Friday, April 08, 2011


     Casting Crowns are a staple on today's Contemporary Christian radio stations.  In 2009 they released UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD HEARS on Beach Street Records.  'If We've Ever Needed You' speaks of the dismal state we are in before repenting and turning to God: "You called us out, we turned away/We've turned away/With shipwrecked faith, the idols rise/We do what is right in our own eyes/Our children now will pay the price."  The title track reflects on the spiritual warfare involved in winning souls for Christ: "May the powers of darkness tremble as our praises rise/Until the whole world hears/Lord, we are calling out/Lifting up Your Name for all to hear the sound/Like voices in the wilderness we're crying out/And as the day draws near/We'll sing until the whole world hears." 'Holy One' is a guitar driven, upbeat tune I could hear Newsboys doing.
     'At Your Feet' is a ballad that describes where every Christian should want to be: "Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet/Oh, to dwell and never leave/Jesus, Jesus, at Your feet/There is nowhere else for me/There is nowhere else for me."  'To Know You' describes more of the intimacy at His feet: "To know You is to never worry for my life/To know You is to never give into compromise and/To know You is to want to tell the world about You/'Cause I can't live without You."  'Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)' is a triumphant sounding Easter song, describing why we should want to be at Christ's feet: "Living, He loved me/Dying, He saved me/Buried, He carried my sins far away/Rising, He justified freely forever/One day He's coming/Oh glorious day, oh glorious day."  'Joyful, Joyful' is a playful, creative arrangement of the ancient hymn that would fit nicely into a Contemporary Sunday morning service.
     Three of the tracks fall flat.  'Mercy' and 'Blessed Redeemer' feature one of the ladies of the group on lead vocals.  The songs are standard worship fare, with little to separate them from other worship artists.  They also seem aimed at an older audience than the rest of the album.  'Shadow of Your Wings' finds Casting Crowns trying a Third Day style rocker, but Mark Hall does not have the seasoned voice of Mac Powell to pull it off.  In fact, the song almost sounds like a joke!
     UNTIL THE WHOLE WORLD HEARS is a good adult contemporary album for the most part.  Fans of Mercy Me and Michael W. Smith should enjoy it.  I'm giving it a 72%.