STYLE: Roots/Acoustic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168985-26565 LABEL: Provident 506122 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2018-03-23 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Stephen Luff
The debut eponymous album by this team of folk-tinged worshippers created a bit of a stir Stateside and now the Nevada-based ensemble are back with a new set, having undertaken some personnel changes. Fans who enjoyed their debut don't need to be concerned as 'Trial & Triumph' is equally good. This set manages to combine Americana/country with some Celtic-tinged Rend Collective-styled enthusiasm! The opener "My Feet Are On The Rock" is a foot-stomper of the highest order. There are calmer moments as well. "How Far We've Come" is a song of encouragement and praise while "Near To Me" is a prayer of faith in song. Without doubt, the group of five members have mastered strong vocals and engaging songs . . . it can only lead to repeated listening!
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I AM THEY made its national debut in January 2015 with their self-titled album on Essential Records. The band's five-piece, pop-acoustic worship sound is anchored by three-part vocal harmonies. The group, made up of Abbie Parker (vocals/harmonium), Jon McConnell (vocals/guitars/keys), Matt Hein (vocals/guitar/mandolin), Justin Shinn (keys/banjo) and Sara Palmer (drums) represent I AM THEY - inspired by John 17. "In that chapter," shares Sara, "Jesus is praying for his disciples and refers to them as 'they.' He's praying and saying things like, 'Sanctify them. Make them holy. They are not of the world because I am not of the world' He's really interceding for his disciples. We are disciples of Christ and being disciples is just as important today as it was back then. We're still here for the same purpose on the same mission with the same calling, bringing people to the Lord and spreading the news of the Gospel to people. We really wanted to incorporate that into our mission as a band, saying that anybody who is a believer in Christ is a 'They.' They are a disciple as well so we can stand together in that and really bring people into the 'I AM THEY' family because we are all family in Christ."
The project's first single "Crown Him" is a song of surrender. "Sometimes we lose sight of the eternal purposes our lives carry," shares Jon McConnell, lead vocalist on the song. "We can get so worried about our own agendas and building a kingdom for ourselves that we forget that it's really not about us or our kingdoms at all." Matthew 6:33 says, 'But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.' Jesus wants us to come to Him before anything; to surrender and make Him king of our lives and He will always have our back. As people hear this song, we pray that they would be reminded that whatever it is we pour our lives into, it is meant to magnify and glorify God and crown Him as king over everything: our struggles, our burdens, our victories - even the songs we sing. May we live daily in His victory and for His glory."