I was introduced to the worship duo Shane and Shane (Shane Barnard and Shane Everett) at the 2018 Getty worship conference Sing! For the time that I have followed them, the duo has released...
Live In Denver
TobyMac TobyMac, who is currently charting high with his single “Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” has released a new live album Live in Denver. The project features 15 songs from...
Chris Tomlin & Friends: Summer EP
Chris Chris Tomlin follows up his chart-topping 2020 album Chris Tomlin & Friends with this new EP featuring three new songs, as well as two previously released songs from the album. The EP is produced...
New Release of Original Material from Shane and Shane | Posted July-26-2021
I was introduced to the worship duo Shane and Shane (Shane Barnard and Shane Everett) at the 2018 Getty worship conference Sing! For the time that I have followed them, the duo has released projects covering hymns and modern worship songs. Their last album of original material was 2015’s Psalms Vol. 2. Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Vol. 1 is a welcome return to original material, and it’s one of my favorite releases of 2021 thus far. The thirteen modern hymns are consistently excellent. It was hard to pick my favorites.
The album’s title comes from Colossians 3:16:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Here are a few brief comments about each song:
Psalm 42 (Loudest Praise) – This song was written by Shane Barnard and Bryan Fowler. The song, which starts slow and builds, features acoustic guitar, backing vocals, drums, bass and organ.
Come thou fount of living water
Tune my heart to bless Your Name
Streams of trouble never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
My Portion – This song was written by Shane Barnard, Bryan Fowler and Grayson Kessenich. Our heart and flesh may fail, but Jesus is our portion. The song, which gently builds, features strings, piano, guitar, bass and backing vocals.
Yet no thought so precious
So full of joy to me
Is this Thou art my portion
And shalt forever be
Psalm 90 (Satisfy Us with Your Love) – This song was written by Shane Barnard. The song is a prayer, which builds powerfully, features piano, backing vocals, organ, guitar, bass, drums and a choir.
When the sun comes up, satisfy us
Before the day has passed us by
Before our hearts forget all Your goodness
Satisfy us with Your Love
Hallelujah, Christ Will Come Again – This song was written by Shane Barnard, Robbie Seay and James Tealy. The song features guitar, backing vocals, organ, drums, bass, and builds powerfully with a choir. The chorus uses the “Memorial Acclamation”.
Christ has died
Christ is risen
Hallelujah, Christ will come again
Psalm 8 (How Majestic Is Your Name) – This song was written by Shane Barnard. The song, which builds powerfully, features keys, piano, guitar, backing vocals, bass and a choir.
So we'll sing of Your name
Live our lives for Your greatness, oh God
And Your glory and honor
Only There – This song was written by Shane Barnard, Bryan Fowler and Grayson Kessenich. The song, which builds powerfully, features keys, piano, backing vocals, guitar, bass, drums and choir.
Only there, only there
Love and mercy flow for me
Only there, only there
Can I find my rest in Thee
Song in the Night – This song was written by Shane Barnard and Adam Westlake. The song features bass, drums, keys, guitar and backing vocals.
I will cling to the lover of my soul
Letting go of the rudder in the storm
I will call on the name of the Lord
You're my song in the night
Oh, Jesus Christ
Psalm 84 (I'm Home) – This song was written by Shane Barnard, Jimmy Needham and Bryan Fowler. The song, which builds powerfully, features keys, piano, backing vocals, guitar, bass, drums and a choir.
When I sit at Your table
I am right where I belong
In the doorway of my Father's house
How Awesome Is Your Love – This song was written by Shane Barnard and Grayson Kessenich. This joyful song features acoustic guitar, drums, bass and backing vocals.
Your love, Your love
How deep, oh, how wide
And oh, my soul is satisfied
Your love, Your love
Is better than life
Living Water – This upbeat song was written by Shane Barnard and Bryan Fowler. The song features drums, guitar, backing vocals and a choir. We can never have too much of God’s love.
Deep within me
Saturate my soul
Like a river
Break the levee
Let it overflow
Greatest Love I've Ever Known – This song was written by Shane Barnard and Bryan Fowler. The song features keys, bass, acoustic and electric guitar, drums, and backing vocals. The song samples Isaac Watts’ hymn “Alas, and Did My Savior Bleed”.
With open arms
Upon the cross
You paid it all
At the highest cost
You gave Your life
To save my soul
Oh Jesus, You're the great love I've ever known
Steadfast Love – This song was written by Shane Bernard and Robbie Seay. The song features keys, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass, strings, drums and piano.
Your steadfast love never ceases
Your goodness God
Calling me to rest
Your mercy just when I need it
How great is Your faithfulness
Your Nearness – This song was written by Shane Barnard and Bryan Fowler. The song features acoustic and guitar, keys, bass, organ, drums and backing vocals. The song concludes with a nice instrumental section.
TobyMac Live Album | Posted July-11-2021
TobyMac, who is currently charting high with his single “Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight)” has released a new live album Live in Denver. The project features 15 songs from his Hits Deep early 2020 Tour, and includes collaborations with Terrian, Aaron Cole, Cochren & Co. and Ryan Stevenson. This follows his 2016 live album Hits Deep Live. Live in Denver is currently only available in a digital format. A CD/DVD version will be released September 10.
The tracklist focuses heavily on later career songs, including “21 Years”, the 2019 song he wrote after son Truett died, 8 from 2018’s The Elements, 3 from 2015’s This is Not a Test, and 2 from 2012’s Eye on It. He also includes “Lose My Soul” from Portable Sounds.
The complete tracklist and the album the song was originally on, is below:
I just need U. - The Elements
Everything - The Elements
Love Broke Thru – This is Not a Test
21 Years – Single
See The Light – The Elements
Move (Keep Walkin’) – This is Not a Test
Lose My Soul (featuring Terrian) – Portable Sounds
The Elements – The Elements
Hello Future – The Elements
Til The Day I Die – This is Not a Test
Starts With Me (featuring Aaron Cole) – The Elements
Overflow – The Elements
Edge Of My Seat (featuring Cochren & Co.) – The Elements
New Summer Music | Posted July-02-2021
Chris Tomlin follows up his chart-topping 2020 album Chris Tomlin & Friends with this new EP featuring three new songs, as well as two previously released songs from the album. The EP is produced by Corey Crowder. If you already have the full-length album, you’ll want to check out the three new songs.
Below are a few brief comments about each song:
Good To Be Loved – This song about God’s love was written by Tyler Hubbard Chris Tomlin, Corey Crowder and Blessing Offor, and features Hubbard. God’s mercy is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22), is never ending, goes from east to west (Psalm 103:12), and is deep and wide (Ephesians 3:18). The song features piano, bass, drums, organ and backing vocals.
It don't run out
It goes as far
As the east is from the west
Talk To Him – This song about prayer was written by Chris Tomlin, Russell Dickerson, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder and Ashley Gorley, and features Dickerson, who was formerly Tomlin’s guitar tech on the road for three years.
The song features guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals.
Just talk to the One who created the Heavens and Earth, yeah
He's always there waiting and always will be
Yeah, He made you, He knows you
He loves you, He's for you
He already knows what you need, so just
Talk to Him, talk to Him, talk to Him
Love People – This song about loving each other was written by Chris Tomlin, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder, Dave Barnes, and features Jimmie Allen. Love doesn’t see color, and underneath the surface we’re all the same. The song includes a part of 1 Corinthians 13. The song features piano, bass, drums and backing vocals.
We didn't all come up the same way
But we're all in need of the same grace
Thank You Lord – This song was written by Tomlin, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Hubbard, Corey Crowder and David Garcia, and features Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. Tomlin has said that to have a life of gratitude and thank God for all things – good and hard – that are around us, was a major theme of the full-length Chris Tomlin and Friends album. The verses have a country music feel, and the bridge is more worship music, featuring Tomlin. This is a feel-good, sing along song that features hand claps, backing vocals, guitar and drums.
Praise up, eyes closed
One thing I know
I just wanna thank You Lord, thank you Lord
Sing – This song was written by Tomlin, Corey Crowder, Brian Kelley, Tyler Hubbard and Cary Barlowe, and features Russell Dickerson and Florida Georgia Line. The easy-going song features guitar, hand claps, backing vocals, drums and a memorable chorus.
You make me wanna sing about Your love
Make me wanna tell the whole world what You’ve done
How You’ve turned my life around, I was lost but now I’m found
One of the Best Albums of 2021 | Posted July-01-2021
I first heard Ellie Holcomb on the song “Elizabeth”, a song she wrote with Kristyn Getty and included on the 2017 album Sing! - An Irish Christmas: Live at the Grand Ole Opry House. Watch a live performance of the song here.
I was attracted to this album by a tweet from NEEDTOBREATHE indicating that lead singer Bear Rinehart had teamed up with Holcomb for “Sweet Ever After”. I’m glad I checked out the album, as it’s one of my favorites of 2020.
The album was inspired by a trip Holcomb took to the Grand Canyon last summer. She has said that the songs, born out of a season of a lot of personal and global (COVID-19, racial tension, etc.) loss, feel like a soundtrack to healing and hope.
Canyon, produced by Cason Colley, is Holcomb’s follow-up to her 2017 Red Sea Road album. Holcomb’s father, Christian music veteran Brown Bannister served as executive producer.
Here are a few brief comments about each song:
I Don't Want To Miss It - This upbeat song was written by Thad Cockrell, Cason Cooley and Ellie Holcomb. The song features drums, bass, piano, backing vocals, and banjo. She doesn’t want to miss God’s voice and touch.
I don't want to miss a thing
So I climbed up in a sycamore tree
'Cause I don't want to miss a thing
And I don't want to miss it
I don't want to miss a thing
I don't want to miss the melody
That You've been singing over me
Canyon - This hopeful song was written by Thad Cockrell, Cason Cooley and Ellie Holcomb. The song features, banjo, backing vocals, drums, piano and bass. She found the Lord in the desert. Holcomb has said that this song, and the album, is about a deeper sorrow and a higher hope. There’s a river running through her deepest sorrow and pain. There’s a river running through every dream that never came true.
I walked into the desert and I found You
You set a table for me in the presence of my enemies
To share with my enemies
No longer my enemies
Color – Holcomb sings of stone-cold lonely nights when she built her house on sand. She thought the truth was black and white, but now sees it is made of color. The song, which builds powerfully, features keys, finger snaps, bass, guitar, drums and backing vocals.
In the broken sanctuary light
I'm surrendered, I am hypnotized
I can see You even though I'm blind
This world is made of color
Bridge - This song was written by Jordan Reynolds, Ellie Reynolds, Ellie Holcomb, Carly Bannister and Alexandria Mowry. The song features piano, guitar, bass, drums and backing vocals. The song is about racial reconciliation, rebuilding what has been broken, repentance and forgiveness.
I wanna listen, I wanna repent
It's time to rebuild what's been broken
Teach me to love, help me learn to forgive
And when hate melts it down, we'll rebuild it again
Paradox - This song was written by Natalie Hemby and Ellie Holcomb and features Hemby. She thought see would see God clearly from the top of the world, but now that she is in the valley looking up God has never felt so close. The song features piano, keys, backing vocals, bass and drums.
And now I'm in a valley, looking up
You have never felt so close
Canyons all around me, stars above
Meet me in the depths below
Where the lost is found
Where the broken is crowned
Where the souls rise up
From the ground
You got me in the valley, looking up
Brand New Day – This song was written by Jeremiah Dunlap, Matt Wertz and Ellie Holcomb. We all fall down and get banged up. There’s a storm, but you’ve not going under. It’s a brand-new day. I really enjoyed the musical arrangement on this song, featuring guitar, hand claps, bass and backing vocals.
Mercy new, don't miss the way it shines
It's a brand-new day
Sweet Ever After – This song was written by Bear Rinehart and Ellie Holcomb, and features Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE. The song references the tornado that struck Nashville in March, 2020, and features banjo, bass, backing vocals, drums. The sun is coming up on the stairway to Heaven in the sweet ever after.
Got a lot of bad days still coming our way
But a sweet ever after
Wind and waves breaking over our walls
But the ship, it don't shatter
Stronger - This song was written by Nicole Witt, Ellie Holcomb and Christa Wells. The encouraging song is about being stronger than your fear. It features piano, drums, guitar and backing vocals.
Go fly away my dear, up to the golden sun
Don't build your home right here, you were made for love
Worry whispers lies but let the truth be clear
You are stronger, love, you are stronger than your fear
Mine - This song was written by Ellie Holcomb and features Drew Holcomb. It’s a beautiful piano and strings driven song for their children.
Before I held you, I knew I loved you
Before I saw you, I was sold out for you
I was writing lullabies
Before I ever heard your cry
I've been here the whole time
You always have, you always will be mine
I Will Carry You - This song was written by Ben Glover and Ellie Holcomb. The song could be addressed to a friend who is tired, hurting and full of anxiety. It features piano, guitar, banjo, drums, and backing vocals.
I will carry you
Through your darkest night
When you're terrified
I will carry you
When the waters rise
When your hope runs dry
I will carry you
Gold – This song was written by Ellie Holcomb and features Carly Bannister. It sounds like a love song to Holcomb’s husband Drew, as she sings that she learned to sing so she could sing right next to him. The song features acoustic guitar, pedal steel guitar and backing vocals.
You are wonderful, you are kind
You are patient, you are humble, and you are wise
You don't see it with your own eyes
But you are gold to me and I love the way you shine
Constellations - This song was written by David Leonard (Christian), Ellie Holcomb
and Jon Guerra. The piano driven song features a passionate vocal from Holcomb
as she cries out to God to promise her that she is not alone.
Excellent New Release From Crowder | Posted June-11-2021
Milk & Honey is Crowder’s fourth studio album and his follow-up to 2018’s I Know a Ghost. Crowder has written that the title Milk & Honey is about promise. The album is a celebration of the future we are marching towards together and a prayer that each of us can live in this promise in the here and now. It features a variety of musical genres, though less of the swamp rock and bluegrass that his previous albums have included. Several of the songs are about Jesus and will make find themselves into worship services. This is one of my top albums of 2020 thus far.
Below are a few comments about each song:
Good God Almighty – This song was written by Jeff Sojka, Ben Glover and Crowder, and produced by Sojka and Glover. The song has charted high on Christian radio. Crowder describes this song as some good old-fashioned group singing, people singing in harmony. An excellent opening song.
Good God almighty, I hope You'll find me
Praising Your name no matter what comes
'Cause I know where I'd be without Your mercy
So I keep praising Your name at the top of my lungs
In the House – This song about the church was written by Jeff Sojka, Ben Glover and Crowder. The song features banjo, drums, bass, backing vocals and hand claps.
Doesn't matter if you're rich, you're poor, whoever you are
This is where we all find grace
He Is – This song about Jesus was written by Hank Bentley, Jeff Pardo and Crowder, and produced by Bentley and Pardo. The song, which builds throughout, features piano, acoustic guitar, bass, banjo, drums and backing vocals. It would be an excellent song to sing in a worship service.
He is hope for the hopeless, rest for the weary
Help for the hurting, He is, He is
Mending the broken, bearing the burdens
All that you're needing, He is
Milk & Honey – This song was written by Seth Philpott, Hank Bentley and Crowder, and produced by Zach Paradis and Bentley. This song is about heading to the Promised Land. The upbeat song features Crowder’s swamp sound, banjo, hand claps, percussion and bass.
Choirs will be singing, saints on bended knee
Angels will be dancing, we will all be free
God in all His glory as far as you can see
It's like every day is Sunday in the land of milk and honey
Higher Power – This song is written by Solomon Olds, Rebecca Olds, Jeff Sojka, Crowder, Hulvey and Ben Glover, and is produced by Glover, Sojka and Solomon Olds. This song about the power of God’s gathered people, features Hulvey on vocals. The high energy song is driven by guitar, drums, bass, a heavy beat and backing vocals.
We stronger, we louder
Put your robe on we the choir
We champions, throw the flowers
Sweet Jesus – This song was written by Solomon Olds, Rebecca Olds, Jeff Sojka, Crowder and Ben Glover, and produced by Glover and Sojka. The song features, guitar, finger snaps, bass, drums and the excellent backing vocals of Maverick City Music.
Say His name, say His name
The name above all names
God Really Loves Us – This song was written by Jeff Sojka, Crowder, Dante Bowe and Ben Glover, and produced by Glover and Sojka. The song features Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music. The song is driven by piano and builds beautifully with the backing vocals.
We are not alone
God really loves us
Who's Gonna Stop The King – This worship song was written by Jordan Sapp, Jeff Sojka, Crowder, Colby Wedgeworth and Ben Glover and produced by Glover and Sojka. The song begins with hand claps, and builds, with bass, percussion and backing vocals. No one is going to stop the King.
Praise Him, praise Him
Praise the everlasting King
Better Than Sunshine – This song was written by Jeff Sojka, Crowder and Ben Glover and produced by Glover and Sojka. The song about Jesus features acoustic guitar, percussion, bass and backing vocals.
My Savior is better
My Jesus is better
His love is forever
Glory, Glory (God Is Able) – This gospel song was written by Ed Cash and Crowder and produced by Ben Glover and Jeff Sojka. The toe-tapping song features piano, bass, percussion, backing vocals and banjo.
I feel better
So much better
Since I laid my burden down
Hallelujah For Every Broken Heart – This song was written by Ed Cash, Crowder and Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE, and produced by Ben Glover and Jeff Sojka. Jesus uses all of the pain and hurt in our lives. The song features bass, piano, hand claps and backing vocals.
Hallelujah for a broken heart
Hallelujah when I'm falling apart
There's a sun rising when the sky is dark
I'm singing, hallelujah for a broken heart
The Anchor – This song was written by Tommee Profitt and Crowder and produced by Profitt. The song, about Jesus, features piano, a passionate vocal and builds powerfully with a chorus.
Mat Kearney at His Best | Posted May-24-2021
Mat Kearney returns with January Flower, his sixth studio album, and first since 2018’s CRAZYTALK. The new songs are primarily relationship driven acoustic songs with a beat. His sprinkles in references to his faith throughout the album.
I really enjoyed this album. Below are a few comments about each song:
Powerless – This song was written by Kearney and Eli Teplin and produced by Robert Marvin. The song begins with acoustic guitar and then adds percussion and backing vocals. The song references beginning to work on the album in the desert when they encountered record rainfall. It is about losing control and being powerless.
Can't Look Back – This mid-tempo song was written by Kearney and Trent Dabbs, and produced by Kearney and Robert Marvin. The song, about a relationship, features guitar, keys, drums, backing vocals and a memorable chorus. There’s no future in the past and you can’t look back.
Grand Canyon – This song, about a distance in a relationship, was written by Kearney and Eli Teplin, and produced by Kearney, Robert Marvin, Teplin and Gabe Simon. The song features synth, guitar, percussion, keys and bass.
Pontiac – This song was written by Kearney, Robert Marvin, Eli Teplin, Ruslan Rov and Rob Resnick, and produced by Marvin, Teplin, Rov. The upbeat song features keys, percussion, and has Kearney looking back on their relationship driving in her Pontiac.
They Don't Know – This song is about what it takes to keep a relationship together (faith, a love that comes from above, etc.). She is his heart. The song features acoustic guitar, percussion and keys.
Anywhere With You – This love song was written by Kearney, Robert Marvin, Eli Teplin and Trent Dabbs, and produced by Marvin. The song features a good beat and memorable chorus driven by guitar, synth and percussion.
Say It Now – This song, about falling in love, was written by Kearney, Eli Teplin and Trent Dabbs, and produced by Robert Marvin, Teplin and Ruslan Lov. The song features keys, backing vocals, bass and percussion.
Stuck in the Moment – This song finds Kearney looking back on a love that has moved on, though he can get caught in the moment, just for a moment. The song features acoustic and electric guitar and percussion.
I Don't Really Care – This upbeat song features keys, hand claps and percussion. He wishes that they could just watch the sunset, and not their phones and worrying about how they compare with others.
Running In Circles – This upbeat song features percussion, keys, hand claps, a memorable chorus and a good beat. He can’t get any peace. She has him running in circles. He’s tired of waiting.
Boulder – This song is about a coffee shop in Nashville, now closed, when Kearney would bring his child as a newborn. The song features acoustic guitar, backing vocals and bass. You can’t stop a boulder when it starts.
Blame - He was the one to blame, he was the one who changed and lost his way. He knows that that Lord forgives him but it doesn’t make what he did right. The song features acoustic guitar, bass and percussion.
Something Beautiful – This is a beautiful acoustic love song. Way back when,
High Energy Live Album from NEEDTOBREATHE | Posted April-16-2021
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 outdoors March 13 and 14 at The Caverns in Pelham, Tennessee. This is their first live project since founding member Bo Reinhart left the band, the band now consisting of vocalist-guitarist Bear Rinehart, bassist Seth Bolt and keyboardist Josh Lovelace. The songs on this collection focus on the band’s most recent album, with 8 of the 17 tracks coming from the band’s August 2020 album Out of Body, which the band didn’t get to tour behind because of the pandemic. Three songs come from their 2009 album The Outsiders, 2 from 2014’s Rivers in the Wasteland, and one from 2016’s Hard Love, 2018’s EP Forever on Your Side, 2011’s The Reckoning and 2007 The Heat.
NEEDTOBREATHE has always been known as an excellent high energy live band, and they prove it again on Live from the Woods Vol. 2. It’s obvious that they are energized to be performing in front of a crowd again. I enjoyed every song on this album, which features more than an hour and a half of music. Highlights for me included a blistering version of “Prisoner” from their 2009 album The Outsiders, “Who Am I” from 2020’s Out of Body, “Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now” from 2014’s Rivers in the Wasteland, the rarely played “Garden” from The Outsiders, “Brother” from Rivers in the Wasteland, and the unplugged Encore Medley: “Something Beautiful” from The Outsiders, “White Fences” from 2011’s The Reckoning, and “Washed by the Water” from 2007’s The Heat, with the audience singing along.
Wilder Woods EP | Posted April-11-2021
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 The Work Tapes EP, and more are planned to be released. Rinehart, who possesses one of the most distinctive and powerful voices in music, has been busy with NEEDTOBREATHE, as well as adding vocals to songs from Chris Tomlin, Carrie Underwood and We the Kingdom. He wrote, recorded and produced The Work Tapes at his home studio. The EP is a follow-up to his 2019 solo debut Wilder Woods.
Themes on the project include change, love, fear, sin and getting better.
Below are a few comments about each of the songs:
Long Night Coming – This upbeat song features guitar, backing vocals, light drums and keys. He needs a change. He needs to get back on the road and play music, because that’s where his soul is uplifted.
I wanna sing in a crowd of people I’ve never met before
It makes me love and remember what I’m working for
Sink Our Love Now – This passionate song features acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keys, and backing vocals. Their love may not be what it once was, but they have persevered and are committed to each other. As long as they are together, they’ll be able to figure it out.
If the ship’s still floating, you can figure it out
It’s gonna take a lot more to sink our love now
Heavenly Light – This song features keys, percussion, backing vocals, guitar and bass. It is a song for his wife. She is his heavenly light.
Baby I could die with you by my side
I could do so many wrongs by you’d make them right.
What Are You Afraid Of? – This song features acoustic guitar, keys, and backing vocals. It is a tender song written for his wife about helping her with her fears.
Trying to be the right kind of lover and friend
So, won’t you let me and Jesus carry your troubles again?
Man Made Weather – This song features keys, acoustic guitar, percussion, backing vocals and guitar. This song finds Rinehart reflecting as a father on the times we are living in. The song addresses sin such as crime and hate. It’s not a foregone conclusion that we’re going to be fine, but he has hope that we can get better.
First Mixtape from NF | Posted March-27-2021
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 tour behind it due to the pandemic. The project features guest artists Hopsin and Tech N9ne, and debuted at number one on the iTunes Top Albums chart. Musically, NF continues with transparent lyrics, simplistic string arrangements and classical music influences. As a Christian, NF continues to be a light and a leader in his craft in a genre where most of the music is marked “explicit”.
Below are a few comments on each song:
Clouds – This hard-driving song was written and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt. Mixtapes aren’t his thing, but it’s been exhausting during the pandemic. He doesn’t like to hang on to songs, so thus the mixtape. He’s going to rock the boat and press the envelope with his music. He always delivers, raising the bar and topping the charts.
I don't know why God chose me (I don't know)
That’s a Joke – This hard-hitting song was written and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt. NF fast raps on this track. People see him as a joke and underestimate him, but he always proves them wrong. The way he connects letters you would think he created the alphabet.
I'm not on your radar? Then your radar's broke
Just Like You – This song was written and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt. This is a slower and more serious track, with NF rapping over piano, strings, and a hand clap beat. He’s speaking to those who are alone, afraid, who fall and are not okay. He wants you to know that you are not alone, there are millions just like you.
It's the lows in life that make you cherish the highs
And if it isn't, I guess I'll be fine believin' a lie
Story – This song was written and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt. The song has NF telling a story about Erin, hiding in a gas station, that is being robbed by her roommates' boyfriend.
Now or never, God, if I had any blessings
Comin' in my future, could you send 'em to my present?
Prideful – This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. This is a slower song about an old business relationship that didn’t work out well.
How'd you go from bein' that somebody I believed
Into bein' someone doubtin' me behind the scenes?
Can't forgive a sorry that I ain't ever received
I mean least you coulda done was gave me an apology
Lost – This hard-driving song was written by NF, Tommee Profitt, Saint X and Hopsin. It was produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X, and features Hopsin.
This song is about being lost. A dark cloud is his residence. He is praying to the Lord. Demons are knocking at his door, but he doesn’t have to let them in.
I used to be joyful and skip so merrily
But now I'm too cautious and tip toe carefully
Layers – This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X.
After a piano intro, NF touches on a number of topics in his life including his plans, goals, deals, scars, his childhood and being in the rap game for the long haul.
I'm thankful for the prayers, I need more of those
Put my hands together, bow my head and thank the Lord for
Everythin' He's done, yeah, ain't none of us immortal
Drifting – This song was written and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt. NF varies his vocal style throughout the song. He is drifting, sinking, dreaming and screaming for some truth. He prays that God will help him to see his worth, and to take a step forward.
If feeling makes you stronger, I'm the weakest
That would mean that I would have to separate from my beliefs
Trust – This hard-hitting song was written by NF, Tommee Profitt, Saint X and Tech N9ne. It is produced by NF, Tommee Profitt, and Saint X, and features Tech N9ne. NF and Tech N9ne deliver fast raps about lack of trust, talking to the devil, and being different from other rappers.
And they wonder why the music has a huge effect?
Could it be 'cause I've been the go-to when it comes to depth?
Paid My Dues – This song was written and produced by NF, Tommee Profitt and Saint X. The song was released as a single in December, 2019, just a few months after the release of The Search. He addresses critics who will write anything about him just to get clicks on social media. He addresses his burdens and states that he has paid his dues. He’s made it through and is on the loose.
People claim they're in your corner, but leave you in times of need
Clouds – Edit – This song was written and produced by NF and Tommee Profitt. This version eliminates the instrumental intro for radio play.
First Gospel Album From Carrie Underwood | Posted March-26-2021 My Savior is the long awaited first gospel album by seven-time Grammy winner, country music superstar Carrie Underwood, and her eighth studio album overall. The album, a companion to her 2020 Christmas album My Gift, features thirteen gospel hymns that Underwood grew up singing in a very small Free Will Baptist church in her hometown of Checotah, Oklahoma. I believe that this album of hymns may have the same long-lasting impact of fellow country artist Alan Jackson’s hymns projects.
Underwood sticks to traditional arrangement on these hymns, which I appreciate, beginning with a harmonica driven instrumental version of “Jesus Loves Me”. CeCe Winans joins her on “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, Bear Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE provides backing vocals on “Nothing But The Blood of Jesus” and Buddy Greene plays harmonica on the opening instrumental “Jesus Loves Me”, “Blessed Assurance” and “Amazing Grace”. Underwood co-produced the album with David Garcia.
I really enjoyed this album of traditional hymns. Highlights for me included the harmonica from Buddy Greene on the instrumental opener “Jesus Loves Me”, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, an upbeat “Victory in Jesus” (my favorite song on the album), “How Great Thou Art”, and a powerful “The Old Rugged Cross”.