2013 Grammy WINS for:
- Best Gospel/Contemporary Music Performance for "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
- Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"
When I'm driving, especially when I'm away from home and my regular stations, I tend to let the radio scan and, more often than not, I land on a Christian station. Usually I stop just because the music sounds so good, and about a minute in a realize what I'm hearing is really worship.
I don't know where I stand religion-wise right now. I know I'm a Christian, but I have had some really awful experiences in church, which keeps me from getting too involved with a new group. I pray on my own and think God and I have a decent understanding. Regardless of my position though, CCM music is still some of the best I ever get to hear.
Matt Redman's a new artist to me personally. He's a 39-year-old performer hailing from England, and has apparently been at this for 20 years. Heh, I'm a little behind.
"We Are the Free" gives this thing an incredibly strong launching point, with a chorus of voices propelling us in and clapping along. If there's any doubt about the energy in his concerts, I bet this would quell that. The energy is just pouring out here, speaking not only to the Christians, but becoming a Christian Youth anthem that is just always completely welcome.
This has got to be a live album. If not, it's ridiculously well mixed to get that live crowd effect. It's not marketed as a live album though, which is a little weird. I say that because there it most definitely a crowd singing along to "Here For You." This is one of those steadier ones that starts so solely and then launches into a powerful praise number.
"Holy" again starts gently. You can feel the people in the crowd with arms outstretched in worship. And actually, I have to admit, that is a pretty remarkable sight. When folks give themselves over to music and praise, it's a beautiful moment, regardless as to your personal beliefs. It's sort of a moment of peace amongst the chaos of everything else. The repetitive nature of these songs makes it easy for everyone to give over and let go and immerse themselves into every word and verse as it comes and goes throughout the entire piece. This particular one breaks about five minutes in, giving what I can only describe as a sung testimonial. It's a bridge, kind of, but it's separate from the rest.
Title track time! And the Grammy award winning number. "10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)" is one of those ones I'm sure I have heard on one of those random car tunings. It's simply words and the piano for so long. ANd you know what, it really does stay pretty simple and sweet throughout? It's one to close your eyes and take in.
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In a world where it may seem that everything is working against you, it's sort of heartbreaking and very sobering to realize that you weren't alone. "Never Once" is this, and encouraging in a surprising way. Also, I will never get over the oddness of hearing the line "you were always faithful" be sung ABOUT God's faithfulness unto us. So strange to consider. This song stays so simple in the verses, but the choruses are where the power is let loose and strikes your heart much deeper.
It's somewhat unsettling inwardly to say negative things about a praise song, so I'm itching to move on to the next one. Now "We Could Change the World" picks the pace up and gets you dancing in the crowd - don't deny it! It's just a fun song, and if you partied at Creation like I used to, this is one of the ones the glow sticks come out for. The words may come off as complicated from here to there, but the feeling is what's important.
"Magnificent" is the first song that doesn't sound completely live… right until I start hearing the gentle echoing of the crowd singing this bower song behind Matt. Yeah, he's singing a ballad for God. It happens. This is a powerful yet gentle song (seriously, ballad) with the crowd's arms out-stretched once again. These loose-yourself songs are really so much better live.
Hearing a Kanye ad was not exactly welcome between these tracks. I just don't get it. But alas, back in comes Matt Redman with "O This God," a song to clap along to in the sunlight and get yourself singing. The music is really powerful and great, with words that just reassure that God's faithfulness. I think the crowd singing with every single word is starting to get to me. Granted, I'm one of them at every show, but there's something just too polished and perfect about their words!
"Endless Hallelujah" ends the album in what I guess is an appropriate way. Of course a majorly epic worship song is appropriate! But it being a live album, bringing the energy that solemnly down (albeit, keeping just enough intensity to evoke tears in the crowd) is kind of a love/hate situation for me. I get the fitting nature of the show, I just hate leaving a concert in that sad state that can accompany the slower endings.
Added to My Playlist:
- "We Are the Free"
- "We Could Change the World"
This was simply lovely. While not every song would stick with me forever and ever, it is an experience. That's what, I believe, counts in these situations. Matt creates an environment of worship that seems like it would be perfect in concert.