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Live From The Woods Vol. 2 by NEEDTOBREATHE Live From The Woods Vol. 2 by NEEDTOBREATHE
NEEDTOBREATHE follows their previous live albums – 2015’s Live from the Woods and 2018’s Acoustic Live Vol. 1 – with Live from the Woods Vol. 2, recorded...
The Work Tapes EP by Wilder Woods The Work Tapes EP by Wilder Woods
Bear Rinehart, the lead singer of NEEDTOBREATHE is Wilder Woods. The name comes from his two sons Wilder and Woods. During the pandemic, he wrote between 70-80 songs. Five of the songs are included on...
CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) by NF CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) by NF
Rapper NF (Nathan Feuerstein), follows his 2019 album The Search with his first mixtape. NF released a mixtape indicating that he didn’t want to release a full-length album if he couldn’t...

Excellent Introduction to Mat Kearney's Music | Posted November-14-2020
Until We Meet Again features songs from Kearney’s second acoustic tour, his winter 2020 Revisited tour. These songs were recorded in January and February before the COVID-19 shutdown. Many of the songs are from early in his career, with five of the eleven songs from his 2011 album Young Love and three from his 2009 album City of Black and White. Most of the songs, are about love and relationships, with other themes including encouragement and trust in God.  

If you are not familiar with Kearney’s music, this would be an excellent project to check out. Below are a few brief comments about each song:  

Fire and Rain – This song was written by Robert Marvin and Kearney and originally appeared on the 2009 album City of Black and White. They may not be together anymore, but his love for her will not fade. The song features acoustic guitar, drums, bass, and backing vocals.

Key lyric:

My love will not fade

Through the fire and rain

Kings & Queens – This song was written by Judah Akers, David Garcia and Kearney, and originally appeared on the 2018 album CRAZYTALK.  The song features acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, backing vocals and an infection chorus. Kearney has said that the song is about how there are moments when you can be doing well commercially, but feel totally worthless, and also moments when no one cares about your music but you feel fulfilled. The latter is what the song is about.   

Key lyric:

Richer than Solomon with you by my side

We’ll be kings and queens in our mind

Count on Me – This song was written by Jason Lehning, Robert Marvin and Kearney and originally appeared on the 2011 album Young Love.  The song features some excellent acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass and drums. In this song he tells her that he loves her and that she can trust him.      

Key lyric:   

When your number's called

Back's against the wall

Pick you up when you fall

Be there when you call


Learning to Love Again – This song was written by Kearney and originally appeared on the Young Love album. Acoustic guitar, bass, piano, drums, backing vocals. The Young Love album, and likely this song, were inspired by conversations Kearney had with passengers as he worked as a cab driver in Nashville.

Key lyric:

Hey brother, we're all learning to love again

Closer to Love – This song was written by Robert Marvin, Josiah Bell and Kearney and originally appeared on the City of Black and White album. The song features acoustic guitar, bass, percussion and piano. We are all just one phone call from bad news that drives us to our knees in prayer. The song is about love, strength and hope.

Key lyric:

Oh, it's your light

Oh, it's your way

Pull me out of the dark

Just to show me the way


City of Black and White – This song was written by Michael Logan and Kearney and originally appeared on the City of Black and White album. The song features acoustic guitar, piano, bass, light percussion and backing vocals. This love song tells how she opened his eyes. He wants her to stay.   

Key lyric:

I don't want to wait until tomorrow

To tell you how I’d feel the rest of my life

Sooner or Later – This song was written by Josh Crosby, Robert Crosby, Robert Marvin, Jason Lehning, Nate Campany and Kearney, and originally appeared on the Young Love album. The encouraging song features percussion, bass, acoustic guitar and some excellent backing vocals. Though times are difficult he assures her that sooner or later they’ll get there.    

Key lyric:  

Baby, it's like we're walking on a wire thru the fear

Take my hand, we'll get there

Air I Breathe – This song was written by Seth Mosley and Kearney and originally appeared on the 2015 album Just Kids. The song features acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, and backing vocals. Kearney has said that the song is about his journey battling perfectionism, being in control, and ultimately his trust in God.  

Key lyric:

You are the air I breathe

You are the song I bleed

You are the war that I can't win

This is my white flag in the wind

Every word You speak

Is the air I breathe


Ships in the Night – This song was written by Jason Lehning, Josh Crosby, Robert Marvin and Kearney and originally appeared on the 2011 Young Love album. The rap/pop song features acoustic guitar, drums, percussion, backing vocals and some excellent piano. This is a song about a relationship in which they avoid their problems, instead wasting their time trying to prove who is right.   

Key lyric:

And if it all goes crashing into the sea

If it's just you and me

Trying to find the light

Like ships in the night


Hey Mama – This song was written by Kearney and originally appeared on the Young Love album. The upbeat song features, drums, acoustic guitar, bass, backing vocals and audience participation. This love song seems to tell the story of Kearney and his wife meeting and falling in love.   

Key lyric:  

Hey lover, don't want no other

Finger for my ring 

Nothing Left to Lose – This song was written by Kearney and originally appeared on the 2006 album Nothing Left to Lose.  This song is about his move from Oregon to Nashville, where he would pursue his calling as a singer-songwriter. The song features acoustic guitar, bass, backing vocals and piano.

Key lyric:  

And here we go, there's nothing left to choose

And here we go, there's nothing left to lose

Best songs:

Kings & Queens

Air I Breathe

Hey Mama

Nothing Left to Lose

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A Good Addition to Your Christmas Music Collection | Posted November-12-2020
Australian duo for King & Country, comprised of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, follow their best-selling 2018 album Burn the Ships with their first full-length Christmas album, based around their popular version of “Little Drummer Boy”. The album is comprised mostly of well-known Christmas carols, opening and closing with verses from “In The Bleak Midwinter”. There are two new songs included - “Heavenly Hosts”, and “The Carol of Joseph (I Believe In You)”. Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE guests on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and country singer Gabby Barrett guests on “Go Tell It On The Mountain”.

The duo brings their signature high energy sound to these songs. In addition, there are two monologues included. A Drummer Boy Christmas was produced by Tedd Tjornhom and for King & Country, and co-produced by Benjamin Backus, with Matt Hales handling executive production.

A Drummer Boy Christmas would be a good addition to your Christmas music collection. Below are a few comments about the two new songs on the album:

Heavenly Hosts – This joyful song was written by Benjamin Backus, Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone, Aqualung, Tedd T and Tony Wood. The song starts with piano and then builds with bass, strings, drums and choir. The song is about when the angels met the shepherds in Luke 2.    

The Carol Of Joseph (I Believe In You) – This song was written by Joel Smallbone, Luke Smallbone and Aqualung. The piano and strings driven song is about Joseph’s reaction to the birth of Jesus, which reminded me of Michael Card’s classic “Joseph’s Song”.  

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Strong Album from Social Club Misfits | Posted November-11-2020
Shortly after the release of Feared by Hell, Social Club Misfits (Fern and Marty), won the Dove Award for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year for Mood//Doom, which had actually been released as two separate EPs during 2019. Feared by Hell, a strong album, features a number of guest artists and musical genres, such as Latin, Contemporary Christian and Hip-Hop. Themes on the album include Jesus, family, being yourself, trust in God, fun and the love of a wife.

Below are a few comments about each song:

Act of God – This song was written by Fern, nobigdyl., and Marty. It was produced by DJ Pez, Dirty Rice and Marty and features nobigdyl. This mid-tempo song about thankfulness recognizes that God has brought him through so much, and he doesn’t deserve it.   

Key lyric: 

Looking at my life, it's an act of God

Never thought I would make it this far

Is That Okay? – This song was written by Marty and Fern and produced by Jimmy James and Marty. The song features an infectious beat, with keys, bass, percussion, hand-claps, horns, and some excellent guitar. The song has a good message about being yourself. Being different is a superpower. He’s always being himself, and has no time to be anyone else, and God blesses him for who he is.

Key lyric:

I know I’ll never be picture perfect

But can I be myself, is that okay?

Conmigo – This love song was written by Fern, Marty and Jay Kalyl. It was produced by Sam Ash. The song features Kalyl and Ash. Some of this song is sung in Spanish. The title translates to “With Me” in English.

To the Top – This song was written by Fern, Foure and Marty and was produced by Juice Bangers and Dirty Rice. The song features 1K Phew.  The song features an excellent beat driven by bass and percussion. The only direction is up. Every day they are making history.

Key lyric:

When there was nowhere to go

You redirected my feet

God on My Side – This song was written by Ty Brasel, Fern and Marty. It was produced by Juice Bangers and Marty, and features Ty Brasel. The song about trust in God, features a mid-tempo beat, with bass, percussion and hand-claps.  

Key lyric:

Yeah, I know who to call when I need help

Savior – This song was written by Fern and Marty and produced by Tommee Profitt. This prayer about Jesus being Savior, and His life for ours being the payoff, features Jeremy Camp. The song features acoustic guitar, drums, bass, backing vocals, hand-claps.    

Key lyric:

Eternally grateful

When I needed you most, you came through

Luau – This song was written by Fern and Marty and produced by Marty. The song features Hulvey. This song has an easy-going beat, featuring guitar, bass, and percussion. The song is about a summer day hanging with friends by the pool.

Key lyric:

Go and call your friends, I hope summer never ends

Night Glow – This song was written by Marty and produced by Ray Rock. This easy-going song has a beat driven by drums and bass. His faith was tested, but he never wavered. His only friend was Jesus, the night glow when he didn’t have hope.

Key lyric: 

You look inside

My God lives there

I might fall down

But can't stay there
  

Young Gunz – This song was written by Fern, Evan Craft and Marty. It was produced by Sam Ash and Juice Bangers and features DAViES.  The song features an infectious chorus sung by DAViES, as well as guitar, keys, hand-clap and percussion. The song is about Social Club Misfits being young gunz, who have a fire in their soul, are running wild lifting Jesus high.

Key lyric:   

Every L I took, that's a lesson that I needed

And every time I win, I give them something to believe in

One day we gon' look back and say that it was Jesus


I Need You – This love song was written by Fern and Marty and produced by Marty. The song features a dance beat, with bass, percussion and keys.   

Somos Familia – This song about always being able to count on family was written by Andy Alemany, Sam Ash, Evan Craft and Marty. It was produced by Ash and features Blanca.  Some of the song is sung in Spanish. The song’s title in English means “We are Family”. The upbeat song features guitar and drums.  

Key lyric:

My Lord, I just wanna tell the world looking for remedies

None of it will work unless love is inside the recipe

Without You – This song was written by Fern, Marty and Colby Wedgeworth. It was produced by Dirty Rice and features Riley Clemmons. The up-tempo song features bass and percussion. God is the anchor of his life. He’s lived too many days far from God. There’s no way he’s ever going back to that life.    

Key lyric:  

Without You

I'm just a house of cards 'bout to fall down

Best songs:

Act of God

Is That Okay?

Savior

Young Gunz

Without You

 

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Worship-Flavored Release from KB | Posted October-30-2020
This is KB’s fourth studio album, his first album since 2017’s Today We Rebel (see my review here), and also his first since leaving Reach Records. The new album features God-centered lyrics, samples from several worship songs, and contains themes including praise and worship, being a father, and race.    

Below are a few comments about each song: 

Let it Reign – This song was written by Tee-Wyla, Michael Farren, Cardec Drums, Bizzle and KB. It was produced by Tee-Wyla and Drums. The song features Bizzle and begins with a sample of Michael W. Smith’s song “Let it Rain”. The song then moves into a hard-driving beat as he calls for Yahweh to reign over all.

Key lyric:

Your throne won't end, Your crown won't move

Lil Boy – This song was written by Cardec Drums and KB and produced by Drums. The hard-hitting song is about the example KB wants to set for his two sons. He wants them to be men of character and integrity. 

Key lyric:

God got a plan, stand up and act like a man

10K – This song was written by Jonas Myrin, Quinten Coblentz, Matt Redman, Wes Writer and KB. It was produced by Coblentz and Writer. This is a worship song that is based on Matt Redman’s song “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”.    

Key lyric:

I got a God don’t change with the seasons

Ten thousand reasons I can believe in

This is Life – This song was written by Michael Fatkin, Benjamin Hastings, Cardec Drums, Quinten Coblentz, Joel Houston, Wes Writer and KB. It was produced by Drums, Coblentz and Writer. The song samples Hillsong UNITED’s worship song "So Will I (10 Billion X)" The song is about our life praising God, just as the stars, mountains and oceans do.

Key lyric:

‘Cause if everything exists to lift You high, so will I

Armies – This song was written by Wes Writer, Scott Cash, Mashell, Ed Cash, Chris Tomlin and KB. It was produced by Mashell. The song, in which KB expresses his confidence in the Lord to fight his battles, is hard-driving, and features backing vocals. The song samples Chris Tomlin’s “Whom Shall I Fear (The God of Angel Armies)”

Key lyric:

When you come to handle me

There’s another hand on me.

Masterpiece – This piano-driven song was written by Quinten Coblentz and KB and produced by Coblentz. It is a song for KB’s newborn daughter. She is a masterpiece. The song builds with backing vocals.

Key lyric:

There's nothin' that you have to be

Already, you're a masterpiece

Libre – This Latin influenced song was written by Wes Writer, Cardec Drums, Tommy Royale and KB. It was produced by Drums and features Royale. The song is about KB’s freedom in Christ.

Yes Song – This worship song was written by Jonathan Smith, Mia Fieldes, Eddie Hoagland, Jason Cornet, Swoope, Cardec Drums, Tee-Wyla and KB. It was produced by Drums and Tee-Wyla. The song samples “Yes I Will” by Vertical Worship and features Eddie Hoagland. The song begins with piano and builds with backing vocals.

Key lyric:

Hand in my face, I can't see

I have nothing left to bring

Dark Skin – This song was written by Cardec Drums and KB. It was produced by Drums and features Black Violin. This song addresses racism, and the incidents involving George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. Jesus is the answer. If we do what he commands and humble our pride, God can mend us. The song begins with piano, and builds with percussion, bass and horns.  

Key lyric:

Ain’t no left or right side in heaven 

We Right Here – This song was written by Cardec Drums, Quinten Coblentz, Wes Writer and KB. It was produced by Drums, Coblentz and Writer. A hard-driving song that is a rally cry for millennial-aged Christians. The song samples “KIDZ” by Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed.   

Key lyric:

They say millennials are leavin' God

I just smiled, like you really need to see the squad

Loyal Til the End – This song was written by Cardec Drums, DJ Pez, Jon Keith and KB. It was produced by Drums and Pez and features Jon Keith. It’s a hard-driving song about his loyalty to his friends that features some nice percussion.  

Key lyric:  

All of my dawgs defiant

Loyal ‘til the end

The Name – This worship song about exalting the name of the Lord, was written by Cardec Drums, Quinten Coblentz, Wes Writer, Koryn Hawthorne and KB. It was produced by Drums, Coblentz and Writer and features Hawthorne. The song features an instrumental break mid-song and some nice drums and vocals from Coblentz and Hawthorne.

Key lyric:

All my heavy chains gettin' broken

And my weary heart's given hope

Come exalt Your Name


Si Cancion – This is the Spanish language version of “Yes Song” and features Blanca and Musiko.

Best Songs  

10K

Yes Song

The Name

 

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Chris Tomlin's Fourth Christmas Release | Posted October-27-2020
Following close on the June release of his successful country music album Chris Tomlin & Friends, Tomlin is back with his fourth Christmas project, which includes two new songs – “Miracle of Love” and “All the World Awaits (Hosanna)”, along with the four songs from his 2019 EP Christmas Day: Christmas Songs of Worship,  and one song from his 2015 album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship. If you have all of Tomlin’s previous Christmas music, you’ll want to download the two new songs.

Here are a few comments about each song:

Miracle of Love – This upbeat joyful song was inspired by the Tomlin’s third daughter, due this December, and the parallel story of the birth of Jesus. Tomlin has talked about how each line of the song has a double meaning. The song opens with piano, and picks up with drums, backing vocals and a nice use of horns at the chorus. The song was written by Ashley Gorley, Ed Cash and Chris Tomlin.  

Key lyric:

A baby born; a baby born

A miracle of love

A gift from God sent to us

From heaven above


All the World Awaits (Hosanna) – This praise song about the coming of the Savior was written by Tomlin, Jason Ingram and Matt Maher. The song begins with guitar and gently builds with piano, drums and backing vocals. The song is inspired by Matthew 21:9 and Isaiah 9:6.   

Key lyric:

Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace

Hail the Son of righteousness

Light and life to all He brings

Glory to the newborn King


Christmas Day – This song is written by Ed Cash, Scott Cash, Franni Cash, Martin Cash and Andrew Bergthold. This joyful song features drums, guitar and excellent vocals by Tomlin and We The Kingdom. Classic Tomlin, this song would be a good one for congregational singing.  

Key lyric:

Sing all you people

The Lord almighty reigns

Sing every creature of God

Come bless His name

For He is good, for He is good

He was born to conquer the grave

Light of the world

The reason for Christmas Day


His Name Is Wonderful – This song is written by Tomlin and Ed Cash with a chorus taken from Isaiah 9:6. The song begins with Tomlin singing over piano, and then builds with drums, strings and choir.    

Key lyric:

Come and adore Him

On bended Knee

He came to Ransom

Someone like me


Little Drummer Boy – This Christmas classic was written by Katherine Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone in 1958. The song features guitar, backing vocals and of course some excellent drum work.

Hope Of Israel – This song was written by Tomlin, Ben Fielding, Jason Ingram and Reuben Morgan. The song begins with Tomlin singing over piano, then builds gently with strings and backing vocals.   

Key lyric:

God is with us

Christ our Savior

Jesus our Emmanuel

He shall reign our King forever

The hope of Israel 


NoelThis song, originally included on Tomlin’s 2015 album Adore: Christmas Songs of Worship, features Lauren Daigle on lead vocals, and was written by Tomlin, Ed Cash and Matt Redman. Tomlin is known for sharing the spotlight with others, such as including Audrey Assad’s “Winter Snow” on his 2009 album Glory in The Highest: Christmas Songs of Worship. Since this recording, Daigle has gone on to great success with her Look Up Child album, which could be the reason this older song was added to the new EP.  

Key lyric:

Unto us a Child is born

He shall reign forevermore

Best songs:

A Miracle of Love

All the World Awaits (Hosanna)

Christmas Day

Noel



 

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One of the Best Albums of 2020 | Posted October-25-2020
I have to admit that I’m a late-comer to Sandra McCracken, being introduced to her music at the 2018 Gospel Coalition and the last few Getty Music Sing! Conferences. I also really enjoyed her 2019 Christmas album.

This new album of worship songs features 9 new songs, and a reimagined hymn, all written or co-written by McCracken. The album, which was produced by Ben Shive and Tyler Chester, was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic, with friends collaborating and recording across four states.

Patient Kingdom is an excellent album, which I’m sure will end up on my “best” list for 2020.

Below are a few comments about each song:

I Will Sing – This song about singing about the Lord’s great love (Psalm 89:1), has an easy going pace, and features piano, light bass and light drums, acoustic guitar and backing vocals.

Key lyric:

I will sing of the Lord's great love forever

I will sing of the Lord's good love    

You Are With Me- This song features piano, drums, acoustic guitar and backing vocals. Our hearts may be heavy and tired in this valley. Sorrow may last for a night, but in the morning, the joy of the Lord breaks in with the light, and we know that He is with us.  

Key lyric:

You walk beside me, through darkest valleys

I know You are with me

You Are The Word – This song has a nice play on the word “Word”. We can trust God’s word (His promises) in the pain as the Lord, the Word (John 1:1), will make all of this work for our good (Romans 8:28). He was broken, buried and raised, and we give him praise. McCracken’s vocals have an echo effect, and are backed by light acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and light drums.

Key lyric:   

You gave me Your word

You gave me Your word

You are The Word


On High Places – This song features some nice drum work, acoustic guitar, and backing vocals. Fear has been an old friend, solitude has been a teacher of the truth, and peace has been a steady covering.

Key lyric:

On high places, here we go

We will rise, we will rise

And pass through shadows, take it slow


I Am One – This worship song features drums, acoustic guitar, piano, a guitar solo, and Citizens on backing vocals, and would be a good one to sing in a worship service.

Key lyric:

I am one with You in Light

I am one with You in Fire

I am one with You in Love

I am one with You in Glory


Lay My Worry Down – This song features guitar, drums, and backing vocals. We are confident that we can take our anxious fears and turn them over to our Father, resting in His mercy.

Key lyric:

Dark is the night, deep is Your love

Great is my need, You are enough

Thirst No More – This song about the living water that only Jesus provides (John 4:10), features acoustic guitar, drums, backing vocals, and piano.  

Key lyric:

Thirst no more, thirst no more

Thirst no more, come and drink

Patient Kingdom – This beautiful song features acoustic guitar, backing vocals, and light drums. In the midst of the chaos, slow us down Lord and let love do its work.  

Key lyric:

Let my soul rise up to meet You

As the day rises to the sun

Let my soul rise up to meet You

Let that patient kingdom come


Into The Harbor – This song features light drums, organ, acoustic guitar and backing vocals. In our trouble we cried out and the Lord heard us. He has provided the safety we have been longing for.

Key lyric:

Into the harbor You guide us, O Lord

Into the safety are Thy distant shore

Be Still My Soul- This song is a new version of the hymn written by Jean Sibelius, with a new bridge added by McCracken. The song features organ, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, and some nice backing vocals.

Key lyric:

Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side;

bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

leave to thy God to order and provide;

in every change He faithful will remain.


Best songs:

All  

 

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An Album for Personal Worship | Posted October-24-2020
I’ve enjoyed Michael W. Smith’s music since his debut album in 1983. Now 63, he has done just about everything in music, from pop, worship, instrumental, movie soundtrack, Christmas, etc. Still Vol. 1 is a very different Michael W. Smith album, and though I give him credit for trying something different, it won’t be everyone’s “cup of tea”, and it’s sadly my least favorite of Smith’s albums.

The album provides an “atmospheric listening experience of improvisational music” along with Smith reading scripture on the first five tracks. The final five are all instrumental. His prayer for the project “is that this music will help the listener find moments to meditate with scripture." Smith describes Still as a worship album that is more for individuals during their personal quiet times. There are also videos on Smith’s YouTube channel that accompany each song.

I believe the album will be enjoyed most during listener’s daily devotional and prayer time, or as quiet background music.

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Hymns and Lullabies | Posted September-06-2020
Evensong is the first new studio album for Keith and Kristyn Getty since 2016’s Facing a Task Unfinished. It is not your usual album of new modern hymns from the Gettys, but rather a Kristyn Getty solo project born out of a family tradition. The Gettys close out their days with a time of reflection in thought, song, and prayer. These are lullabies and hymns that they have sung to and for their own children.  

The project was recorded in Nashville during the COVID-19 shelter at home season. Ben Shive, who produced the album with Keith and Kristyn, was able to gather recordings from each musical collaborator and create a project fusing the Celtic, folk, bluegrass, classical, and Americana sound the Gettys have become known for. The musical backing is more restrained than a normal Getty album, but no less beautiful. The cover art was specially created by internationally renowned Irish artist Ross Wilson. The album features guest appearances from Vince GillHeather HeadleyEllie HolcombSierra HullDeborah Kelmme and Sandra McCracken

Below are a few thoughts about each song:

Hush-a-by (Come Unto Me and Rest) – This song was written by Keith and Kristyn Getty. The song begins with the first verse from Horatius Bonar’s 1846 hymn “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”, and then moves into a “Hush-a-by Baby” lullaby. The beautiful song features piano, acoustic guitar, percussion, bass and strings.

Key lyric:

Hush-a-by baby

The Lord surely keeps

Mother and child in His arms

He keeps us both in His arms   


Sun of My Soul (Shine) – This song was written by Kristyn Getty and Sandra McCracken. The song features acoustic guitar, light percussion and the beautiful harmonies of Kristyn Getty, Sandra McCracken and Skye Peterson

Key lyric:

Sun of my soul, steady my gaze

As daylight runs its race

Your Word is a lamp unto my feet

On this journey


Consider the Stars – This song was written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty and Fionan De Barrs, and originally appeared on the 2016 album Facing a Task Unfinished.  The song features piano, strings, and a tender vocal from Kristyn Getty. The song is a lullaby that was written for the Getty’s daughters to help them go to sleep at night

Key lyric:   

Do not be afraid

He who made all of this, says “You’re worth more than this,”

And holds you in his hands


Softly and Tenderly/Ashokan Farewell (Medley) – “Softly and Tenderly” was written by Will L. Thompson in 1880. A new verse was written by Kristyn Getty. “Ashokan Farewell” was written by Jay Unger. The song features vocals by Vince Gill, Ellie Holcomb, Sierra Hull, and Deborah Klemme. The song features acoustic guitar, bass, violin and beautiful harmonies.   

Key lyric:

Come home, come home

Ye who are weary come home

Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling

Calling O sinner come home


Is He Worthy? – This song was written by Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive. The song features piano and vocals from the Getty’s daughters

Key lyric:

Is He worthy? Is He worthy?

Of all blessing and honor and glory?

Is He worthy of this? He is


Lily in the Valley – This song was written by Kristyn Getty and Ben Shive. The beautiful song features acoustic guitar, strings, and Kristyn singing a part of the song in French.

Key lyric:

He is the pearl you seek

And worry adds no single hour

But He knows every need


His Eye is on the Sparrow – This song was written by Gene Bartlett, Charles Gabriel and Civilla D. Martin, and features the vocals of Heather Headley. The song features piano, light percussion, strings, and excellent vocals by Getty and Headley.  

Key lyric:

I sing because I’m happy

I sing because I’m free


His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me


Jesus, Friend of Little Children/Jesus Loves Me – “Jesus, Friend of Little Children” was written by Walter John Mathams. “Jesus Loves Me” was written by Anna B. Warner and William Bradbury. Additional lyrics were written by Keith and Kristyn Getty. The song features acoustic guitar, an accordion sounding instrument, and the vocals of the Getty daughters.

Key lyric: 

Never leave me, nor forsake me

Ever be my friend

For I need Thee from life’s dawning

To its end  


The Lord is in His Holy Temple – This song was written by Kristyn Getty and Ben Shive. This beautiful song features piano, bass, and an excellent choir. My favorite song on the album.      

Key lyric:

The Lord is in His holy temple

Let all the earth keep silence 


My Heart is Fill with Thankfulness – This song was written by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend and originally appeared on the 2012 album Hymns for the Christian Life. The song features piano and beautiful strings.  

Key lyric:

For ev’ry day I have on earth

Is given by the King;

So I will give my life, my all,

To love and follow Him.


Keep Letting the Light In – This song was written by Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty and Matt Papa. The song features piano and strings.  

Key lyric:

He who said let there be light

Will surely overcome the night

As another day begins

Keep letting the light in


Abide With Me – This song was written by William Henry Monk. The song features strings, piano, light horns, and backing choir.   

Key lyric: 

Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?

I triumph still, if Thou abide with me

Evensong - This song was written by Kristyn Getty and Matt Papa. The song features acoustic guitar, a backing choir, strings,  

Key lyric:    

Now, turn our hearts toward Thy way

Help those in doubt, in loss, in pain

Oh Lord, have mercy on this world

Thy song of hope be ever heard


Best songs:  

Sun of My Soul (Shine)

Softly and Tenderly/Ashokan Farewell (Medley)

His Eye is on the Sparrow

The Lord is in His Holy Temple

Abide with Me

 

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Welcome Back NEEDTOBREATHE | Posted August-28-2020
Out of Body is NEEDTOBREATHE’s seventh studio album, and first since 2016’s Hard Love. The album debuted at #1 on iTunes Top Albums chart. It is also the band’s first album as a trio - Bear Rinehart (lead vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica), Seth Bolt (backing vocals, bass, percussion), and Josh Lovelace (backing vocals, piano, organ), following the departure of founding member Bo Rinehart. The album was recorded in Nashville with producers Cason Cooley and Jeremy Lutito. Five of the eleven songs were released in advance of the full album release.  

The band has said that the album is about their journey toward their true selves. This is a strong album, one of the best of the year. As you would expect, the lyrics are vulnerable, and the musicianship and production are excellent. Below are a few comments about each song:  

Mercy Shore – This song was written by Bear Rinehart and Tyler Burkum. It features piano, organ, pedal guitar, banjo, bass, drums, backing vocals and a memorable chorus. His arms are tired and weary, and his wounds are on full display. There’s no place he feels safe. He’s lost in the waves that crush him. He’s been battling a broken heart, but one day he’ll wash up on mercy’s shore.    

Key lyric:

I see the light but never find the surface

I don’t know if I can swim no more

White knuckles and wild horses

One day we'll wash up on mercy’s shore


Alive – This song was written by Seth Bolt, Josh Lovelace, Bo Rinehart and Bear Rinehart. This joyful song is upbeat musically, and features organ, piano, bass, guitar, backing vocals and some excellent drums. Someday his body is going to come to a rest, but for now, he wants to chase a vision like he’s running downhill.

Key lyric:

These hills take longer than we think to get down

So I'll get used to living with my feet off the ground

Hang On - The song, along with “Seasons” were the first to be released by the band as a trio. The song was written by Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Daniel Tashian and Ian Fitchuk. The band has said that the song is about the feeling you get when good things in life happen for the first time, and remembering the bravery and vulnerability it took to be present in those moments. The song is upbeat musically, and features keys, drums, guitar and backing vocals.   

Key lyric:

So hang on to the light in your eyes and the feelings 

Survival – This was the third song released from the album, and was recorded during the pandemic. The song was written by Cason Cooley, Jeremy Lutito, Josh Lovelace and Bear Rinehart. It has an older NEEDTOBREATHE rock and roll feel to it, and features Drew and Ellie Holcomb on vocals. The song opens with acoustic guitar, and then adds drums, backing vocals, keys and electric guitar.        

Key lyric:

I am a man in need of

A constant revival

Jesus, come quickly

I need You for my survival


Child Again – This song was written by Cason Cooley, Emily Weisband, Jeremy Lutito and Bear Rinehart. It features synth, guitar, backing vocals, bass and keys. The song is a prayer. God is his hope and innocence. He is free like a river and a child again.

Key lyric:

I wanna hear your voice

In the rain and wind

I wanna know it's safe to be

A child again


Out of Body – This song was written by Cason Cooley, Jeremy Lutito and Bear Rinehart. The song has a good beat, and features piano, guitar, children’s choir, bass, drums and backing vocals. He prays for God to take him out of his body and mind. He wants to know how God made him and be given God’s mystical eye.

Key lyric:  

I wanna see my world in a new light

I wanna drift through the fields where the moonlight's bright

I wanna lose myself in the full of light

I wanna know how it looks from the other side


Who Am I – This was the fourth song released from the album. The song was written by Jordan Reynolds and Thomas Rhett. Bear Rinehart has said that it is a song about the fight to accept, embrace, and trust that the greatest love requires nothing in return. The song works equally well from the perspective of divine and human love. The song features keys, backing vocals, drums, guitar and a passionate lead vocal.     

Key lyric:

I push You away, still You won't let go

You grow Your roses on my barren soul

Banks - This was the fifth song released from the album. It was written by Bo Rinehart, Trent Dabbs and Bear Rinehart. The band indicated that it is a song about the women in their lives. The song is their way of saying that they support them, and that there’s nothing more beautiful than watching them effortlessly become the very thing they were made to be. The song features acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass and drums.

Key lyric:

I wanna hold you close but never hold you back

I'll be the banks for your river

Riding High – This song was written by Cason Cooley, Josh Lovelace, Bo Rinehart, Seth Bolt, Trent Dabbs and Bear Rinehart. The song has a driving modern country music beat, beginning with acoustic guitar before going into a full band, with excellent harmonies, vocals, drums, guitar, organ, and piano. He’s been living on the tip of his tongue and by the roll of the dice. If it’s going to be done, it’s going to be tonight. They might go out trying, but they’ll go out riding high.    

Key lyric:  

Bad decisions, they don't feel bad at the time

Consequences, they don't always fit the crime

Bottom of a Heartbreak – This song was written by Chloe Gasparini, Jayson DeZuzio, Neil Ormandy and Bear Rinehart. The song, which builds powerfully, features a passionate vocal, piano, percussion, bass, backing vocals. He’s feeling trapped with no escape. He wants to be well and to change, and needs a lot of time and a little space.

Key lyric: 

There's nowhere to hide

Where you feel safe

At the bottom of a heartbreak


Seasons – This song was released with “Hang On”, as the first songs from the new album. It was written by Bear Rinehart, Bo Rinehart, Josh Lovelace and Seth Bolt.

It was inspired by the story of close friends who went through tough time with fertility and adoption struggles. The song features bass, excellent vocal harmonies, mandolin, drums and keys.  

Key lyric:

We won’t be here forever

Just a moment then we’re through

We can’t be shifting with the sands

Like seasons always do


Best songs:

Hang On

Survival

Who Am I

Banks

Child Again

Riding High

Seasons

 

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Worth the Wait | Posted August-22-2020
This long-awaited album, Lecrae’s ninth studio album, is his follow-up to 2018’s collaboration album with Zaytoven Let the Trap Say Amen, and is his first solo album since 2017’s All Things Work Together. The album doesn’t disappoint.

Four songs were released prior to the full album. Restoration is the companion release to his upcoming book I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith. The album has Lecrae partnering with a large number of guest artists, songwriters and producers. The theme of Lecrae’s restoration from life’s difficulties weaves throughout the album.

The Road to Restoration, a behind the scenes look about the making of the album was released in three parts shortly before the album’s release.  

Below are a few comments about each song.

Restore Me – This song, which is 1 minute and 16 seconds long (a nod to Romans 1:16 and Reach Records), was written by Ray Castro, Ace Harris, Alex Medina, Dave James, Lecrae and Taylor Hill. The song was produced by Ray Castro, Ace Harris, Alex Medina, Dave James and Taylor Hill, and features Hill. The brief song sets the tone for the album, addressing the difficulties in Lecrae’s life – trauma, losing his faith, loss of fans when he spoke out about racial injustice, etc. It ends with a prayer to God to restore him.

Key lyric:  

Use all this pain, use all this hurt

To grow me

If that's what it takes to know what I'm worth

Restore me


Set Me Free – This was the first song released from the album, and was written by Erica Campbell, GAWVI, Hulvey, Lecrae, Torey D’Shaun, Trecina Atkins-Campbell, Warryn Campbell, WHATUPRG and YK Osiris. The song was produced by GAWVI, and features Osiris. Lecrae has said that set free is a triple entendre in the song – industry, society and spiritually. The song samples Warren Mary Mary’s song “Shackles (Praise You)”.

Key lyric: 

Shackles on my feet, You broke the hold and now I’m free

Even in the darkest times You kept Your light on me

Wheel’s Up – This song was written by S1, Epikh Pro, Kelvin Wooten, Marc E. Bassy, Abe Parker and Lecrae. It was produced by Inc. no world, Epikh Pro, Kelvin Wooten and S1. The song features Marc E. Bassy on the chorus. Lecrae handles the verses with a fast rap style. The chorus has his problems fading away as he sits back in a plane that is taking off getting God’s eye view on everything.  

Key lyric:

Some days I can't believe how far we made it

I thank God for the fans and pray for patience 

Over the Top – This trap influenced song was written by Tray Haggerty, Torey D’Shaun, Hulvey 30 Roc and Lecrae. It was produced by 30 Roc. This song is about how success in life (number one album, awards, money), will fade away. All of that perishes, but you are left with the best, God and your family.

Key lyric:  

You can have the percs, I’d rather have a purpose 

Self Discovery – This song was written by Mez, Kelvin Wooten, S1 and Lecrae. It was produced by Kelvin Wooten and S1. The song features Trip Lee, Michelle Campbell and a sample from James Williams.  On this song, Lecrae talks about his growing up days. He stated that this was his favorite track on the album, where he realized that God is relational, not transactional. The song features some nice keys throughout.

Key lyric:

It's obvious, I'm highly blessed

I finally get to understand what a man is when he at his godliest

To get there I was highly stretched and I was highly stressed


Deep End – This was the second song released from the album and was written by Khari Alamin, Anthony Gardner, Foushee, John Summit and Lecrae. It was produced by Anthony Gardner. The song features Summit. Lecrae is transparent about the pain and trauma he has experienced as a black man when he sees black people gunned down in the street.  

Key lyric:

I've been doin' better than I was before

I walk with a limp ‘cause I’ve been wrestlin’ with the Holy Ghost

Deep end of this pit, but still somehow I keep floating on

Thought I lost my grip, but God reminded me He’s holding on

Drown – This was the third song released from the album and was written by Jim Lavigne, Micah Premnath, Alex Stacey, Danny Majic, DJ Frank E, Ace Harris, John Legend and Lecrae. It was produced by Danny Majic, DJ Frank E and Ace Harris. The song features John Legend on the chorus. Darkness, drama, shame and heartache has him down and in over his head. God is his last resort. Only He can take the pain away.  

Key lyric:  

If I had one call, would You answer it?

Or would You take back all of Your promises?

'Cause I don't know who to turn to or who to trust

I don't know who to turn to or who to trust 

Saturday Night – This song was written by Mez, Lecrae, Joshua Brennan and Jozzy.

It was produced by Oshi. The song features Jozzy and Khari Alamin. This song finds Lecrae in the club again on a Saturday night. But is it real, or was he dreaming all this time? The song ends with a voice telling him to wake up and get his church clothes on.

Key lyric:

Measures of success

They hate you and admire you too    

Sunday Morning – The companion song to “Saturday Night”, this song was written by Blu June, Nathanael Saint-Fleur, Terrence Antonio Jones, Ace Harris, Epikh Pro, SAK PASE, Saint Bodhi, Brittany Coney, Kirk Franklin and Lecrae. It was produced by The Crate League, Ace Harris, Epikh Pro and SAK PASE. The song features Kirk Franklin and a church choir (Melanie Rose, Emerald Campbell, Blu June and Ariel Campbell). He’s thankful for every day he gets to wake up. The last night was a mess, but God just hit “refresh”. The song ends with this from Kirk Franklin:   

My life and your life is just a vapor

And if what you see is all you see

Then you do not see all there is to be seenWe leave

Quickly

We leave   

Zombie – This was the fourth and final song released before the album was released and written by Tommie Walker, Fred Hammond, Epikh Pro, Taylor Hill and Lecrae. It was produced by Epikh Pro and Taylor Hill. The song features Tedashii and Taylor Hill, and samples Fred Hammond’s song “We’re Blessed”.  The song features some nice keys. He was in the dark, but then Jesus called him.    

Key lyric:

I was in the dark, I swear you couldn't tell me nothing

I was after flesh, I guess I was some type of zombie

Demons used to haunt me

Then I heard the voice of God, I'm grateful Jesus called me 

Keep Going – This song was written by Ace Harris, Carvello, Quay Global, Lecrae and Fletcher Redd. It was produced by Quay Global, Carvello and Ace Harris. He’s come too far to let it go; he can’t quit. He’s got to keep going.

Key lyric:

I was down, at the bottom, got it out the mud

Kept it goin', even when they never showed me love

Momma said it would come a time I would struggle

Keep your hands to the ceiling when you see the troubles  


Still – This song was written by Mike Woods, Brittany Coney, Blu June, DaniLeigh and Lecrae. It was produced by NOVA WAV and Mike Woods, and features DaniLeigh on the chorus. This is a song to Lecrae’s wife.  He wasn’t acting the way his momma raised him. He did her bad, but now he really needs her.      

Key lyric:

Let me come through, I can do what nobody else do for you

Let me prove everything I gotta prove 

Only Human – This song was written by Kenneth Deron-Anderson, Ace Harris, Ty Brasel, Dave James, John McNeil, Joel McNeil, John Smythe, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lecrae. It was produced by Dave James, Ace Harris, and 42 North, and features BJ the Chicago Kid on the chorus. In a fast rap style Lecrae shares the difficulties in his life and how God restored him.    

Key lyric:

But God said "Hol' up, I got it, I do this"

He lifted my head up then helped me get to it

He gave me the beauty for ashes, I blew it

I thought I was ruined, He started renewin'  


Nothing Left to Hide – This song was written by S1, Gwen Bunn and Lecrae. It was produced by S1, and features Gwen Bunn. Lecrae ends the album, “maybe the end of a long run”, with a confident and hard-hitting vocal, admitting that he had lost his direction, but he didn’t forget the resurrection. He asks us what’s the point of each day if there is isn’t a God. What’s the purpose of waking up? He says we love to beat each other up instead of praying and working to heal each other. He’s not finger pointing, but if the shoe fits, go ahead and wear it.

Key lyric:

Never good enough to get the love of Christ

But He good enough to get the love of me

Best songs 

Drown

Zombie

Sunday Morning

Only Human

Nothing Left to Hide

 

 

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