Saturday, August 29, 2015


On July 31, 2015 Influence Music released SOAR: SPIRIT-EMPOWERED WORSHIP.  It is a collection of eleven songs from ten different churches in the United States including Red Rocks Church (Colorado), South Eastern University (Florida), Emmanuel Christian Center (Minnesota), and The Oaks Fellowship (Texas).  A press release says SOAR is “organic modern worship from innovative church ministries” and that it “captures the intimacy, excitement and transformational nature of worship”.  Produced by John Hartley, the project’s theme verses are 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 which speak of us being the fragrance of Christ.

‘Fill This Place’ was written by Jake Espy and Jerrica Matrone.  It is a rousing modern worship number that makes use of sleigh bells.  It has a highly optimistic message: “There is a light that burns in the darkness/There is a hope that washes the fear away/There is a peace that settles around us/It is Your love that sets our hearts ablaze/Father we’re on our knees/With every heartbeat we bring you this offering”.  ‘Love From the Start’ testifies to Christ’s goodness: “The Son of Man He comes to seek and save the lost/The greatest love I know laid out upon a cross/All for love He bled and died to set us free/And in that moment Lord, I heard You thought of me/When my world falls You will stand/In the strongest storm/You walk upon the waves I’m sinking in/You the true treasure of my heart/Your love has sought me from the start”.  ‘There is a King’ is a great modern worship ballad featuring Zach Loomis.  It reflects on the atonement: “I see a King/A love that I can’t comprehend/Nails through His feet and in His hands/On Calvary crucified/Then on that day/He conquered hell/Defeated the grave/You’re the Name above every name/Forever You’re glorified/He called my name, wiped away my shame/In You my debt is paid/Now I’m alive in You”.

Next up is ‘Revive’ from author and pastor Mark Batterson’s National Community Church in Washington, D.C.  This song is one of spiritual submission and features skillful piano playing: “We are Your people called by Your Name/Humbly bowing here at Your throne/In Your presence we find freedom/Consecrate us to You alone/Revive us Holy Spirit, revive us once again.../We repent of our selfish ways/Turn our pride into praise/All we are will bow at the name of Jesus”.  ‘Be Exalted’ was written by and features Vinne Zarletti.  It is a song of adoration: “Be exalted above the heavens/Be exalted O God above the heavens/Let Your glory be over all the earth/Save us and help us to do Your work.../I will praise You Lord among the nations/I will sing of You to the generations/For great is Your love, it’s higher than the skies/Your faithfulness reaches by and by”.

‘I Still Believe’ is  a pop/rock tune that boldly declares who God is: “We believe You are the Son of God/We believe You are the One/You’re the hope that rescued me/You’re the love that carries me/Oh, I believe/You fill the heavens with Your voice/And I have made my choice/I still believe in You/Jesus, Savior, my Redeemer/The center of all life/You are real, oh You are here”.  ‘Always More’ is a ballad that includes a chorus that directly addresses God:  “I will gaze and behold Your beauty/I will dwell in Your house oh God/I won’t leave till You meet here with me/You’re the One worth waiting for/You are the reason for my being/You are the cup that overflows/You are the river never-ending/With You Lord there’s always more/You are always more”.

‘This is Revival (Open our Eyes)’ expresses a genuine desire to be used by God: “Send revival, send revival/Spirit fall on us now/We stand with our arms extended/Our hearts they belong to you/Release in us Your mission/Our lives will declare Your truth”.  Bradley Robert Bichsel, Joshua David Silverberg, and Thomas Kip Williams wrote ‘When We Gather’.  It features Brad and Rebekah and is a soothing, divine love song: “We lift our voice, we lift our hearts as one/We are Yours, Your will be done/The promise in Your Word/We pray reveal Your presence here with us/When we gather in Your presence there is power/When we worship You together/You are here/When we gather”.

The last two songs on the album are two of my favorites.  ‘Faithful God’ features a great female lead vocal by Jerah Lynne Divine.  It offers these heartfelt words of testimony: “My Anchor through the age/Foundation for all times/My shelter, my defense/You’re my song in the night/Though storms may rise/I lift my eyes/Let hope arise/I lift my eyes/To a faithful God, to a faithful God/We sing ‘Hallelujah!’/We sing ‘Hallelujah!’”  ‘Holy Fire’ was written by and features Clayton Brooks.  It is a quiet song of longing for spiritual intimacy: “O God come, Your consuming fire come (2X)/And burn away impurity, burn away anxiety/Holy fire, holy fire/Purify us Lord/Make us righteous/Living water flow/Make our hearts Your home”.

SOAR is a dynamic modern worship album that runs almost an hour in length.  Fans of Bethel Music, Hillsong, and Passion will appreciate it.  It will minister to youth and young adults and draw them closer to their Creator.  The songs and messages here are presented with zeal and humility.  This album has a fresh, contemporary sound and the packaging is simple, yet lovely.  I’m rating SOAR 90%.  For more info visit:


Friday, August 28, 2015


Over the years I have had the pleasure of seeing The Proverbs in concert in the Frogmore, Tillsonburg, and Feversham, Ontario areas.  The Proverbs are one of Canada’s best known gospel music artists, with a musical career that began in 1967 and continues to thrive today.  They have been voted Canada’s top mixed gospel group more than a dozen times and have also shared billing with many of gospel music’s top U.S. Southern Gospel artists.  SAY AMEN (2015) is their 23rd album!  Current group members are: Dave Daw, his wife Kathy, and his sister Karyl Tymciw.   They perform close to 100 concerts per year.  Dave and Kathy’s youngest daughter Natasha, who has Down’s Syndrome, regularly joins the group onstage, while Karyl’s husband Paul runs sound.  A theme verse for the group is 2 Corinthians 5:20 which begins: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us”.

The title track, ‘Say Amen’, starts things off.  Jason Cox, Michael Farren, and Kenna Turner West wrote this easy listening ballad which finds Karyl on lead.  It calls out for witnesses to God’s goodness: “If there’s anybody here who’s found Him faithful, anybody here who knows He’s able/Say ‘Amen’/If there’s anybody here who’s seen His power, anybody here brought through the fire/Say ‘Amen’/Anybody here found joy in the midst of sorrow, peace in the storm, hope for tomorrow/And you’ve seen it time and time again/Just say ‘Amen’”.  ‘Stand Up For Jesus’ is one of two songs written by Matthew Browder.  On this upbeat Southern Gospel number Dave takes the lead.  It encourages us to be bold when it comes to our Christian faith: “Stand up for Jesus if you have to stand alone/Be His disciples no matter the cost/Proclaim the blood that was shed on the cross/Stand up for Jesus if you have to stand alone/We need to be like old Stephen not ashamed to keep on preachin’ Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the grave”.  J. Michael Wilson wrote ‘Going Home Forever’.  The Proverbs took it to #1 on the U.S. based ‘Music To Radio Top 100’ chart in late June, topping artists such as Amber Nelon Thompson, Greater Vision, and The Bowling Family.  This inspirational ballad contains these lyrics: “Soon I’ll hear the trumpet sound/I’ll pick up my robe and crown and leave behind the sorrows that we’ve shared/I’ll hear the Saviour say ‘Well done, you fought the fight, your race is run/Come on in and rest awhile, you’re at home forever”.

‘It’s Gotta Be God’ is a light rock number of testimony: “Sometimes I think of who I was, sometimes it’s hard to believe/So many ways that my life has been changed since the Father started workin’ in me/Now the more I trust, the more I grow and the more I live, the more I know/It’s gotta be God, it’s gotta be grace/Cause God still works in mysterious ways”.  ‘I Still Glory in the Cross’ is a moving Southern Gospel ballad that reflects on the atonement: “I still glory in the cross, the cross of Calvary/For I would still be lost had it not been for that old rugged tree/Nothing I could do could ever pay redemption’s cost/But Jesus paid it for me and the cross still tells the story/That’s why I still glory in the cross”.

‘Big Mighty God’ is a peppy Southern Gospel song.  It begins by reflecting on an Old Testament story: “The children of Israel standin’ at the Red Sea wondering how they got between the water and the enemy/Couldn’t move forward, couldn’t go back/God had ‘em where He wanted ‘em/Frozen in their tracks/And I’m guessin’ this was the conversation/’Lord, we’re in a mighty bad situation/We need a big mighty God in a mighty big way/A God with the power that the waters obey/You know that we are mighty small and we sure need You to save the day/We need a big mighty God in a mighty big way’”.  ‘I Know Enough’ is a nice adult contemporary song of encouragement: “I’ve been on the other side of the mountain, seen the night give way to day/Delivered over and over when it seemed there was no way/I’ve been rescued by mercy , lifted by love/I may not know much, but I know enough”.

‘The Part Where You Come In’ is a terrific adult contemporary song reminding us that God will meet us wherever we are: “For some it’s at an old-time altar or in a hospital room one night/For some it’s the first time that we hear You/Or one last chance before we die/But You’re always waiting with forgiveness/No matter what we’ve done or been/You hear us cryin’ for Your mercy/That’s the part where You come in/And everything’s new/Everything’s changed”.  David Staton wrote ‘You’re Never Too Far Away’.  It is a song of spiritual invitation: “You’re never too far away that He can’t hear you when you pray/He knows all your fears, sees all your tears, feels all your pain/Just turn around and you will find/He’s standing beside you with His arms open wide/He knows where you are, you’re never too far away”.

‘Don’t Get Me Started’ is a toe-tapping song of gratitude: “When I begin to count my blessings/If you ask me I’ve got more than I can share/Oh, where do I jump in to tell you all about God’s goodness?/This could take awhile so we better be prepared/Don’t get me started on what the Lord has done for me/Don’t get me started on what it means to be set fee/Cause when I start I can’t stop singin’ about the joy the Lord keeps bringin’/So let me warn you, there’s somewhere you need to be/Don’t get me started on what the Lord has done for me”.  Lee Black and Cliff Duren wrote ‘One’.  The Proverbs reached #3 with it on the U.S. based ‘Music To Radio Top 100’ for the week ending August 16th.  The opening words of the song will resonate with fundamentalist Christians: “We find ourselves living in uncertain times/Where there once was right and wrong it seems we’ve blurred the lines/We’re told there are no absolutes/So everyone is free to choose their own version of the truth/And the skeptics and scoffers, they laugh at my faith/But I’m holding to the Rock that will not change/One God, one King”.

‘Stepping Stones’ is a contagious country gospel song of spiritual victory: “I choose to use these stumblin’ blocks as steppin’ stones/I refuse to be the laughin’ stock/I’ve been knocked down, but not for long/The devil meant to set me up for my greatest fall/I choose to use these stumblin’ blocks as steppin’ stones”.  Wendy Wills and Lyn Rowell wrote the album closer ‘I Pray’.  Natasha Daw, who is an inspiration to many, sings lead on this intimate, tender ballad: “When I wake up in the morning I pray/When I get so busy, I pray.../In Jesus’ Name I pray/I pray cause He loves me/I pray cause He listens/Every moment of the day.../Because He’s my closest Friend I pray”.

SAY AMEN is a wonderful contemporary Southern Gospel album.  The messages in these thirteen songs are truly life-giving.  Listeners are encouraged to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, and then to grow into spiritual maturity.  The lead vocals and vocal harmonies here are spot on.  A horn section arranged by Dave Barton is used extensively.  For sure this is one of my favorite Proverbs albums out of the ones that I have heard!  It is outstanding, as is the photography and graphic design accompanying the project.  On the next album, I would like to see the group members write some of their own material.  I’m rating SAY AMEN 95%.  For more info visit: and



Thursday, August 13, 2015


Wayne Watson was born on October 5, 1954.  He released his debut album WORKIN’ IN THE FINAL HOUR in 1980.  He has had an impressive 23 #1 singles on Christian radio.  In addition he has won 12 Dove Awards and has had a couple of Grammy nominations.  In 2011 he was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.  His bio says: “To say his vocal stylings and lyrics of open, honest communication of God’s presence in everyday life circumstances helped lay the foundation on which today’s contemporary Christian music is built would in no way be an overstatement”.  In 2002 Wayne released LIVING ROOM (Spring Hill Music Group).  It was produced by his oldest son Neal and executive produced by Wayne and Phil Johnson.

‘Grace’ is a mellow, modern adult contemporary song that finds Wayne thinking out loud: “Unworthy on my best day/Unworthy at my worst/To receive this blessing that You give me freely/Grace keeps giving me things I don’t deserve/Mercy keeps withholding things I do/Words that seldom fail me/Leave me looking for the words/To express my gratitude”.  Wayne’s youngest son Adam co-wrote the beautiful adult contemporary song ‘Cry of my Heart’ with him.  Wayne, Adam, and Christy Nockels are on backing vocals.  This song finds Wayne sure of his purpose: “You have trusted me with this message/For the nations of the world/Set a fire in me and keep it burning/So the people know, ‘til everyone has heard/It’s the cry of my heart to follow You/It’s the cry of my heart/I feel it deep in my soul/I want to lose control/It’s the cry of my heart to follow You”.

Gary Burnette plays great electric guitar on ‘Somebody Sing’, a happy rock and roll song of celebration: “Every day there’s something to be thankful for/There’s a reason to be glad/You are not alone/And here’s something else/Jesus lived and died and He rose again/To overcome death and hell/Somebody sing, everybody breathe Him in/Somebody sing, everybody say ‘Amen’”.  ‘Glorify Your Name’ uses a six person choir that includes Michael Mellet, Lisa Bevill, and Nirva Dorsaint.  It is a reverent praise and worship song: “Almighty God, how majestic is Your Name/Every knee will bow and every tongue will praise and/Glorify, glorify Your Name/We will glorify, glorify Your Name/And together the redeemed, all forgiven will proclaim/’We will glorify, glorify Your Name’”.

‘The Promise’ is a light pop song on the topic of marriage.  Unfortunately years after this album came out Wayne and Lynn divorced.  Here are some of the words to the song: “And in the end may it be said of us/And of this love we share/We were tried and true/And we danced to the song of our Maker/That is my desire, this is my prayer/Chances are we won’t cross the finish line together/I want to love you so you’ll miss me if I’m gone/And this flame will leave a smile upon your face/And love you so you can’t recall the valleys for the mountains/That grace will overwhelm any tears/That cannot be undone by time and space”.  ‘Something’s Gonna Humble You’ brings the funk musically and warns against pride: “What are you countin’ on to never, never leave you/Never betray you, never deceive you?/Stocks and bonds, fast cars and land/Perfect kids, a big ‘ole house/All this vanity, man/Well, God will not be mocked, make no mistake/You better humble yourself before it’s too late/He might just tap you on the shoulder, drop a pebble on your head/Or drop a boulder in your path to stop you in your tracks cold”.

‘Long Way From the Manger’ is a spiritual check-up: “Is this progress that we’re making/Or should we maybe be ashamed?/Not an easy question and the answers disappear/Behind these mountains of pride/If anything we’re doing breaks Your heart or brings You tears/Before I wander any further, give me eyes to see it clear/We’re a long way from the manger/From the pure, from the simple Divine/Long way from the innocence of a Stranger/Is this what You had in mind?”  ‘Dreaming Again’ is a ballad that uses the sound of chimes and includes backing vocals by Christy Nockels.  This song reminds us that we can’t change the past and should look forward to what God has in store for us now: “What is past is past/What is done is over/I will not go back and relive what’s best forgotten/I can’t say why/Why healing is so painful/Or why it takes so long for old memories to fade/I’m dreaming again, believing again/That God will use me is the prayer of my heart/I’m here for the taking, this is only the start/I’m dreaming again”.

‘Climb on Up’ contains a catchy chorus of encouragement: “Come on, climb on up here with me/You can do it, yes you can/Come on, climb on up here with me/Higher ground, promised land”.  ‘Steal Me Away’ is a co-write with Adam Watson.  It ends the album on a prayerful note: “Steal me away, steal me away/From the devils and the dealers/That never satisfy me/Steal me away, steal me away/And wrap me in Your arms where nothing else can ever steal me away”.

LIVING ROOM showcases Wayne Watson’s trademark smooth, warm vocals.  Wayne also plays acoustic guitar and piano on the album.  This is a mighty fine adult contemporary album that I recommend to fans of Matthew West, Chris Tomlin, and Bebo Norman.  Wayne’s two sons help him achieve a relevant, contemporary, reflective sound here, that could be described as devotional and laid back.  I’m rating LIVING ROOM 90%.  My copy comes with a second disc of bonus material that collectors will appreciate.  For more info visit:


Wednesday, August 12, 2015


Bruce Carroll was born on December 5, 1953 and born again in 1979.  Throughout his life his musical influences have included: Peter, Paul, and Mary, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and James Taylor.  His debut album SOMETHING GOOD IS BOUND TO HAPPEN came out in 1987.  For fifteen years he was a worship leader at Hope Presbyterian Church in Cordova, TN.  He has won 7 Dove Awards and 2 Grammys.  He and his wife Nikki teach marriage seminars.  Back in 2005 Bruce released his latest studio album BIG WORLD (On The Grove).

The pleasant title track ‘Big World’ is up first.  It is an adult contemporary song with the influence of country music.  It is one of three songs penned by the duo of Bruce and Billy Sprague.  Inspired by John Eldredge’s book ‘Wild at Heart’, it features Jerry McPherson on electric guitar, and is a song of spiritual determination: “Now I’m fiercely devoted, can’t lock me in/My heart is free and dangerous again/It’s a big world/Battles to be won, adventures yet to come/It’s a big world/Beauty to defend, faithful to the end/This is what life is/I was meant for this big world/Give me strength to face the dragons/Bigger dreams to imagine/Help me keep a heart of passion/God I pray”.  ‘Everything I Need’ is one of two songs Bruce co-wrote with Kerry Connor.  It is a ballad of contentment regarding not having all the answers: “I won’t get it figured out/I will wrestle with my doubt/But I know that You are everything I need/You have led me to this ledge/You are with me on the edge/Of the way things are right now and what will be/Life’s a mystery/But You’re everything I need”.

David Shotsberger is responsible for string arrangements on ‘Ship out of Water’.  Anyone who has ever lost a loved one will be able to relate to these lyrics: “Memory is a country where I can go to see your face/But where can I go when I miss your embrace?/Like a ship out of water/You left me waiting here/Longing just to be with you/The time will come when we cast off from the shore of all our fears/And sail into the wild blue wonder of Heaven and you’ll be there”.  ‘I Don’t Care What They Say’ is a catchy country tune that reminds us not to live for the approval of others: “I don’t care what they say/I don’t care what they say/When it’s all said and done/Everything but You fades away”
‘The Story’ is a pretty gem that runs over six minutes long.  It is a family affair with Taylor Carroll on drums, Bruce playing bells and acoustic guitar, and Nikki and Austin Carroll on backing vocals.  This song seems to reflect on Christ: “Every story on every face/He could so easily read/No one could hide from His wise, loving gaze/What is He reading in me?/He was a boy and much more than a man/He died on a dangerous road/Bleeding the hope of the world from His hands/So we could find our way home (2X)”.  ‘Jealousy’ is a country song exposing a very dangerous vice: “It takes a toll on my gratitude/Moves me farther away from You/How many times do I have to learn/I’ve got more than I deserve?/Jealousy is killing me/It’s living rent free in my soul/It’s plain to see that I won’t be free/Till You deliver me from jealousy”.

Of the song ‘Letters I Left Behind’ Bruce writes: “A true story about a man in my church whose father left him letters to live by, because he knew he was dying of cancer and would not be around to see his son grow up”.  Tom Hemby plays acoustic guitars.  Here are some of the lyrics: “The day I turned thirteen and the day I learned to drive/He found a way to share those special times in life/Though I never heard his voice, I know him well/And I’m finding out that I am so much wiser for/The truth his letters held”.  Kyle Matthews wrote ‘When We Fail Love’.  Donna Hauth plays piano on it and Al Perkins plays steel guitar.  It is a song of both regret and hope: “Pick up the pieces, let’s see what’s been broken/What’s become of us/How do we manage to do so much damage/To the ones we love when we care so much?/When we fail love it’s hard to take/The expectations are so great/We raise our hopes, we dream our dreams/And then we do some foolish things/But love that comes easy will easily give up/When we fail love we’ve got to trust the love/That won’t fail us”.

‘Halfway House’ offers a unique description of going to church: “Down at the halfway house/Somewhere between/Total rehab and working things out/The halfway house where I can come clean/Renew my faith and deal with my doubt/Cause the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak/That’s why most Sunday’s you’ll find me/Laughing and crying and hanging my laundry out at the halfway house”.  Jason Webb plays piano on the last song ‘Shelter Me’.  It is a prayer: “Shelter me, shelter me/Let the thought of Your compassion be my strength/Prince of peace, shelter me/From the tempest of my unbelief/Mighty God who calmed the sea/Come and shelter me”.

BIG WORLD is a collection of ten poignant and thoughtful songs about life.  It is very much a relational album.  It is not preachy, yet talks openly about faith, and yes, doubt.  Bruce writes: “Thanks be to God for His hidden secrets, mysteries, and treasures of the unknown.  Show me the way of grace”.  Musically, the album combines country with adult contemporary sounds, and touches of the inspirational genre are also present.  Fans of Wayne Watson, James Taylor, Ray Boltz, and Michael Card should buy BIG WORLD.  I’m rating it 88%.  For more info visit:

Thursday, August 06, 2015


Third Day’s roots go back to Marietta, Georgia.  They released their self-titled major label debut on Reunion Records in 1996.  They have won an impressive 4 Grammy Awards and 24 GMA Dove Awards.  Their two worship albums, OFFERINGS: A WORSHIP ALBUM (2000) and OFFERINGS II: ALL I HAVE TO GIVE (2003), were their best-selling albums.  Today Third Day is: Tai Anderson (bass), David Carr (drums), Mark Lee (guitars), and Mac Powell (vocals).  Their twelfth and latest studio album is LEAD US BACK: SONGS OF WORSHIP (2015, Essential).  Jonny Macintosh and JT Daly, who are known as The Sound Kids, produced it.  Terry Hemmings served as executive producer.

‘Spirit’ is a song of humility: “Oh, Lord, fill us with Your Spirit/Guide us by Your presence/How we need You, God/Oh, Lord lead us to Your Kingdom/Bring us back to freedom/How we need You, God (2X)”.  ‘Soul on Fire’ was written by the group along with Brenton Brown and Matt Maher.  It features All Sons & Daughters and is a catchy pop song of passionate pursuit: “God, I’m running for Your heart/I’m running for Your heart/Till I am a soul on fire/Lord, I’m longing for Your ways/I’m waiting for the day/When I am a soul on fire/Till I am a soul on fire/Lord, restore the joy I had/And I have wandered, bring me back/In this darkness, lead me through/Until all I see is You”.

‘Your Words’ features nice complementary female vocals by Harvest Parker.  These lyrics remind us just how powerful God is: “Let us speak Your words/More than ours, more than ever/Let us share Your love with all the world/Your words give us life that’s never ending/Your words bring us love that never fails/Everything else will fade away/But what will remain are Your words/The grass will wither and the flowers will fall/But the Word of our God will last forever”.  ‘Our Deliverer’ is a great light rock song written by the group and JT Daly.  It offers believers in Christ great hope: “Every burden one day will be lifted/And every broken heart will be redeemed/The Lord Almighty is coming to our rescue/Salvation’s waiting for all who will believe/Our Deliverer is coming/With salvation in His wings/Our Deliverer is coming/Here to set His people free/Our Deliverer is coming/Coming back for you and me/Our Deliverer is coming”.

‘He is Alive’ is one of eight songs written by the band alone.  It shares the Good News with one and all: “He is alive/Death is defeated/Sin has retreated/From the power of the Son/And He is alive/The enemy is faded/The battle still rages/But the war has been won/The stars in the heavens rejoice/With the sun and the moon/And with all of the earth/Let all of creation now lift up their voice/Singing ‘He is alive! He is alive.../Jesus is alive! Jesus is alive!’”  ‘In Jesus’ Name’ is a good adult contemporary track featuring the vocal talents of CCM stars Michael W. Smith, Natalie Grant, and Michael Tait.  It has a very biblical chorus: “Name above all names/Savior and our Lord/Every knee will bow/And every tongue confess/No other name is given/By which we can be saved/Let us find our life and love in Jesus’ Name”.

The title track, ‘Lead Us Back’, is short at just 1:20.  It simply calls out to God for help: “Lead us back where we belong/Call us as Your very own/Lead us back/Safe into Your arms”.  ‘Maker’ is a lively folk/pop song of confession: “We built our idols just to see them fall/And our false gods brought us nothing at all/How foolish we have been/Forgive us for our sins.../And on our own, we have nothing but shame/But by Your grace, we all can stand again, yeah/How foolish we have been/Forgive us for our sins”.

‘Victorious’ uses strings and percussion to good effect.  Sarah Macintosh contributes backing vocals.  This song extols Christ: “In all the heavens, there is One/Who conquered death alone and brought our freedom/Your throne will last throughout all time/Let all the nations bow and bring You praise/Victorious, You reign victorious/Over sin, over death, over all, over all of us”.  ‘I Know You Can’ makes some bold requests of Christ: “Give me the words to say/Bring me the strength to stand/Take all the doubt away/Jesus, I know You can/For if I’m to follow You/It’s only by Your hand/Help me to make it through/Jesus, I know You can”. 

Michael Gungor sings backing vocals on ‘Father of Lights’.  This one is a joyful song of praise: “Great and marvelous are Your deeds/Oh, Lord God Almighty/Just and true are Your ways/So we praise You and You alone/We magnify Your Name/ We lift You up and praise/We magnify Your Name/Lord, God Almighty”.  ‘The One I Love’ is a soft song that finds Christ assuring us: “Oh, you of little faith/Why do you let the wind and the waves distract you?/Oh, you of little faith/Don’t you know that when you’ve fallen, I’ll be there to catch you?/And when all your world is gone/And you cannot sing your song/I will help you carry on/The one I love”.

Third Day’s Christian music career has been similar to that of Petra.  They have put out a great catalogue of albums that prove they are a great rock band with clean lyrics.  In addition, they have provided the church and individual Christians with some terrific praise and worship albums and songs.  LEAD US BACK: SONGS OF WORSHIP is contemporary, relevant, and points people unashamedly to God.  I recommend this project to fans of Michael W. Smith’s SOVEREIGN (2014) and modern praise and worship music in general.  Mac Powell’s vocals are nicely added to by a variety of talented background vocalists.  I’m rating this album 95%.  For more info visit: