Atlanta-based group Casting Crowns has crafted their driving pop-rock style for more than three years as the worship band for their home church. Catching the attention of key music leaders, Casting Crowns has become the first artist on a new imprint founded by Mark Miller of country super group Sawyer Brown, and the band's self-titled debut is being produced by Miller and multiple Dove Award winner Steven Curtis Chapman. Casting Crowns includes straight-forward lyrics aimed at the church, including "If We Are The Body."
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One Of The Best Debut Albums In A Long Time| Posted January 29, 2008
Casting Crowns began as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, FL in 1999, but unlike many of the "youth group bands" that are releasing sub-par music into the marketplace, the debut album from Casting Crowns is a wonderful collection of songs overflowing with challenging lyrics pointed directly at the forehead of the church. Lead by Mark Hall, a youth pastor for the past 12 years, the group's ability to blend captivating choruses, harmonies and hard-to-hear truths were perfected in the studio by co-producers Mark Miller (the hyper-animated frontman for the veteran country group Sawyer Brown) and Steven Curtis Chapman. On songs like "American Dream," which documents a father's neglect as he chases after the material nature of providing for his family, and "If We Are The Body," challenges Christians in the church to step outside the exclusive circles we are involved in and see the needs of others around us. Standout tracks include "Voice of Truth," a beautifully written song about keeping your focus in a world that continues to distract us, and "Who Am I," a powerful ballad where Mark drops a simple reminder of God's grace: "Not because of who I am / But because of what You've done / Not because of what I've done / But because of who You are." The song is given even more depth by Melodee DeVevo's vocals, reminiscent of Caedmon's Call. After listening to this album, you can't help but feel reenergized to continue to reach higher for God's standards...just like any good Sunday sermon should do.
Possibly Best Christian CD Ever!| Posted July 13, 2007
There are a few landmark CD's in Christian music history (Jesus Freak-dc Talk, Jars of Clay-Jars of Clay) and I think this CD is in that same category. I've seen Casting Crowns live twice as well which really helps bring out the amazing energy in these songs. I never get tired of "Who Am I", "Voice of Truth", "Here I Go Again" and one of my favorite songs is "What If His People Prayed". If you only buy CD's that have several hits on them, then this is the CD for you.
Overused, Overdone, Overrated| Posted July 14, 2007
There are only 1.5 songs on this album that are any good. Yes, I know that people will read this and write me death threats, and reasons why I'm insane, but it's true.
"If We Are The Body" is the only great song on the album. It had a good beat, an off-beat message, and is done in such a way that it saves itself from being like the rest of the album. This is actually still my favorite Casting Crowns song, still. Well, actually it's still the only song the band has done that is great, still, after 4 years. Sad.
The song that is half-good is "Voice Of Truth" which is a great song, but when you hit the chorus, the song dies, and all your love for it withers. However, when the song is used in "Facing The Giants" is works out beatifully. The reason the verses are so great is a great message, combined with Mark Hall's lone vocals. The key word here with Hall's vocals is lone. If Mark Hall reads this, then paste this word all over, and remember it. Say it to yourself, lone. Say 'I have lone vocals'. Good, if you can remember this, and apply that, then you're officially a great singer. But the key word is apply.
The thing is that Mark Hall has very distinct vocals; a special gift if you may. Use the gift well, and any song will be elevated to a whole new level, more so than most other singers can do. However, use the vocals combined with another, i.e. "Who Am I" the song dies. No matter how great the message is, how great the music is, the song will die as soon as the vocals are mixed. Casting Crowns has not figured this out, and as a result they've made terrible quality music for 4 years. I just heard their new song, and they still haven't fixed problem.
Overall, the CD only has 1.5 songs worth your time. That's it. The rest are overused, overdone, and overrated. To save you time, the rest of their work is the same. So, until they fix these problems, they will NEVER get any of my love, and they will NEVER be a great band.
Casting Crowns is a wonderful album| Posted August 08, 2007
When the Hit song "if we are the body" first was released on the radio, it turned heads to see Casting Crowns, a band that would set its reputation on good music and amazing lyrics.
Casting Crowns self-titled debut is light rock with praise and worship. Although the music is not flat out amazing, it does not do the album any harm. Past the praise and worship songs, are the more grabbing songs like "here I go again" and the hits, "who am I" and "voice of truth".
But what makes Casting Crowns even more spectacular is the songs that question how and why we do things. The great songs on the CD are "American dream", "what if his people prayed" and the hit "if we are the body".
Overall the first six tracks are the life of the CD, but the powerful lyrics and good music makes Casting Crown's opening album a CD that every Christian can enjoy.
A Review or My Ramblings on the Current State of Christian Music| Posted August 17, 2007
Casting Crowns is an interesting band. They are probably the number one Christian band right now, and their music is killing the airwaves (come on, tell me the truth, you're getting tired, just slightly, of hearing 'Praise You In the Storm' aren't you?). With that said, the lead singer, Mark Hall, has said he doesn't really try to make great music, or art, but simply try to get a message across, and music is just a way he can get it out. I'll discuss this at the end of the review.
Putting all biases aside, I'll try to review this album. 'What If His People Prayed' was, what I had previously thought, what Casting Crowns really sounded like. A nice rocker with very convicting lyrics to the Church. When you hear the following song, 'If We Are the Body', you begin to think that maybe, just maybe, Casting Crowns has something they like singing about; the Church namely. The oft heard, 'Voice of Truth' and 'Who Am I' are great songs. Mark Hall's voice is extremely passionate, and where other artists would have made some of these songs, such as 'Who Am I' sound like a dainty, quaint, little humility ballad, Mark Hall's earnestness lifts them up to something really powerful. If not for his earnestness, Casting Crowns would have been forgotten by now, believe me.
Casting Crowns' heaviest rocker, 'American Dream' is very catchy and has a great message. After another convicting ballad, 'Here I Go Again', about how we waste our opportunities to share the love of Christ with the lost, the album closes out Casting Crown's stepping-on-your-toes part of the album. The rest is unabashed worship to God, starting with 'Praise You With the Dance' and ending with 'Your Love is Extravagant.' All of these are great worship songs, with 'Praise You With the Dance' and 'God of the Nations' coming out as my favorites.
Casting Crowns lyrics are some of, if not the best in modern Christian music. Not even Chris Tomlin's lyrics are as good, namely because they don't carry as much weight or earnestness as Mark Hall's. Musically though, Casting Crowns fits the bill as the average Christian adult-contemporary band. Is that bad? Not necessarily. They are definitely the best at it, with some great piano, excellent female backup vocalists, and occasionally, some nice rock guitar. But this brings up my opinion on Mark Hall's statements concerning his music.
While I do believe the message is vital, I think the great fault of the Christian music market is thinking that music is just a shiny gift wrap placed over a message. Looks nice, but in the end, is thrown away to get the message. I, personally, find this insulting to how God made music. God made it wonderful, beautiful, and awesome; something that was marvelous. To me, someone saying that I'll just use music as a way to get a message across is like saying I'll make a book, and it doesn't matter how good it's written, but it'll be a way to get the message across. Here's something to think over:
'And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.' - Colossians 3: 17 (NIV).
Now, if you're going to make music in Christ's name, wouldn't it be good to make it excellent, as best as you possibly can? Funny, but if you think that that verse doesn't connect with music, look at the verse right before it:
'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.'
My point is, music is something awesome that God has endowed us with. To say it is nothing more than something to get a message across is wasting it. If God made music, He will be glorified in someone seeking to create excellent music in His name. In summary, music is just as important as the lyrics; both will affect you in different ways, and both are just as powerful. God Himself loves music; eternally He listens to angels singing 'Holy is the Lord God Almighty' it says. I have a feeling the angels don't say 'these are good words, so now let's throw a nice piano riff, a few good chords, and a pretty sounding singer along with and we'll be set.' When you sing for Christ, you give Him your best.
Which is my point; should not Christians be the ones leading the world into new areas of musical excellence? I mean, we're not making music for man...but for God. Anyways, those are just my thoughts.
And by the way, Casting Crowns is a great band.
Casting Crowns| Posted November 14, 2011
This truly is an amazing release by Casting Crowns. I have enjoyed listening to this album for years and find it not only inspiring musically, but also challenging and convicting in causing me to really think about my life, my devotion to Christ, and my relationships with others. An increcible album by a very talented and gifted group of musicians. This to me is what Christian music is really all about.
casting crowns!!!| Posted May 03, 2010
they are my favorite band. songs touch the heart and are biblical, which is what i love. recommend them to anyone, especially 'praise you in the storm' and 'praise you with the dance'.
casting crowns| Posted July 29, 2009
casting crowns is an amazing album.
it has a lot of interesting and motavational messages that will help you when you are feeling down and reminds you that God will never abandon you.
Could it get any better than this?| Posted June 14, 2009
Casting Crowns has blown me away. This album is so incredible and I cannot believe how amazing each and every song on the album is. Seriously a great album to have.
Awesome!| Posted March 13, 2009
Casting Crowns' self-titled debut album was da bomb! When I was first introduced to Casting Crowns, I had only heard their "Lifesong" CD, but then I explored and bought their first album. All three are good, but this one is awesome.
Casting Crowns| Posted December 16, 2008
This band soared up the charts almost instantly when their music came out. I know why, too. Who Can't like songs like "Praise You With The Dance" or "Who Am I?"
Favorite Song: "What If His People Prayed". There's so much we could do if we'd let God use us and we can help to encourage others when we pray for them. This song reminds us we should pray for everything and "stop asking Oprah what to do!" lol, sorry couldn't help myself! :)