Prime Cuts: It is Well With My Soul, Unbroken Praise, Abide with Me
You don't have to be a prophet or the son of a prophet to know that many songs on this brand new record "Unbroken Praise" will become the anthems of many churches and Christians in days to come. This is because there are two alliterated factors are indispensable to Matt Redman's patented sound: Redman's songs are conterminously devotional as well as descriptive. Some songs are so descriptive with theologically erudition that they feel more like a muddy essay written by a first year seminary student rather than something congregants can sing to. Then you have the other extreme where worship songs are so devotionally syrupy that they sound more like bimbo-minded love songs devoid of any theological depth. The worship songs of Redman consist of both. Lyrically, they are meaty with lots of Scripturally-textured insights for us to sink our teeth in. But they are also devotional in that they avail opportunities for us to release ourselves into God's awesome presence.
Redman's brand new record "Unbroken Praise" is no exception. Considering that Bethel Music has recently offered their rendition of "It is Well," Redman takes on the risk of redundancy with yet another update on the old Joseph Scriven hymn. While Bethel Music's rendition tangentially tags onto the traditional hymn onto their newly crafted paean, Redman circles around the hymn's chorus with brand new verses. Unlike some lesser artists whose newly written augmentations were nowhere near the sublimity of the original hymn, Redman's newly crafted verses will make ol' Joseph Scriven proud. "Louder," at first brush, could be mistaken as religious excuse for a frivolous jam. But a closer hearing reveals how each lyrically trope is intricately tied to Scripture's call to make a "loud noise to the Lord."
Characteristic of Redman's signature ballads is the title cut "Unbroken Praise." Keeping the major major "Unbroken Praise" is a no-nonsense call to worship God that boast an affecting melodic line that somehow gets to strum our heart strings. "Abide in Me," on the other hand, gives reflection to the tension between our eternal hope and the struggles of this world over a gorgeous hymn-like ballad with delightful synth riffs. Going back to the church's coffers a second time is "No Longer I." This time, Redman takes on the hymn "At the Cross" and wraps it around newly written parts done in a folkish cum acoustic way. Yet, this doesn't mean there are no fillers: "Songs in the Night" and "King of My Soul" are more run-in-the-mill worship songs.
Nevertheless, what sets "Unbroken Praise" apart is this: this is not only a collection of God-centered worship songs, but it's also a great resource for the church. These are great arsenal Christians can utilize to strike down the darts of Satan , doubt and despair by challenging our gaze once again at the Cross where our Savior died.