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Worship Meets Theological History
Posted August 30, 2016
By MikaylaShriver_NRT, Staff Reviewer

With first single "I Surrender" already released, Poets & Saints is set to release this September as All Sons & Daughters' fourth album. Leslie Jordan and David Leonard are at it again with this speculative worship album, which began as a Bible study and transformed into a theological and historical musical journey worth every second of the album's running time. After following the lives of multiple theologians, writers and saints in Europe, the pair came back with their pastor and the album was born, along with an accompanying video series and book.

The album opens with the ambient "Heaven Meets Earth," which tells of Creation in hushed but still voluminous worship. It's so very easy to get lost in the beauty of the first song that it almost seems like an immediate transition into "I Surrender," the second track, which was inspired by the life of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Most songs following "Heaven Meets Earth" pay homage to different poets and saints of history. "Path of Sorrow" connects us to the mindset of William Cowper, while "My Roving Heart" points us to John Newton. "You Are Love and Love Alone," with its contagious musicality and simple lyrics, is a tribute to Saint Therese, adapted from a hymn written by Frederic William Farrar.

"I Wait" is inspired by George McDonald, the impactful pastor and author who inspired later authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. "Rest In You" takes its inspiration from the intensity and authenticity of St. Augustine and his Confessions, repeating well-loved quotes in a stripped-down performance. The album closes out with "You Hold It All Together" and "Creation Sings," which take the route we know All Sons & Daughters best for: folksy, harmony-happy worship.

The Bottom Line: Poets & Saints, All Sons & Daughters' fourth studio album, is not only a history lesson combined with worship, but it also experiments with combining several musical elements: jazz, folk, bluegrass, country and contemporary worship. Jordan and Leonard have crafted a beautiful album well worth listening to again-- and again and again!

Song to Download Now: 
"Rest in You" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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