One Of The Best Debut Albums In A Long Time
Posted January 29, 2008
By KevinMcNeese_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Casting Crowns began as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, FL in 1999, but unlike many of the "youth group bands" that are releasing sub-par music into the marketplace, the debut album from Casting Crowns is a wonderful collection of songs overflowing with challenging lyrics pointed directly at the forehead of the church. Lead by Mark Hall, a youth pastor for the past 12 years, the group's ability to blend captivating choruses, harmonies and hard-to-hear truths were perfected in the studio by co-producers Mark Miller (the hyper-animated frontman for the veteran country group Sawyer Brown) and Steven Curtis Chapman. On songs like "American Dream," which documents a father's neglect as he chases after the material nature of providing for his family, and "If We Are The Body," challenges Christians in the church to step outside the exclusive circles we are involved in and see the needs of others around us. Standout tracks include "Voice of Truth," a beautifully written song about keeping your focus in a world that continues to distract us, and "Who Am I," a powerful ballad where Mark drops a simple reminder of God's grace: "Not because of who I am / But because of what You've done / Not because of what I've done / But because of who You are." The song is given even more depth by Melodee DeVevo's vocals, reminiscent of Caedmon's Call. After listening to this album, you can't help but feel reenergized to continue to reach higher for God's standards...just like any good Sunday sermon should do.
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