MercyMe - The Generous Mr. Lovewell
Posted July 27, 2010
GENRE: POP/ADULT CONTEMPORY/ALTERNATIVE
LABEL: INO RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: MAY 4, 2010
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5
Review By Brian Hall
I have a lot of respect for MercyMe. Of all the AC bands out there, they are the most versatile. They managed to go from a light rock worship style band, to certified generation-gap-closers in a matter of just a few short years. There is a constant sense of forward motion with them; they are never content to be where they are; they always strive to better themselves as artists and as people. The Generous Mr. Lovewell is no exception. When I initially heard the title for this new album, my mind instantly jumped to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. While it is absurd to compare anything to that album, I feel comfortable enough to say that this is possibly the closest Adult Contemporary CCM has come to holding a match to it.
The (literally) electric opening track This Life is a far cry from anything MM has ever done before. If someone had told me three years ago that MercyMe would put a dance pop song on their album, I honestly would have laughed, yet here it is (and oddly enough, it has more BPM’s than many TobyMac songs…). The title track is a quirky harmony based pop tune that tells the story of the fictional do-gooder the song and album is named after.
Move thrusts listeners into a sonic world occupied by fervent guitars and psychotic synths creating a fluid song that captivates the listener. Crazy Enough, simply put, is a message song. Operating on the idea that “It just may be crazy enough” to try and change the world. It even has a short and simple guitar solo that reminded me of James Bond. The lead single All Of Creation does exactly what it was intended to do; hook the Adult Contemporary crowd and please long time fans. Beautiful, Back To You, Only You Remain, and Free stay in line with the rest of the record; excellent ballads that are full of encouragement and inspiration.
The only moment on the album that I was even mildly bothered by was the bands version of Thad Cockrell & Bart Millard’s Won’t You Be My Love. It made an appearance early this year on the Catalyst Music Project (also from INO Records) and was performed by the effervescent Cockrell. This is a near exact copy of that performance, down to every vocal run and melodic direction. While Bart Millard pulls it off beautifully here, I would have hoped for a more radical alteration to the arrangement. The last track is perfection; short, simple, ethereal, and calming; a truly classy way to end a record.
The Generous Mr. Lovewell is “an idea. He’s a movement. He’s the hope that the little things can add up to a big change.” The focus of the album is Love. Be it Love for one another or Love for God (or the Love of God) the record does not stray from that common thread. And even though musically, this record may not be grandma approved, lyrically and conceptually, you would be hard pressed to find a single issue. The Generous Mr. Lovewell is a must have album this year. Even if you are not a fan of MercyMe, give this record a shot. It is easily one of the band’s best records and history will look back on it kindly.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
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