offering | Posted April-04-2017
"You are a miracle-working God" sings the gorgeous bridge of "You Came (Lazarus)," led by Amanda Cook. It is just one of the standout songs on Starlight by Bethel Music, available everywhere April 7. 

This compilation is unique from the Redding, California based Bethel Church in that it is comprised of songs led by female worship leaders and recorded at Bethel Worship Nights last fall. The voices featured include Jenn Johnson, Amanda Cook, Steffany Gretzinger, Kalley Heiligenthal, Melissa Helser, Kristene DiMarco, Hannah McClure and Francesca Battistelli.

"Starlight" led by Amanda Cook is truly an anointed and inspiring song, filled with biblical language. The song expresses the heart cry and hope of the believer: "You come in close, oh, even as I wait, You come in close." "You Came (Lazarus)" is also led by Amanda Cook and reflects her Biblical yearning to know Jesus with these compelling lyrics, "You came, I knew that You would come / You sang, my heart it woke up / I'm not afraid, I see Your face, I am alive."

Francesca Battistelli leads a new worship song "There's No Other Name" and the Bethel classic "God I Look to You." Both songs are powerful worship anthems. You'll be worshipping our King Jesus right along with Francesca as she sings the bridge: "every knee will bow, every tongue confess, the Name of Jesus." 

"Extravagant" and "King of My Heart" are beautiful songs led by Steffany Gretzinger, with "Extravagant" also featuring Amanda Cook. These women all clearly love our Lord and Savior Jesus with all of their hearts, a fact that they are excited to sing about in every song. Those songs and their dependence on God to be the King of our hearts have perfectly poetic biblical descriptions of God, filled with truths that are piercingly difficult to believe all of the time.

In the bridge of "Take Courage," Kristene DiMarco proclaims "You who hold the stars, who call them each by name, will surely keep Your promise to me, that I will rise in Your victory." The theme of Jesus being found in the waiting and reigning as the King of our hearts weaves its way through many of these compelling songs.

The Bottom Line: Starlight is best described as a stellar worship offering with an empowering theme of the Lord's Kingship reigning in our hearts in song after song. The standout songs each feature an engaging and emotive musical style while phrasing biblical truth in a creative, corporate and also personal way, making it my top worship album of the year.

Every song completely focuses me as a listener on joining in praise, worship and adoration of our beautiful King Jesus, with the reminder "You're never gonna let me down," which is in essence the thesis statement of this album. These stellar songs are excellent reminders to cling to our miracle-working God.

Song to Download Now:

"King of My Heart" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Rooted In God's Love | Posted March-15-2017
Powerhouse female vocalist Kerrie Roberts, known for her hit CCM pop songs "No Matter What," "Outcast," "Rescue Me (How the Story Ends)" and "What Are You Afraid Of," is releasing her first ever full-length worship album, Boundless, on March 17. As a pastor's daughter, Kerrie's heart as a worshipper has been heard throughout her albums as her powerful songs "Beautiful to Me," "Savior to Me (Sing Glory)," "In Your Sight" and "Seek Your Face" have all been vertical offerings of praise and worship.

With this album, Kerrie invites listeners into her life by sharing what's on her heart. She dwells on personal musings, lays out spiritual truths and worships God all at the same time. "Life in the Name" starts the album off by introducing one of the main themes: the idea of being home. The song showcases not only Kerrie's gifts as a songwriter, but her shimmering, emotion-laden voice. The song is an infectious celebration of God's faithfulness and celebrates life in the name of Jesus.

Entering into her songs, you can't help but be moved to hear how God has healed her heart and gain insights into God's character as you listen to how she words her prayers of thankfulness and praise. She offers catchy and instantly sing-able melodies such as in the title track "Boundless," which happened while Kerrie was sitting up late with her baby in a state of total exhaustion. She believes the song was divinely inspired: "There's no shore to the ocean of Your love. No ceiling or floor to the power of Your blood. You are boundless."


I can't get enough of the powerful and moving ballad "Echo of the Ages," which is based on my life passage Isaiah 6. You'll be captivated by the melody and message when Kerrie sings "our song of worship rises with the saints who've gone before, the echo of the ages, Holy is the Lord." The song is a gorgeous and gentle reminder that if we have Jesus, we have all we need. I hear an even deeper yearning for God in the song and throughout this incredible album as the song builds to what followers of Jesus will be singing for eternity: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty."

"Rooted" beautifully continues the theme of being home on this engaging worship album with her signature introspective style. This can be gorgeous background music, but don't tune out of what Kerrie has to say in each song. The chorus, "I will ever be rooted in You God, ever be rooted in You Lord, ever be rooted in You," is in many ways the thesis statement of this album, which is about being rooted in God's love.

In "By Your Grace," Roberts belts out "Only by Your grace, You break every chain. By Your grace, by Your love, it's only by Your power we overcome." I sing that line along with Kerrie's gorgeous and powerful voice at the top of my lungs. I find it so uplifting to remember in this troubling time where the earth is groaning that the only thing that matters is God's grace. 

"Where My Heart Belongs" features a worshipful refrain and Kerrie's strong vocal delivery. When Kerrie passionately sings the song, I hear in her voice a prayer of gratitude and commitment to lift God's Name high and give her gifts back to Him. Kerrie once again isn't performing the song; she is lifting the worshipful and heartfelt words back to our Savior. The modern hymn-like song revisits that theme of being home by proclaiming "This Solid Rock, this is my home, my soul will sing and through it all, You are where my heart belongs."


The Bottom Line: Kerrie Roberts is a uniquely gifted singer/songwriter with a big voice that is memorable and dynamic, yet intimate. Her vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention on Jesus. Kerrie Roberts has once again captivated me with her worshipful songs with one of the top worship albums I've ever heard. Her vocals are so strong and pure. Musically and lyrically, Boundless is brilliant. This album brings me closer to God and provides offerings of praise and worship rooted in His love.

Song to Download Now:

"Where My Heart Belongs" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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Compelling Songs of Hope | Posted February-23-2017
It's been a few years since a movie hit the screen that could compel a variety of artists to lend their voices to a set of unique songs for an "inspired by" soundtrack. The Shack has proved to be a movie that could create just that response, with The Shack: Music From and Inspired by The Original Motion Picture collection boasting offerings from some of contemporary music's finest in a variety of genres.

"Heaven Knows" by Hillsong UNITED enhances the compilation with a call to worship, capturing the essence of Psalm 119: "I will listen to You. For the entry of Your word brings light and understanding to all." Houston's and Taya Smith's gorgeous harmonizing over an alternative and ambient worshipful vibe sets the proper tone for these songs of contemplative, emotional and vulnerable worship, capturing the essence of this album in the bridge: "then sings my soul, how great You love me." These are all eternity-minded tracks as in the face of tragedy and despair, our God in Heaven knows what we need.

"Where Were You" by Francesca Battistelli features another theme found throughout this album: wondering where God can be found in times of pain of suffering. The root of our faith and salvation is God and His Word. You'll be raising your heart and hands in worship along with the honest and prayerful song as Francesca sings "Where were You when my worst fears were coming true? I thought that You would come to my rescue, where were You?" That type of honest questioning is answered later in the song, "When my prayers bounced off the ceiling, I was facing down my demons, when my legs gave out beneath me, I fell into Your arms."

"HARD LOVE" by NEEDTOBREATHE (recast with a feature from Lauren Daigle) is compelling music. The song personifies the band's challenge of standing up for what's right in a dark world. Throughout their last album, the band subtly includes references to the "dance" of life in a few contexts, taking us on the journey of life lessons learned in "HARD LOVE." Bear Rinehart and Lauren Daigle's powerful vocals lift this song to its highest point in the bridge: "When the wolves come and hunt me down, I will face them all and stand my ground, 'cause there's a fire burnin' in me, they will see my strength in this love I found."

"Stars" by Skillet is a great celebratory anthem about what it means to have hope in Christ. Sometimes it is hard to believe that God loves us so much that He knows us intimately, and He wants to fill our hearts with love as promised in Romans 8:38-39 (NIV): "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." That's cause to celebrate and sing out to Him: "You're never too far away, You never show up too late. So here I am lifting up my heart to the One who holds the stars."

"I'll Think About You" by We Are Messengers is the only song from the compilation that can be heard in its entirety in the film, featured in one of the most emotional moments of loss and catharsis. The worship band beautifully captures our need for hope in Jesus and His promise of Heaven for those who love Him and put their faith in Him. That sentiment is expressed in the song: "When I don't know what to believe, I'll believe in You." The thread of God's love and eternity is also found throughout the tracks by Dan + Shay ("When I Pray"), Tim McGraw & Faith Hill ("Keep Your Eyes on Me"), Lady Antebellum ("Lay Your Flowers Down") and for KING & COUNTRY's rendition of "Amazing Grace."

The Bottom Line: This is a completely worshipful and reflective album, providing a reverent compilation of songs as a companion for this stirring film based on the best-selling book The Shack. These fourteen tracks are sung with an amazing passion and with unashamed praise and gratitude for God's faithfulness and love. The eternal love of God is beautifully expressed in these compelling songs of hope, fitting for a movie about the nature of God's love.

Song to Download Now

"Stars (The Shack Version)" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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