Posted November 15, 2018
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need to Know:
Known for their energetic and worshipful live shows and their recent hit songs “Just Be Held,” “Oh My Soul,” “One Step Away,” and “Thrive,” Casting Crowns returns with a worshipful project, Only Jesus. The very relatable and transparent words of these songs perfectly depict our daily walks as believers, all wrapped around catchy songs. All of the tracks display musical and lyrical excellence, and the intentionality of Casting Crowns. These are catchy melodies and biblically-based lyrics reflecting unashamed faith. Every song on this stellar collection displays the band’s heart for what they do, leading people in worship of our Savior and reminding us as believers that “I don’t want to leave a legacy, I don’t care if they remember me, “Only Jesus.”
What it Sounds Like:
This band can really write a hooky and truth-filled chorus, and lead single “Only Jesus” is catchy, relevant and worshipful similar to previous hit songs “Who Am I,” “Voice of Truth” and “East to West.” The song is a great call to worship, and a fresh offering of praise for the Church. The bridge is very stirring and convicting: “Jesus is the only name, Jesus is the only name, Jesus is the only name to remember.” “In The Hands of the Potter” features Mark Hall’s tender and powerful vocals while taking listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our God Almighty, our Lord and Savior - only Jesus. If you’ve always liked Casting Crowns, this album will absolutely connect with you.
I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album, especially the chorus of the title track: “I don’t want to leave a legacy, I don’t care if they remember me, only Jesus.” Those prayerful words set the tone for these songs that are Jesus-focused Truth. “The Bridge” reminds us “With love we earn the right to speak Your truth, it’s not just what we say, it’s what we do.” Other highlights include “In the Hands of the Potter,” “Even When You’re Running,” “One More Song for You,” “Awaken Me,” and “Start Right Here.” The poignant “Awaken Me” is a stirring song with a convicting declaration: “Wake up the sleeper, Your search lights found me…shine down in all Your glory, awaken me." Like previous Crowns’ albums, these songs are all filled with spiritual truth. The hope of the Gospel is heard loud and clear (“The Father made the way for you, the Son killed the grave for you, let the Spirit come alive in you, are you tired of running?”) in the standout “Even When You’re Running.”
Best Song on the Record:
“Start Right Here” is an upbeat and challenging song in the vein of “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” and “The Altar and the Door,” among my favorite Casting Crowns songs. I find myself singing the worshipful lyrics throughout the day, “What if the church on Sunday was still the church on Monday too?” The ballad “One More Song for You” is an especially beautiful song. The faith anthem is the cry of my heart - “As long as there’s breath in me, Lord there will always be, one more song for You.” There are several stand-out songs, and “Only Jesus” is a gorgeous offering of praise to the only One who has power to save. It is a very sing-able song, and I love singing, “But all an empty world can sell is empty dreams, I got lost in the lie that it was up to me, to make a name the world remembers, but Jesus is the only name to remember.” That’s cause to stir your heart and sing at the top of your lungs, “And I don’t want to leave a legacy, I don’t care if they remember me, Only Jesus.”
For Fans Of:
Big Daddy Weave, MercyMe, Matthew West, Tenth Avenue North
This new album demonstrates once again the passion and energy that have made Casting Crowns one of Christian music's most compelling acts. True to form, new project Only Jesus reflects real life and emotion, from longing and struggle to breakthrough and gratitude. Front man Mark Hall’s forthright songwriting and intimate and unmistakable vocals are backed by powerful arrangements and stellar musicianship. The album derives its power from the fact that life and music intertwine so fully. These are very passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence, with biblically based lyrics, and there are several instantly sing-able and worshipful arrangements. This album is Casting Crowns’ crowning achievement, and one of my top albums of the year.
Buy Only Jesus on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify.
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