For a band who calls themselves "Unspoken," they sure are loquacious when it comes to articulating subjects that even the most eloquent of preachers stutter. On their debut full- length record debut for Centricity Records (Jason Gray, Carrollton & Aaron Shust), Unspoken deals with issues such as the malicious persecution of God's missionaries ("Bury the Workmen"), God's ability to change an individual ("Who You Are") and the audacity of trusting God beyond our natural intuition ("Lift Up My Life"). Comprising of Chad Mattson, Mike Gomez, Jon Lowry and Ariel Munoz, Unspoken has released 3 EPs with Centricity Records. Finally, for fans who have been waiting with bated breath, we see their full length album coming out the pipeline on April 1, 2014. Yet, 5 out of the 13 songs are lifted from their previous EP "The World is Waking" released last year. Thus, in actuality, there are only 8 new songs.
While preparing for this record, Unspoken has spent time ruminating over the words of Jesus in Matthew 5 and 6. Thus, you will find the rhetoric thrust of Jesus brimming in a song such as "Start a Fire." This song takes with seriousness the exhortation of Jesus that we ought to be the light of the word and setting it to an infectious tune delivered with a seismic sweep of energy. Again taking Scripture as the song's seed thought (this time being 1 Tim. 6:12) is "Good Fight." Be prepared to be sing along on this ultra catchy tune as Mattson sings: "I'm never gonna leave you, always gonna see you through to the other side / Keep fighting the good fight." Co-written with producer Seth Mosley and Jason Ingram, "Lift My Life Up" is a great display of Chad Mattson's strident vocal prowess over this explosive worship burner. With hymns gaining more and more popularity these days, listen to how "Take My Life and Let It Be" and "It Is Well with My Soul" are creatively interwoven into the fabric of this song.
What gives this album its personal draw is that Mattson has embedded pages of his own autobiography in these songs. For a season of his life, Mattson was in his bleakest valley when he himself was addicted to both alcohol and drugs. In this regard, 'Who You Are" gives comfort and confidence to those who think of themselves as beyond the far reaches of grace and transformation. On the same lyrical axis but executed on a much slower pace is the gorgeous ballad "Call It Grace." Rifled with lots of quotable lines for the heart, a favorite being: "Some may call it foolish and impossible / But for every heart it rescues it's a miracle / It's nothing less than scandalous, this love that took our place / Just call it what it is. Call it grace." Ballad lovers will love the worship ballad "In Your Hands." A simple prayer of trust to start the day with; "In Your Hands" is the type of spiritual protein we need to take if we want to bulk up to be spiritual giants for God.
Frankly, the quintessential track here is "Bury the Workman." In the name of xenophobia, (in)tolerance, communism and religion, many have tried to get rid of God. Various funeral services have had been staged over the course of history when people like the Jews in Jesus time, Lenin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot have tried to rid of the name of Jesus Christ. Truth is all of these tyrants are already rotten in their graves, but Jesus Christ is still worshipped on his throne. This is what Unspoken's "Bury the Workman" is about. Fashioned like an old African-American spiritual quipped with wailing harmonica and hand claps, "Bury the Workman" has that desperate longing for God to come back to manumit his workmen who are being buried by evil perpetuators of the Gospel. On the basis of "Bury the Workmen" alone, the debut album of the Unspoken is worth much more than its price.