5 out of 5 (stars)
Fully loaded instrumentation is and always will be great for any album. But here, the acoustics—guitar, piano and soft drumming—carry the day, giving room for the soft, slow and semi-slow songs to blossom. It was as though the plan was to not let the instruments overpower human praise and worship, so that the songs had a simple feel to it as well as a sense of purity. Like I said, the essence was probably not to let instruments get in the way of vocal worship. And that for a change is refreshing.
All but two of the songs we’ve heard before. And these two new additions are a fresh and pleasant addition to the session. As always, Mark Hall takes the lead with a clear sounding voice with awesome support from the rest of the group. Nothing new here.
If you are in the mood for worship with songs familiar to you, but taken more slowly with less from instruments and with a fresh flavor in the notes, you are welcome to try this album. I recommend it. These songs really don’t grow old. It’s nice to hear them in a different way than we’ve always known them.
About the Band (culled from Wikipedia)
Casting Crowns is a contemporary Christian and Christian rock band started in 1999 by youth pastor Mark Hall, who serves as the band’s lead vocalist, at First Baptist Church in Downtown Daytona Beach, Florida, as part of a youth group. They later moved to Stockbridge, Georgia, and more members joined. Some members of the band currently work as ministers for Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia. The band has won Grammy and Dove Awards.
Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall calls the band’s work a ministry akin to what the world would call “preaching to the choir.” In keeping with The Great Commission, Hall describes their music as a “ministry of discipleship.”
Four members of Casting Crowns currently minister at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia, where they play during the Contemporary Worship service on Sunday mornings. They do the band part-time around their full-time work of mentoring teenagers at the church. They often tour from Thursday to Saturday so that they can be home for church on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.
Members of the Group include:
- Mark Hall – lead vocals and songwriter (1999 – present)
- Juan DeVevo – guitar and background vocals (1999 – present)
- Chris Huffman – bass and background vocals (2001 – present)
- Megan Garrett – piano, keyboards, backing vocals (2001 – present)
- Melodee DeVevo – violin, backing vocals, cello (1999 – present)
- Brian Scoggin – drums (2009 – present)
- Josh Mix – lead guitar and background vocals (2012 – present)