Reviewed by Tom Lennie
This eagerly awaited album won't actually be out until October but here's an advance review. In just six years Casting Crowns have achieved album sales of 4.5 million, won a Grammy, an American Music Award and 23 Dove Awards, and had eight chart-topping radio singles. 'Come To The Well', the group's first new studio album in two years, continues in similar vein to previous output - original, thought-provoking lyrics that seek both to challenge the listener and provide encouragement to the body of Christ, such inspirational theology encased in catchy pop/rock format. Both musically and, especially lyrically, these are impacting songs - making for much more than just an enjoyable listen. The opening "Courageous", already a single, is a stomping prayer-anthem with loads of jangling guitars, but one of the least melodic tunes on offer here. "Jesus Friend Of Sinners" effectively illustrates the true message Christ came to deliver - a veritable musical sermon. Inspired by the story of Jesus talking to the woman at the well, the title cut invites believers to allow the living waters of Christ to well up inside us, overflowing into our relationships both inside and out with church walls. While Mark Hall's formidable vocals lead on most songs, a couple see Megan Garrett come up front - the tenderly vulnerable "Face Down" especially standing out. For sure - plenty on this 12-track recording to inspire, challenge and bless the listener.
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Come To The Well is an appeal to Christians to let the “living water” of Christ well up in us, overflowing into the relationships we have around us (spouses, parents, children, neighbours, strangers), both inside the church and beyond.
Inspired by the story of Jesus talking to the woman at the well, the title track illuminates the album’s main theme: “She thought she was standing by a well talking to a man, but really she was standing by a hole in the ground and she was talking to the well,” frontman Mark Hall says.
“We come to Jesus and we have already got our well. We have already got what we think is going to sustain us and we come to Him to bless our thing so our thing will work even better for us. Jesus isn’t a sprinkle. He is life. That’s the central teaching moment of the record.”