Standing Strong For Christ
Posted April 21, 2014
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In my review of the previous The Museum album, I expressed a desire to see the band produce music that was more identifiably theirs. As it was, the sound was good and pleasant, but it blended in too much with the CCM standard. Fast forward two years and we're given an intriguing title and album cover with What We Stand For. It gives some hope that the direction is going to be a bit more defined, both lyrically and sonically. Unfortunately, it's fairly obvious early on that the approach is fairly similar to before.
To be fair, this isn't really blameworthy. The plus side of this is that the band can be appealing and accessible to anyone familiar with the genre, and the music is enjoyable and harmless enough to be worth a listen. And the lyrics are entirely vertical and praiseworthy. I definitely see what The Museum stands for.
The title track ("What We Stand For") and songs like "Forever and Ever" do a great job at establishing a Biblical narrative firmly rooted in Christ. But the problem is that without much to stand out, there's not a strong case to go to The Museum for these uplifting worship tunes over any of the myriad of comparable acts out there. Certainly it's not an either/or proposition, but as well-done as the traditional covers of "Stronger" and "Your Love Never Fails" are, and as honest and catchy as songs like "Forever Free" and "Give Me Faith" are, most artists in the CCM have crowded these waters to the point where there's little here that's memorable in the long-term. I
t's not that anything here is bad. It's all good. It's all commendable. But there's little here to define the album or give listeners a reason to keep returning to it.
That said, I did find "Carry My Heart" to be a solid album highlight. The lyrics felt like they dug a bit deeper and the melodies reached a more emotional core: "There's a million reasons to cover my face and to hide all my fears in the dark / but I know the darkness is light to you still / so I'll press on with all that You are." And it does all this without forsaking the accessibility of the rest of the album. I'd like to see this shine through in more of future albums. The Museum has certainly shown the talent and potential. I think their music is just begging to be let free to fly.
The Museum has produced a record that is singable and pleasant, giving the Church another serviceable collection of songs to worship Christ with. It's just that, in the long run, they still seem to be in need of a sound that is more definitely theirs. As it is now, they fit in a little too well into the CCM mosaic. Hopefully songs like "Carry My Heart" will illuminate some bold new directions to explore and finally give the band a concrete sound to call their own.
Song to Download:
"Carry My Heart"
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