I remember when I first heard NeedtoBreathe. I stopped whatever I was doing and just let the soundwaves of the hopeful lyrics of “Brother” wash over my troubled and tired person.
The lyrics spoke to me and ended up giving me the courage to walk away from things that were no longer serving me:
- a job full of abuse and demeaning treatment by the family who owned the business
- a mental breakdown leading to several attempts of suicide ideation
- away from a guy who made me paint his name in every sky only to leave when the rain clouds poured out and opened wide
As I started listening to the album, I felt all the heavy weights of that toxic time in my life literally lift off my soul and I no longer feel their burden but only now see them in the light of God’s grace and glory.
The Grammy Award nominated platinum-certified South Carolina trio-Bear Rinehart [lead vocals, guitar], Seth Bolt [ bass, vocals] and Josh Lovelace [keys, vocals] look at life, family, and friends through a youthful prism.
Their 2014 album Rivers in the Wasteland hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 200 with platinum-selling Hot 100 hit “Brother” [feat. Gavin DeGraw] and “Multiplied,” which garnered their first Grammy nod.
They identify as a rock band first and foremost looking to “shed a little light in the world and have an absolute blast” along the way.
“In order to be a child again, some things have to go away,” Bear leaves off. “However, you find new beauty and love. I know we did” (Elektra Records).
Song by Song Review
Mercy’s Shore: A folk rock intro to the album with soulful vocals and vocal layering. The musicality creates a build and crash sound that mimics that of a wave crashing upon the shore. A hopeful look at God’s mercy and glorious grace.
Alive: One of my favorites off the album for it’s running through an open field truly free feel, built up by a heavenly chant, robust riff, and boisterous groove. It explores the feeling of truly being alive in Christ.
Hang On: energetic guitars, a stadium size refrain and nostalgic lyrics paint this very timely song about holding on to the feeling of bliss from your youth.
Survival: A duet with Drew and Ellie Holcomb with a bluesy rock musicality and old school gospel sound. It explores that Jesus is the answer to our very existence.
Child Again: A crystallized musical exploration of child-like faith that features glimmering keys and expansive rhythms
Out of Body: The title track from the album is an alternative rock song about this idea that once we think and feel with our spirit, who the Son sets free is free indeed. It has an infectious groove and rhythm and utilizes vocal layering.
Who Am I?: The latest promotional single for the album, poetic exploring the idea of defining our identity in Christ, it’s musicality is made up of handclaps, soaring chorus, and emotionally charged vocals. Overall, it’s a song about the fight to accept, embrace and trust that the greatest love requires nothing in return.
Banks: A song written for the women in the band member’s lives, the musicality is built with acoustic guitars, romantic, vulnerable lyrics, soft vocals, vocal layering, and windpipes that build a beautiful swelling of the overall listening experience.
Riding High: Bluesy Soul Rock meets Classic Rock Feel (Guns N Roses Welcome To the Jungle meets Poison’s Nothing But a Good Time) exploring this concept of living large in the mercy and grace of God.
Bottom of a Heartbreak: Soft Rock Ballad about the true emotions one feels while in the midst of a heartbreak featuring vulnerable emotive lyrics and pain portrayed in the vocal performance.
Seasons: Delicate piano, plaintive strumming and starkly powerful vocals, this song finishes out the album by telling the true story of a close friend of the band’s struggles with fertility and adoption. It’s based on the passage in Ecclesiastes 3. God makes everything beautiful in it’s time (Ecc 3:11).
Out of Body is NeedToBreathe’s seventh studio album and will be released to the public this Friday August 28, 2020 from Elektra Records and available for pre-order now wherever music is sold.
Born and raised in Pensecola, FL, Zach Williams now resides in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In 2007-2016, Williams was lead singer of christian band Zach Williams and the reformation until they disbanded in 2012.
He became a solo artist with Dove Award winning “makes you want to dance” Church Choir, and followed up with another chart-topping song “Fear is A Liar.”
Released on October 4, 2019 Williams’s Rescue Story debuted on the Christian Billboard chart at #2, and includes a duet that saw a lot of radio play “There was Jesus” featuring country music legend Dolly Parton.
Song by Song Review
Walk With You: A song about temptation and how even in the midst of it we can walk with Jesus.
Less Like Me: A song about wanting to emulate Jesus and the fruits of the Spirit.
Rescue Story: The first single off the album and title track, it’s gospel musicality tells every believer’s story centers around the moment when Jesus rescued each of us and continues to rescue us each day of our lives.
Stand Up: My favorite song on the album for its fun bouncy celebratory musicality about feeling overwhelmed by Jesus’s mighty power and love.
Slave To Nothing: A bluesy style praise declaration: “I’m a slave to nothing.”
Under My Feet: A song telling the enemy he has no power or authority here.
There was Jesus ft. Dolly Parton: A song that reminds you that Jesus is always there for us and walking alongside
Heaven Help Me: A song you sing when life gets heavy
Baptized: A song about feeling redeemed
Face To Face: A song about heaven and seeing Jesus face to face
Overall, Williams will help any believer believe again, be baptized anew, and receive all the Lord has planned for you.
Bethel Music is a household name in worship music but they also have a group of nine kids that write and produce worship music relaunching as Bright Ones but still with the same magnified amount of talent.
Hard to believe the kids featured are only between the ages of 12 and 16.
Young or old, Bright Ones will remind you of the light within you, who you reflect, and cause to dance and sing in reverent worship.
Song by Song Review
Bright Ones: EDM-musicality mixed with lyrics that remind the listener that God’s love shines from within us.
Get Your Hopes Up: Based on Psalm 30:5, reminding all who believe that they are living in the goodness that he brings
You’re Gonna Be OK: A strong musical letter to all those going through various battles reminding those facing feelings of depression and anxiety who goes before them, and you’re gonna be ok.
No Longer Slaves: An EDM style to the popular acoustic Bethel Music worship song.
We Dance: My favorite song on the album because it’s got a dancy feel to it, and it creates an image of the worshipper dancing with the Lord instead of just dancing for our Great King.
Let My Life: A worship piano ballad that switches to an EDM dance jam that cries for the believer’s life always be a reflection of your love, Lord.
Never Gonna Stop: A worship song about God’s love chases after our hearts relentlessly, and even through the wild parts of our life story.
Spirit Move: A worship song making the listener aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in the midst of their day to day life.
Magnetic: An in-depth musical moment that uses imagery of God’s love being a magnet pulling us closer to him the more we believe in it
He Loves Me All The Time: A song that revels in the fact of God’s unconditional Romans 8:38-39 love for each of his children, and nothing can change that fact for all time.
Who You Are: Based on Isaiah 9:6, we can thank God for all he is in our lives through Jesus.
For The One: A song that reminds the believer they are a beacon of light pointing others to God & His relentless love for them.
Tell The Nations: A great conclusion to a strong debut from young people who are wholeheartedly passionate about spreading the good news about how Jesus saves.
Known for her unique vocals and powerful stage presence, Ledger has been working ardently in preparation for her solo launch, enlisting the talent of Skillet’s Korey Cooper along with GRAMMY Award winning songwriter and producer Seth Mosley to produce the six-song project.
Ledger co-wrote each of the songs on the project from a raw and vulnerable place, inspired by her own personal experiences with love, heartache, anxiety and “the fight – to not let these things hold us back and stop us from living.” As her cardinal endeavor, LEDGER is a collection of songs that personify the tension between fear and boldness. [To listen to the entire EP, click the hyperlinked name above]
Song By Song Review
I’m Not Dead Yet: With trademark versatile Christian heavy rock musicality and powerhouse vocals, Ledger is screaming for the enemy to realize every tactic that he brings against her is not valid, and challenges him with a fiery chorus and anthem like lyrics:
Jen has said the song is about overcoming one’s hardest challenges and showing the world that you are strong. She wrote this because of the anxiety and panic attacks that had suddenly started happening to her in the past few years.
Warrior ft. John Cooper:
The musicality and figher-like anthems on this album make it a great accompaniment for any workout or just a pump up song before doing something you thought you could never possibly do. Remember, you can do all things through Christ, friend!
Bold: My favorite song on the album because I feel it fits who I am as a person and all I relate to the lyrics about remembering who my identity is in, and that I am called to be bold in Him:
Foreigner: A song that details that feeling of not belonging that follows those within the faith because many are called but few are chosen. It’s because this Earth is only a temporary dwelling while heaven is our home.
Ruins: A piano ballad that showcases how broken you feel when a love ends, and the heartache that sets in after that, and how we must bring our ruins to the one who mends them back together.
Iconic: A rock ballad that will shake you from head to toe about how God’s love shakes you up for the better, and his love is practically so unthinkable it is iconic.
All in all, I am honored to have the chance to listen to Ledger because it encapsulates every moment within my faith journey where I had to decide if I was going to give into fear or continue the fight.
Ledger EP is available everywhere today April 13. Pick it up if you need an empowering pick-me-up.
Okay, I’ll just come out and say it. I am a huge fan of Jamie Grace. And what’s weird is that it took me forever to discover her because although she was always played on Christian radio stations nationwide. I didn’t actually get bit by the fan bug until I seen her on a livestream for 2015’s Night of Joy.
Instantly, I felt like I was looking in a metaphorical mirror. At 25, Jamie Grace has had the typical experiences of a young artist: being bullied, outcasted, and moved across the country and back over her young life, all while still being single in a world that ridicules you for having higher standards than the heels on your shoes. Yet, she’s extraordinary in that at only 25, she managed to already be nominated for a Grammy, win a Dove award, star in a major motion picture, and deal with a whole heck of a lot health-wise. Her mother was diagnosed with pudendal neuralgia which makes walking and especially sitting extremely uncomfortable. For more on this battle, please read this personal essay by Jamie herself.
Despite leaving Gotee Records in August 2016 and relocating to California later in the year, Jamie Grace Harper finally released her long-awaited third studio album ’91. Influenced by the Christian music she and I both grew up with, Superchic[K] and ZoeGirl, among others it is her first independent album release as an artist with a bold, strong, and autobiographical message. The album was released on September 1, 2017.
Song by Song Review
Different: A song about realizing you are different and that’s okay featuring heavy guitar musicality and bass drum.
The Happy Song: An acoustic jam that reminds you that the joy of the Lord is your strength no matter what trials life brings.
One of a Kind: A song about all those crazy thoughts we have on a daily basis and how God doesn’t think we are crazy in spite of them. Heavy use of percussion creates a playfulness to the musicality.
Here: A track featuring her older sister Morgan Harper-Nichols, it has country ballad musicality while discussing the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Spotlight: Heavy use of guitar chords and static make this interlude track have a radio wave effect on the vocals.
Dance On: One of two favorites off the album, it’s a dance party anthem with rock n roll musicality.
Bella: An acoustic song with soft vocals about being a daughter of the king.
Party Like A Princess: My other favorite off the album with elements of Superchic[K]-like sound (no surprise there, it was produced from the band’s own Matt Dally), comes this single girl anthem about loving who you are regardless of who you walk into a party with or without.
Reverb This second interlude track which has a definite Superchic[K]-like sound and influenced by ZoeGirl as well, it boasts a theme of being God’s echo, as a reverb is defined as an effect whereby the sound produced by an amplifier or an amplified musical instrument is made to reverberate slightly.
Games: A song about the lines drawn in the invisible sand to outcast one girl from social groups.
Sixteen: A fast-paced rhythm mirrors the fast-paced life of a sixteen year old with this track about struggling with a journey of faith in your teen years.
Daughter of the King: An acoustic ballad about who God made you is ENOUGH
Bella(Acoustic): The acoustic version of the daddy-daughter guitar ballad
Heaven (Fix Things): A piano ballad about God’s mighty power and sometimes not understanding his process.
I love when I learn new things about an artist that I very much love and I just found out that Jamie Grace was actually asked up on stage by Adele where she sang “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” and Adele said she had a great voice. Well she totally does but what a HUGE compliment coming from such a vocal powerhouse and equally versatile artist.
No matter if you were born in ’91 or 2001, you will find pieces of yourself while listening to Jamie Grace’s third studio album, and feel free to dance on!
Worship focuses on Who God is. His character, His goodness, faithfulness, grace, love, and many other wonderful things. Worship creates an atmosphere in which God can work. Worship transforms us. By starting to worship God for the changes He is already working in us, we find that those changes start manifesting more and more, and we experience new levels of God’s presence, power, and goodness in our lives. As we worship, we remain in position to receive these things and everything else God has for us.
About Bethel Music
Bethel Music is a worship ministry that formed as an organic extension of Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Over the last seven years, Bethel Music has grown from being a local church music ministry to becoming a global outreach featuring a cadre of songwriters and worship leaders, with both online and on-campus worship schools. The Bethel Music Artist Collective includes Brian and Jenn Johnson, Jeremy Riddle, Steffany Gretzinger, Amanda Cook, Jonathan David and Melissa Helser, Leeland, Hunter Thompson, Paul and Hannah McClure, Kalley Heiligenthal, Josh Baldwin, Cory Asbury and Kristene DiMarco. Together these artists have six acclaimed albums that all went to the top of Billboard’s Top Christian Albums chart, in addition to four GMA Dove Awards and a GMA Covenant Award. Bethel Music’s multi-artist double-disc live recording Have It All (2016) hit No. 1 on the overall iTunes Albums chart and No. 6 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart, becoming Bethel Music’s highest retail debut on the charts ever. Starlight, Bethel Music’s first full-length album recorded live on tour, is available April 7.
The heart of Bethel Music is to be a steward of the worship being created and released at Bethel Church, making it a resource available to the world. In addition to thousands of people that attend Bethel’s weekly worship services, another 350,000 plus people subscribe to the online stream of the services at www.ibethel.tv. WorshipU, Bethel Church’s online school of worship, features ongoing training programs underneath seasoned instructors, with tracks including worship leader, songwriter, sound engineer, team essentials, producing a song and worship fundamentals, available at www.worshipu.com. More about Bethel Music can be found at www.bethelmusic.com.
Get Connected With Bethel Music
Website // www.bethelmusic.com
Facebook // www.facebook.com/bethelmusic
Twitter // www.twitter.com/bethelmusic
Instagram // www.instagram.com/bethelmusic
YouTube // www.youtube.com/ibethelmusic
Starlight is the first full-length album recorded live on tour by Bethel Music. Featuring songs led by an all-female worship leader team, including Bethel Music artists Jenn Johnson, Steffany Gretzinger, Amanda Cook, Kristene DiMarco, Kalley Heiligenthal, Melissa Helser, Hannah McClure, and Grammy-award winning guest worship leader and songwriter, Francesca Battistelli.
Starlight is anchored in the message that our lives, our world, and all eternity are held together in Jesus. Like His stars placed in the universe, no distance separates us from our Creator and we are handcrafted and deeply known as children of God.
Most tracks on this record have a wonderful musicality that boasts a soft acoustic feel.
“Starlight”: Vocalist Amanda Cook begins, “You’re like starlight in the dark.” “You’re like summer in the night, even when the sun goes down, I still feel you.”
“Breathe”: Vocalist Amanda Cook sings, “You are here right now/ I can see your smiling face/pride in your eyes.”
You Came (Lazarus): A piano medley breaks up the soft, acoustic feel while vocalist Amanda Cook breaks it down: “You are a God of miracles.”
There’s No Other Name: Vocalist Francesca Batistelli sets the scene for a worship song centered around the Name of Jesus.
God, I Look To You: Batistelli wows once again with a song about looking to God for wisdom: “You know just what to do.”
Old For New: A break from the acoustic musicality with a more pop rock sound, this song builds much the same as our excitement in Christ and becoming a new creation in Him.
For The One: “Help Me to love with open arms the way you do,” sings Vocalist Jen Johnson.
The War is Over: “He made a way for us/Born from glory out of dust.”
I See The Light: “I’m your delight; you chose me.”
Take Courage: “Take courage, my heart. He’s in the waiting.”
Catch The Wind: My favorite because the musicality reminds me of Colors of The Wind from Pocahontas, and is an incredibly beautiful worship song on this album.
Starlight debuts everywhere April 7.
From the first note, I was into this new album from my introduction to Christian music growing up in the nineties, Mercy Me. It’s relevant, dancy, jazzy, classy, and full of Jesus. There isn’t a song on the ten track album that will have you eager to skip to the next track. It’s perfect for long car rides, daily worship, or sporadic dance parties in your living room.
On the heels of their RIAA Certified Gold and GRAMMY® acclaimed Welcome To The New (2014), at the core of their newest is the question of what it looks like to live as followers of Christ.
“This new record is the logical next chapter after our last album, and it carries a new perspective,” MercyMe’s Bart Millard remarked. “Welcome To The New was all about grace and identity in Christ; a welcoming to the life of being a new creation by grace. And it’s such an exciting truth to grasp, but then life continues to go on and eventually the newness of that wears off and we need encouragement and support to sustain us. For me personally, I sing about being new every night on tour and I don’t always feel so new. So the album title LIFER and the theme of the record is all about reminding ourselves and others about the victory we have in the end through Christ. We are all in this for life – even on the days when we don’t feel like doing any of it. We want these songs to be a morale boost to remind people of who they are and what Christ has done.”
Filled with positive, uplifting lyrics, along with energetic beats and soaring melodies, this latest offering delivers the massive hits that MercyMe is known for. The debut single “Even If” will serve as a follow-up to the band’s four hit singles found on their previous album. Lifer debuts March 31 wherever music is sold.
Song by Song Review
Lifer: An announcer greets the listener with, “And now, ladies and gentlemen,” before big band musicality opens the track discussing faith in Christ becoming as simple as vital as breathing to live. My favorite line:
“Because it ain’t what happens to me, yeah that don’t define me. It’s what I got inside me. Before I was created, you already knew yeah. Ain’t nothing gonna separate us, hallelujah.”
You Found Me: Has musicality that reminds me of an eighties movie, or the outro to The Breakfast Club. Lyrically, it tells the upbeat story of Christ finding those who believe in Him in our dark corners of guilt, shame, and condemnation, and claims us as His own.
Grace Got You: With a modern take on mo-town musicality, this song will get you on your feet in danceful worship of God’s grace. My favorite line:
Smile like you just got away with something. Why?
‘Cause you just got away with something ever since grace got you
Best News Ever: An encouraging song that quiets the noise of all the ideals people quote about life, and reminds us of our victory in Christ. You just got the best news ever!
Even If: A ballad that is for those struggling with doubts and questions in the midst of the darkest circumstances.
Hello Beautiful: My favorite off the album because of the usage of real life sounds that bring the track to life.
We Win: With a song that could be used for the Body of Christ’s pep rally, this is an encouraging pop rock anthem with the main message being, “We won.”
Happy Dance: You will not be able to stop the joy or the groove that hits you during this song. Totally a shake-it-for-Jesus anthem in lyrical content and pop rock musicality. A great follow-up to the previous track.
Heavens Here: The opening reminds me of “Circle of Life” from The Lion King but it reminds us of the line from the Lord’s Prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Ghost: A haunting musical element creates an old hymn musicality calling out for the Holy Spirit to lead us to hope and peace instead of being like the images painted in campfire stories, horror movies, or Halloween ideals.
I’ve admitted this before but I’ll say it again. I cried my eyes out when Colton Dixon got voted off American Idol and shortly after that, I stopped watching it at all. I was like how in the world could someone so handsome and talented not get farther, especially with God on his side. The good news is I wasn’t the only one who thought that. God heard my thought and obviously had a greater plan in mind for Colton. In a way, you could see that anyone who had that same thought in that moment was praying in agreement according to God and God grants the secret petitions of the heart.
Releasing March 24, The 17-track deluxe record presents three personal and artistically unique sides to his music in MIND, BODY and SPIRIT, blending his traditional alternative-rock sound with newer pop elements. Dixon more closely examines the elements that make us who we are, from MIND – upbeat, high energy pop to BODY – edgier, rockier to SPIRIT – a calming chance to rest. Each of the three sections of the album varies sonically and is divided by cinematic-like instrumental tracks to prepare the listener for what’s to come. Echoing all sides of Dixon, Identity offers a musical escape from reality, reminding listeners to look towards what really matters – their identity in Christ.
Song by Song Review
The Mind: An instrumental track where a robotic voice (reminds me of the voice overheard on the Transit Authority ride at Walt Disney World), repeats Romans 12:2 and Philippians 4:8.
Identity A great song to build faith in the times we live in, specifically the issues that plaque the United States of America in 2017.
We are the chosen
We are royalty
We are your children
You set us free to roam
in my identity.
All That Matters: Anthemic with rock music elements, this song portrays God’s love for us: “all that matters is that I matter to you,” My favorite song because it has the heart of a worshiper.
Brand New Life: Based off Matthew 11:28-30 which says, “Come to me, all you heavy-laden, for I will give you rest.” It is another favorite because it has great potential and was recently announced as the next single for the album.
Technicolor: This track talks about how walking by faith and not sight actually creates a brightness and beauty to the world around us because of our third eye, or spiritual sight. It has musicality that is EDM meets rock music vibes
The Body: This instrumental track with the same Google assistant voice reads the verses from 1 Corinthians 12:14-27 regarding the Body of Christ as a whole and a whole is the sum of its parts.
In My Veins: In classic Colton Dixon style, we are reminded with this song that we as believers live because of the redeeming blood of Jesus.
Down: With musicality that reminds me of a movie soundtrack and a little of EDM meets rock vibes, it is another favorite of mine because it’s like a remixed or new take on Love Has Come For Me.
I Would Choose You: Fun-loving vibes make this song an original, genuine in choosing God no matter what road life takes you on.
Warriors: My absolute favorite off the album because of the ancient warrior soundbite and overall war song vibes. A good reminder that the battle is the lord’s always and our victory ,even our faith.
Human: Sounding like a 2017 pop song with electronic dance elements, it shares the story of how God’s strength is shown best through and in our human weaknesses.
The Spirit: This instrumental track reads Galatians 5:22-23 and Isaiah 41:10.
No Greater Love: I’m calling it now but this is going to be a single and climb up the Christian charts likened only to God’s mad love for each one of us.
Breathe: A ballad with electronic elements based on Psalm 46:10, which highlights Dixon’s amazing vocal range.
High: Almost like the Colton Dixon song version of Peter Pan. My favorite line:
Hold my hand, you hold my heart, while I’m holding onto you.
The Other Side: A piano ballad that reminisces Colton’s American Idol days talking about those who leave us behind when they pass away. A hopeful bright look at death. Beautiful piece where Dixon has outdone himself.
Autopsy: A bit of a creep factor created by minor chords on a piano as Dixon’s vocals whisper the words,
“We all are one heart beat from heaven,”
This track creates a visual image of a cadaver in a morgue and asks the eternal question regarding afterlife, “Where you gonna go?”
A gorgeous haunting finale to an exquisite musical masterpiece.