Spotify Albums of the Month – Oct 2009

Here’s another update of what I’ve been listening to on Spotify last month. As for book reviews, I’ve been a bit slack the last couple of months, but I am nearing completion of a few, so normal service should resume.

Bethany Dillon – Stop and Listen (Listen on Spotify)

A nice easy listening album, but lacks any stand-out tracks, and is a little short on variety. I prefer her earlier albums Waking Up and Imagination. The opening track Get Up and Walk has a sound reminiscent of Sara Groves. Everyone to know and Reach Out are the best songs on offer here.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Matt Maher – Alive Again (Listen on Spotify)

Another singer-songwriter worship leader album, in the mould of Chris Tomlin. Having said that, I’m not sure all of these are positioned as congregational songs, despite his making his name with the popular “Your Grace is Enough”. Interestingly, given that he sounds virtually identical to most contemporary evangelical worship leaders you have  heard, Maher is a Roman Catholic, with a passion for unity within the church. I found his lyrics thoughtful and gospel centred. Sing Over Your Children, No Greater Love and Christ is Risen are my picks.

Rating: ★★★★☆
David Crowder Band – Church Music (Listen on Spotify)

David Crowder Band are back with another album full of their quirky dance-infused rock. You certainly get value for money, with 17 tracks running together into a 73 minute epic. Eastern Hymn and The Veil continue in the same vein as their Remedy album. They cover "Oh how He Loves", which seems to feature on everyone’s album at the moment. I was a little disappointed that there seemed to be few that would be useful in corporate worship, but nevertheless it is another solid album from them.

Rating: ★★★★☆
Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome (Listen on Spotify)

This one gained notoriety for the use of a naughty word in one of the songs (although the song in question isn’t even featured on this version of the album). Derek Webb seeks to be a prophetic voice to the church, and pulls no punches. Think emerging church and you’ll have an idea where he’s coming from. Musically it is interesting and varied (not sure what genre it falls into – techno?). Lyrically, he succeeds in being provocative and challenging in an enigmatic sort of way. A dose of the gospel of grace might help a bit if he is to connect with his target audience, unless its not evangelicals but fundamentalists he’s aiming at. In which case I would say that "Freddie" Phelps was never going to buy this album anyway.

Rating: ★★★★☆

7 thoughts on “Spotify Albums of the Month – Oct 2009

  1. Interesting that the “Remembrance (Communion Song)” was co-written with Matt Redman, and is on both their albums. Given that wars have been fought over the meaning of communion, this is a bold step towards unity.

    Would be really interesting to see a post from you at some point on unity between Roman Catholics & Evangelicals. What are the real differences in doctrine and how much do they matter? What can we hope to achieve, and where should we draw the line?

  2. Hi Chris, yes I saw it was on both albums, but didn’t know it was a co-write (the disadvantage of using Spotify / buying MP3s is that you don’t get the lyrics & credits for the songs) – somehow I don’t think it would have gone down so well if it had been subtitiled “Mass Song”!

    Mike Reeves has some interesting stuff to say on unity with RC’s in his Spreading Flame book, where he disagrees with Mark Noll that our views on justification have moved closer. Personally, I don’t feel I know enough about modern Catholism to know how big the divide remains. I haven’t had any real discussion with Catholics since my university days.

  3. Well listening to Matt Maher’s album, there doesn’t appear to be anything on it that one could but wholeheartedly agree with as an evangelical. As you said, seems to be very gospel centred.

    Interestingly… is it me, or does his album cover look remarkably similar to John Piper’s “Finally Alive” book cover? I wonder if that’s a deliberate statement…

  4. One thing I didn’t notice in the communion song but just picked up on reading Bob Kauflin’s blog…

    “Remembrance is a beautiful communion song that reminds us there are “none too lost to be saved; None too broken or ashamed; All are welcome in this place.” I wondered about one line that seems at face value to be referring to transubstantiation (”now the simple made divine”). When I read in the liner notes that the words were taken from the Roman Missal, I realized it was more than an implication. That being said, a case could be made that the song is talking about acknowledging God’s divine activity in the simple act of taking the bread and cup together. I’d want to make sure people knew what was meant by that line.”

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