Listening: Music Recommendations

                 Across the banal landscape of contemporary Christian music, there are dozens of Top 40 wannabes copying the latest stylings and a bunch of older bands trying to catch the current wave of worship music.  Finding a somewhat creative voice in the middle of CCM is challenging, at best. Let me point out some recent recordings that are worth a listen…           

rushoffools_rushoffools2.jpgRush of Fools is a band composed of 4 young men from Alabama. The music of their self-titled debut CD could probably be described as guitar-driven pop-rock.  The lyrics are primarily worship, by which I mean that they are mostly vertically oriented towards God. Undo has received the most airplay around here, and is an interesting take on the need for God’s power in repentance: “to label me a prodigal would be only scratching the surface of what I’ve been known to be/ turn me around, pick me up…you’re the only one who can undo what I’ve become.”  Another – Peace, Be Still – is a plea from God to troubled hearts. The final song, Already, explores the wonder of grace: “I try my best to work for your love/ I never rest, hoping you’ll want me to/when it’s already been done.” There’s a good sense of melody, meaning most of the songs are “sing-a-long-able.”   

        leeland_soundofmelodies.jpg  Sound of Melodies  is the Grammy and Dove-nominated debut CD of Leeland, a band from the Houston area.  Their music has more of an edge, showing the influence of U2, Coldplay and Travis.  The band carries the name of lead singer Leeland Mooring, who also writes profound songs of unusual substance. The title track glories in the gospel: “We who were called to be Your people/ Struggling sinners and thieves /We’re lifted up from the ashes / And out came the song of the redeemed.”  A challenge to the church to get involved with the broken and desperate lives is in Tears of the Saints: “There are tears from the saints/For the lost and unsaved/ We’re crying for them come back home… And all your children will stretch out their hands/And pick up the crippled man/ Father, we will lead them home.”  I think my favorite song is the final track, a musical setting of the Bible’s grace-filled portrait of Mephibosheth, called Carried to the Table:

                                            Wounded and forsaken

                                              I was shattered by the fall

                                              Broken and forgotten

                                              Feeling lost and alone

                                              Summoned by the King

                                              Into the master’s courts

                                              Lifted by the Savior

                                              And cradled in His arms

                                              I was carried to the table

                                              Seated where I don’t belong

                                              Carried to the table

                                              Swept away by His love

                                              And I don’t see my brokenness anymore

                                              When I’m seated at the table of the Lord

                                              I’m carried to the table

                                              The table of the Lord.

Think about that next time you come to the Lord’s Supper.               

                                                              

davidcrowderband_remedy.jpg            Remedy is the latest from the alternative David Crowder Band, which, because of their association with the Passion movement, has come to play a powerful role in shaping the worship life of college students and young adults. Crowder, who is also worship pastor for a church in Texas, is relentlessly creative. He uses an eclectic variety of styles and instrumentation, including  bluegrass and some nods to techno.  Remedy carries a theme of the ability of the gospel to rescue and restore lives.  The Glory of It All surveys the sweep of redemption: ” at the start he was there…in the end He’ll be there/ and after all our hands have wrought He forgives/ oh the glory of it all is He came here/ for the rescue of us all that we may live/ for the glory of it all.”  The encouragement of God’s presence in pain is You Never Let Go: “when clouds veil sun and disaster comes / oh my soul/ when waters rise and hope takes flight / Ever faithful, ever true/ You I know / You never let go.” There’s an arrangement of the hymn O For a Thousand Tongues which has this great line in a new chorus: “there are so few words that never grow old…Jesus.” The tiitle track is a glorious statement of our response to the gospel invitation of Jesus:

                              

                                              Here we are

                                              Bandaged and bruised

                                              Awaiting a cure

                                              Here we are

                                              Here You are

                                              Our beautiful King

                                              Bringing relief

                                              Here You are with us

                                              He is the one

                                              Who has saved us

                                              He is the one

                                              Who embraced us

                                              He is the one who has come

                                              And is coming again

                                              He’s the remedy

The CD closes with a sending song, reminiscent of the Prayer of Serenity, urging us to take this love to the world:

                                               And I don’t know

                                              What to do with a love like that

                                              And I don’t know

                                              How to be a love like that

                                            When all the love in the world

                                               Is right there among us

                                             And hatred too

                                             And so we must choos

                                           What our hands will do

 

                                               Where there is pain

                                              Let there be grace

                                              Where there is suffering

                                              Bring serenity

                                              For those afraid

                                              Help them be brave

                                              Where there is misery

                                              Bring expectancy

                                              And surely we can change

                                              Something

                       

Pick one and enjoy!

         

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One response

  1. David,

    Thank you for helping us understand the significance of the gospel through this article.

    By His grace,

    Rich C

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