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Casting Crowns [Acoustic Sessions 1]
Posted January 20, 2013
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer

Over the past ten years, Atlanta based Casting Crowns has consistently delivered music that points believers back to what truly matters, and the band does so yet again on this Acoustic Sessions 1 album. "If We Are the Body" is an all-time classic worship anthem and originally made me a fan of the group. I love its timeless message of unity and acceptance in the Church. Next is a great version of Dove Award-winning Song of the Year, "East to West." God's forgiveness is an amazing gift. The problem is that our logic gets in the way. This song is based on many different passages from The Bible, but the chorus and title come specifically from Psalm 103:12. As a father of three daughters, I can really relate to how I feel for my daughters when they do wrong. I don't want to condemn them because I love them so much and yet my Father in Heaven loves them and me even more than I do. The message of the song is very powerful and a strong reminder that we are called to bless God and kneel before Him to show our fear and adoration. Personally I can't help but just sing these words at the top of my lungs to Jesus in thankfulness of His grace and mercy. "American Dream” is an important message about the choices we make every day. I just love the lyrics to the song. This acoustic musical version allows listeners to really dwell on the truth of the song.

"Who Am I" is my all-time favorite Casting Crowns song. It makes me cry every time I hear it. The song is really a prayer, praising God for saving us because of who He is, not for what we've done. We serve an amazing God. Just the thought of how much God loves me totally wrecks me, and this song is so personal and beautiful.  New song “Delivered” features the female-led harmonies of Melodee and Megan and the message fits nicely within the band’s catalog of vertical messages like “Face Down.” Mark Hall writes and sings some of the best lyrics in the business. Often, he sings about not being content with where we are but getting to be where we should be as displayed in “Somewhere in the Middle.” As Christians, our daily walk is about knowing Jesus and making Him known. We are all the hands and feet of Jesus, and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Lead singer Mark Hall grew up with dyslexia and God called him to write and sing songs, which led to "Voice of Truth." Hall's personal story and stirring songs challenge listeners in times of self-doubt to listen to "the voice of Truth." The other new song “Only You Can Satisfy” has a similar feel to “To Know You” which is based on Philippians 3:8. The song is about what it means to know Jesus. It's to know His Word and have a personal relationship with Him. This excellent album closes with a great version of their #1 hit "Praise You in this Storm."

A great blend of Casting Crowns' previous albums, Acoustic Sessions 1 is filled with songs that both challenge and encourage believers in their walk. "If We Are the Body," "American Dream,” “Here I Go Again” and “Somewhere in the Middle” are catchy songs with pointed messages for the church and believers. “East to West,” “Set Me Free,”  “Delivered” and "Praise You in this Storm" are all poignant and moving songs. “Who Am I” beautifully reflects the truth we can proclaim as believers in Jesus Christ: “Not because of what I’ve done but because of who You are!”

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