Top critical review
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A Real Let Down for This Fan
on 20 November 2009
Like so many others, I discovered Casting Crowns with their debut CD. Their mix of worship, challenge, and encouragement have made all three of their previous releases some of my favorites in recent years.
Their latest disc focuses almost exclusively on worship music. Frankly, I've always felt that was their weakest element. This disc doesn't do much to change my mind.
It's not that the lyrics and the ideas are bad. They just aren't nearly as solid as they are when they are calling out the church or encouraging us. There is no "What If His People Prayed" or even "East to West" here.
Not that the songs here are bad. "Until the Whole World Hears" is a call to keep preaching the gospel. "To Know You" reminds us of all we can have in Christ. "Holy One" is a fast praise song based partially around Psalm 63. And as a bonus 12th track, we get "Shadow of Your Wings," which is an early incarnation of that song. Frankly, I like both versions. And they have a new arrangement of the classic "Joyful, Joyful" that I really enjoy.
But my favorite song on the disc is "Jesus, Hold Me Now." What's interesting is the verses are from their song "The Prodigal" from their second disc. They've given it an all new chorus and melody. If you didn't know, you'd say they wrote this song from scratch.
The other problem this disc has is the music. Too many of the songs use the same tempo and instruments. It lets them blend together instead of standing out so I can really connect with them.
After listening to it constantly for two days, I can say I like it. I just don't love it like I have their previous releases. Hopefully, this is an anomaly and not a sign of things to come from this great group.