STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 83590-16183 LABEL: Reunion 602341013529 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2009-11-17 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
In my opinion Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall is one of the most gifted, and at times powerfully insightful composers on the whole CCM scene. Having acknowledged that it also needs to be observed that gradually Hall's function as a prophet within the Church has gradually diminished so that no longer are we going to hear such anthems of alienation as "If We Are The Body" with this album displaying a far more generic set of lyrics. As any record industry observer will tell you this is the bands most successful album so far with a chart position right up there beside John Mayer and Norah Jones. And certainly this is well crafted pop/rock with all the multi-layered dynamics you'd expect after hundreds of hours of labour with Pro Tools while Hall is in good voice on the title track and "Holy One" (the latter co written with Stu G and Jason Ingram) with his throaty growl a perfect fit against the blasting guitar chords. Some of the arrangements too are attention grabbing with "Joyfull, Joyfull" having the same kind of string arrangement which made Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' so enjoyable. But most of the lyrics here don't go much further than the increasingly stereotyped declarations of devotion abounding in contemporary worship. There's even an unnecessary cover of The Parachute bands "Mercy". Good to hear Casting Crowns Megan Garrett given a couple of chances at the vocal mic but in truth this album is a little disappointing considering some of the glories that preceeded it.
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Amid nearly 4.5 million career album sales, numerous awards and consistent chart-topping radio success in an unprecedented six-year span, Casting Crowns’ lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall has never strayed from the group’s main purpose: “Present discipleship through music.”
The band’s message remains rooted in the youth ministry that Mark has lead on a weekly basis since 1999. The result with each new song collection is a fresh, relevant perspective on our journey with Christ.
It’s this unwavering pursuit that has inspired Casting Crowns’ latest release, Until the Whole World Hears, an offering of encouragement, challenge, hope and truth to a world in need of Jesus.
“As we travel through our journey as Christians, we come to a realisation that there are lots of people out there who need to hear about Jesus,” Mark says. “Through our maturity, we begin to see the world as God sees the world and work with purpose to show people Jesus, until the whole world hears.”