Reviewed by Graeme Crawford
Opinion seems to be divided over 'Run', as some see it as a tremendous and vital album, while others view it more as a sign of the descent of Christian rock bands into the dark realms of commercialism and style over substance. It certainly has a highly polished production and more than a hint of radio-friendliness, but it is also engaging and uplifting. Sanctus Real are not breaking any new ground by any means, but there is that sort of familiar comfort that you get from slipping into a favourite jumper.
They do often fall into the trap of not having anything new to say; "Run into the arms of love", "Hold on to the promises", "Bow my head to pray, not sure what to say". It is passionately sung and certainly heartfelt, but there is the feeling that you have heard this before which is both comforting and somewhat disappointing at the same time. With three years having elapsed since their last release, are we entitled to expect a bit more edginess, a bit more oomph, more insightful and challenging lyrics? That said, it is a safe, comforting and positive album, where Sanctus Real are trying to encourage you, where they are trying to say: We have the same struggles as you, the same doubts as you, but this is how we get through them. All in all, this is unlikely to win Sanctus Real many new fans though will probably please those they have.
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|Rather than simply glossing over struggles, Sanctus Real has never been afraid to shine a light on challenges and hardships. On the band's sixth studio album, Run, Sanctus Real have written songs that promise to become encouraging anthems of hope and healing that listeners can cling to in their own trying times. Through both their struggles and victories, the guys in Sanctus Real have come to realize there's only one place to run, and that's into God's arms, and to his word and promises.|
The band continues to build on their best-selling and 2010 Grammy-nominated album Pieces of a Real Heart, that carried the breakthrough song of their career. "Lead Me was a cry from the heart that resounded with families everywhere. We've devoted the better part of our lives writing songs that we pray will matter. Hearing countless stories of how God can use a song has been both humbling and inspiring," says frontman Matt Hammitt.
It's songs like Lead Me and the first single from Run, Promises, that have a way of finding people exactly where they are, songs that can't simply be fabricated out of thin air but rely upon the life story of a band that wears their heart on their sleeve.