Chock full of chunky riffs, energizing rock and lyrics of faith and devotion, Chorus of the Saints puts Australian quartet Revive squarely on the Christian music map. The twelve song debut kicks off with the anthemic title track, followed by a solid set of soaring ballads and driving rock numbers. Includes the radio-ready single "You Know," featuring Third Day's Mac Powell, plus "Can't Change Yesterday," "Stay," and more.
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Revive [Chorus of the Saints]| Posted March 06, 2009 [MAIN REVIEW]
The band Revive officially got together in the (Australian) summer of 2004, after playing local churches and schools for the better part of 2003. They had been having a lot of fun doing these smaller shows, but began seeing that perhaps there was something more to this band than they had originally thought. In July 2004, they released their first full album as Revive titled “Where I Belong”. With more offers coming in, it was getting difficult to balance work/university with the band commitments, so in January 2006, the boys took the leap of faith and went full time Revive! It is often said that God uses those willing to be used – and they quickly found out that this was indeed true for them. Mac Powell (Third Day) produced the debut release “Chorus Of The Saints”, coming out March 10, 2009.
Through its music, Revive is about ministry and reminding people of the message in Psalm 85. “It says, ‘He will revive their hearts.’ We love that,” says lead singer Dave Hanbury. “We want people to be refreshed, like what our name means, to be revived. It would be great if someone would listen to “Chorus Of The Saints”, and feel like they could walk closer with the Lord.” The album starts with the first single and title song “Chorus Of The Saints” which is about God’s faithfulness and opening our eyes to the beauty of God . “This is the chorus of the saints singing Hallelujah our God is faithful”. The album flows nicely into the next two songs “Can’t Change Yesterday” and “The Truth Is” that both feature a gentle reminder and rebuke “But the Truth is”, a biblical phrase used by Jesus: “I tell you the truth”. Both songs are about finding our peace and hope and trust to God. The song “You Know”, sung with Mac Powell, is my favorite song on the album. The song is based on Matthew 6:25 and is a wonderful prayer to God that we don’t need to worry, God knows and loves us. “There is nothing in my life You haven’t known”.
The message of all of the songs is hope-filled and the songs are catchy, uplifting and biblical. Another theme in the songs “Don’t Look Anywhere Else” and “You’re All I Need” , is that both songs are about finding meaning, life and peace in our relationship with God. I like every single song on the album and the closer “Promise of Tomorrow” is a great alternative rock style song with a cool vibe and style that reminded me of After Edmund, one of my favorite new bands.
This is my favorite new album of the year from a great new band that I expect to be nominated for Best New Artist. If you like Rush of Fools and Tenth Avenue North, then you’ll enjoy Revive.
A good chorus| Posted March 09, 2009
Revive owes more to Third Day than a simple thank you for letting them tour with the veteran southern worship band but for helping the band to where they are now: on the verge of putting out their debut with essential records, Chorus of the Saints. Although Revive has been touring in the states since the beginning of the year, it wasn’t long ago Revive was opening for Third Day in Australia in 2006.
Setting the table for this Aussie foursome’s first debut in America is the title track which may start with awkward riffs and a rough tune the chorus is present blend of upbeat pop and medium rock with worship flair. The one song from Trafalgar Street, the bands actual sophomore project from overseas, is “can’t change yesterday” another semi-fast paced medium rock song which follows in the footsteps of “chorus of the saints”. After the first two tracks come the lighter songs but before the album ends Revive revs up the CD with “stay”, an innovative and impressive refreshment from some of the dry songs which occurred earlier.
And speaking of the dry pop/worship tunes, the southern influenced “Don't Look Anywhere Else” has an almost annoying pop sound and while Mac Powell’s vocals show up on “You Know” his vocals don’t make much of an impact for the guitar led ballad. When Revive tries their hand at worship (“power” and “the truth is”) their music tends to be simple, unoriginal, and uneventful. In fact the best on Chorus of the Saints are the more up tempo songs like “promise of tomorrow” and “distant memories” with the lone exception belonging to the soft 80’s sounding ballad “sit with me”.
Not only do the harder songs portray the best side of Revive musically, but they tend to be the strong spots of the album lyrically. If you contrast the words and message of “your all I need” (I lift up my hands and give You it all My life, my heart/my hope it’s all Yours) with “stay” and it’s more in-depth look at God being father for the fatherless (Can’t forget the day you left and never came back home/How can you turn and run from your daughter and sons?.. Love from the heavens that died on a cross /For the fatherless, for the hopeless’) the latter is far more convincing and real.
The album as a whole focuses on glorifying God with the title track (‘Hallelujah our God is faithful!... And see the beauty of your God/Who has never left your side’) leading the way. Although the lyrics may not have very diverse messages, the CD does offer insight into the meaning of life (“wonder why”), contemplating eternity while looking back on our lives when we live (“distant memories”) and not lingering on past mistakes ( “can't change yesterday”). Among some uncomplicated songs “You know” takes a practical look at God’ provision: ‘You keep the sparrow flying in the sky /Why do I question You /The flowers of the field are beautiful /I’m a child in the arms of my Father’.
Overall Chorus of the Saints is a very present release as Revive shows us verity of skills that the band possesses. But there is still room for improvement particularly in making their softer pop songs and guitar driven ballads more eventful. However this is a good start for the Aussie boys and we hope they stay in the states.
Chorus of the Saints| Posted June 03, 2010
This is an amazing debut. Revive has a Newsboys meets stellar cart sound. the title track is a great song to sing along to, open your car windows shouting "This is the chorus of the saints singing hallelujah! our God is faithful!"
This is an okay album| Posted June 01, 2010
Good album if you want some power rock. Hilights are Promise of Tomorrow, Chorus of the Saints, Distant Memories, and Sit with Me. The rest of the songs don't reach the speed or highlight the lead singer's vocals as much as the others.
great album| Posted May 31, 2010
Great album by an awesome Aussie band. L love Chorus of The Saints. This is the first I've heard of Revive, and I can't stop listening to them. Great album, go pick it up.
No Such Thing As A Sophomore Slump for Mandisa!| Posted March 20, 2009
Mandisa, who was very prematurely eliminated from Season Five of American Idol, has shown what strength and determination she has by pursuing Gospel music after being exposed to national TV on a secular show, and boy am I glad of that!
Her first album, True Beauty, was a fantastic debut, with catchy songs that really had a message. The first album was about excepting who you are and always being yourself, and it worked beautifully. At one point or another, each and every one of the songs on her album was my favorite. And even two years later, whenever one of Mandisa's songs pops up on my MP3 Player, I can't help but get enlightened and joyous.
Luckily, Mandisa's second album, Freedom, follows almost the same format as her first, and what a winning format that is! Both start off with two catchy, upbeat songs that are guaranteed to make you want to groove ("Only the World" and "True Beauty" for her first album, "My Deliverer" and "How Much" for her second)! I would also like to point out that the first song of both albums is her first single for that album... coincidence?
Track 3 for both albums are beautiful ballads ("God Speaking" for her first album and "Not Guilty" for her second), followed by mid-tempo, still beautiful songs for Track 4 ("Voice of a Savior" and "Leave it in the Valley").
Track 5 for both albums is probably the most fun track on the album, both upbeat and insanely catchy ("Love Somebody" and "Freedom Song"). If they don't instantly make you happy, then you are probably a robot.
Track 6 is slower, kind of calming down the energy from Track 5, but still fun ("Unrestrained" and "Victorious"). Both of these serve some of the most important messages in the entire album.
Tracks 7 and 8 of both albums ("Shackles [Praise You]" and "[Never Gonna] Steal My Joy", "Definition of Me" and "Dance, Dance, Dance") are back to the upbeat party! Four really great songs that I can definitely see a youth group shouting too late in the night.
Track 9 and 10 of the albums ("Oh, My Lord" and "Only You", "He Is With You" and "You Wouldn't Cry") are the only ones that differ, with her first album going with two upbeat songs, and her second going with two ballads. Although different in tempo, all four of these songs are the ones that I just get chills from each time I listen.
Each of the albums closes with a ballad ("He Will Come" and "Broken Hallelujah"), and for both albums, on the first listen through, these were my favorites. Both are so emotional and personal; I feel like Mandisa is singing to me. I can't help but cry whenever I stop and really listen to these songs.
Okay, now for the track-by-track:
1. My Deliverer (9.5 / 10): I am so glad that this was chosen as Mandisa's first single. It really starts of the album with a bang, creating the whole atmosphere for the rest of the album. When Mandisa starts the final refrain of the chorus, I can't help but grin. It is such a beautiful moment!
2. How Much (10 / 10): This is my favorite song on the entire album. The music is really cool, it's fun to dance to, and the lyrics... just so perfect. Everyone, at some point in their life, feels unloved. When that happens, no need to look further than this song. Manidsa's voice is just.. spot on!
3. Not Guilty (9 / 10): I am sorry, but the entire song, I was comparing it to "God Speaking", and it's just not. "Not Guilty" is almost as moving as "God Speaking", and Mandisa's vocals are, again, a hole in one. I just couldn't stop thinking about "God Speaking."
4. Leave It In the Valley (8.5 / 10): Kind of an old gospel style. It sounds like an organ is in the background, it's nice. Mandisa's high notes on this song are just pure perfection. The message this song sends out about not giving up is another song that everyone can relate to.
5. Freedom Song (9.5 / 10): Starts out kind of slow, gospel, and then the beat starts, and so does the fun. The lyrics play out like testimonies, and it's inspiring. The chorus will become infections to Christians everywhere.
6. Victorious (8 / 10): This song sounds kind of R&B (other than the lyrics) and it shows that Mandisa also fits in this genre. This does the same thing as "Unrestrained" on her first album, kind of diffusing the previous, party song, and it makes this song one of the most forgettable. It's just sandwiched in between two upbeat songs, but it's still a great song.
7. Definition of Me (9 / 10): Another song that's chorus will be sang religiously (no pun intended) at youth groups and church camps everywhere. As soon as the opening beat starts, so does the party. Blanca Reyes (from Group 1 Crew) has a solo, and it's a nice addition. It's really great to see Mandisa collaborating with other Christian artists on this album like she did on her first.
8. Dance, Dance, Dance (9 / 10): I was dreading listening to this song because I purchased Mandisa's first version of this song from the album "Sonic Praise 2: Worship for Life", and I didn't really care for it that much; it just wasn't my style of music, and I didn't really like the song. Well, I listened, and wondered why I had even dreaded it! This new version is really great, upbeat, and a real improvement from her original pre-American Idol version.
9. He is With You (8.5 / 10) This is another song that is kind of sandwiched between two songs that are really amazing. It is still an amazing song and a great message being said, but I find myself wishing it was the next song. I still love this song, though.
10. You Wouldn't Cry (10 / 10): What an inspiring song. For those who don't know, this song was written from the point of view of a stillborn child. It is just heartbreaking, even though it is meant for the complete opposite. It is such a beautiful and... amazing song.
11. Broken Hallelujah (10 / 10): The final song on the album was, the first time I listened to it, my favorite song on the album. It is so pretty and probably the most relatable. Listening to this song, really listening to the lyrics, I can't help but cry, because everything she is saying [singing] is so true. Mandisa's voice is perfect for this song.
Mandisa has clearly worked hard for this album, and I am so glad / proud that it's been finished. Once again, for Mandisa, there is no such thing as a sophomore slump.
Revive!!!!| Posted March 16, 2009
I love Revive's "Chorus Of The Saints" album!!!! I haven't stopped listening to it since I picked it up!! Revive is my favorite group now, and I am so glad I was able to hear about them!!!! I recommend this album to anyone!!!!
Revive by Chorus of the Saints| Posted March 14, 2009
I did not like this album that well. I am sure the group intended this as a Christian album, but I got a more rock 'n roll feel to it than Christian rock 'n roll.