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A Much Needed Rest
Posted April 24, 2020
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer


What You Need To Know
Chris Renzema's sophomore project, Let The Ground Rest, is a follow up to his independently released album, I'll Be The Branches. Let The Ground Rest shows a developed maturity in Chris's songwriting and musicianship, while at the same time, staying true to his folk-Americana style.
    
What It Sounds Like
The acoustically-driven folk style accentuates Chris's voice and vocal style. The timbre of his voice pairs perfectly with the generous acoustic guitar, piano, and cellos. There is never a harshness to sound, but rather a collection of songs that sonically flow seamlessly from one to another. The album is mixed and mastered well, allowing for a listening session that permits the listener to sit with the music and enjoy each and every nuance.

Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights
When we listen to an album, we embrace more than just the music. The lyrics come to life. On this album, there are many lines that make you stop, rewind, and think. In "17," Chris considers what his 17-year-old self would think of the man he's become and what God's response to his overthinking is: "Child stop listening to yourself so much/I have made you worthy of My love/You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that's enough." On "Steal Back Your Joy" the lyrics encourage us, "So, go on, steal back your joy/The destroyer's plans are all that are being destroyed/Go on, take back your life/'Cause death's the only thing that's dying tonight/If the thief comes to steal your flame/Well, go on and steal it back again."

Best Song On The Record
The album starts strongly with "Springtime." It welcomes us to come, sit, and listen. And, as a front door to the record, the song sits high on the list. It's the last song, however, that leaves the biggest impression. "Let The Ground Rest," the title track, gives hope, which will strike a chord with every listener. The song has such a simple melody with Chris's voice accompanied by piano on the first verse, welcoming a bass line in the chorus, and then the guitar and drums for the second verse, which build up to a climax after the second chorus. It all resolves in the stripped-back outro with just the piano and a promise.

For Fans Of
John Mark McMillan | Cody Carnes | Cory Asbury | Josh Garrels
 
Final Word
In this time of sheltering-in-place and physical distancing, hope can be lost as we hear the daily news updates. What Chris Renzema offers us is a project that speaks to hope. Let The Ground Rest is a prophetic message for such a time as this, an album that focuses on hope and a new season. "He'll finish what He starts. He started this I know/If you saw the plans, maybe you wouldn't go/I watched Him plant a seed, then let the ground rest/So child, oh, believe, 'cause I promise there's a harvest."

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