Prime Cuts: Believe, Change, Can't Hold Me Down
To avoid the sophomore slum, All Things New has opted to return to the grassroots of what's at the cynosure of our faith, the Gospel. Distilling to the issues that are indispensable as far as the evangel is concerned, these 10 newly written songs deal with Christ's work on the Cross ("The Good News"), Christ's transformative power ("Change"), the defeat of Satan and all things evil ("Can't Hold Me Down"), and faith ("Believe"). "The Good News" is thus a cohesive treatise on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its practical permutations in our everyday lives; an album that strikes at the bull's eye of everything that is important. Sonically, rather than slouch into the EDM glassy gauze with non-descript melodic lines, the boys have worked extra hard to make sure that each song here has identity, carved out by its well-developed melodies, word choices, and sustained images informed by Scripture.
All Things New is made up of lead singer Garrett Hornbuckle and his childhood friends Jeff Stein (guitars), Luke Wycuff (drums), and Drew Moenning (keys). Under the BEC Recording imprint, the band released their self-titled debut in 2013. Their self-titled album peaked at #14 on the Christian charts and #5 on the Top Heatseekers chart. Success was imminent. And yet, the guys began to realize what they really wanted was something not dependent upon commercial success. "We got what we thought our dream was - a record deal," Garrett says. "But in going through that, we were reminded that our dream is truly to share the love of Christ." With that renewed sense of purpose and direction, the four took to the studio to record their new album, "The Good News."
With a singalong melody made even more engaging with hand claps and an old African American spiritual vibe, lead single "Can't Hold Me Down" is a kiss off to the devil containing one of the most arresting opening lines of late: "Get off me devil I don't need your trouble." Scaffolded by a tent "O Brother Where Art Thou" revival urgency, the title track "The Good News" is the Gospel of Jesus encapsulated in a hook laden song worthy of constant repeats. Streaming closer to more mainline pop is the triumvirate "All Because You Love Me," "We are Free" and "Your Love for Me." With crisp sounding drums and buoyant bounces, these songs with solid lyrics that expounds on God's love and its implications on our lives ought to be darlings as far as Christian radio is concerned.
It would be remiss not to mention the album's ballads which are definitely a highlight of the record. "Change," a powerhouse of a ballad, not only showcases Garrett's volcanic voice built to enhance the vocal peaks and valleys of the song, but it underscores a moving testimony of how the Gospel changes us. Those wrestling to be awed by the Gospel ought to give this song a listen. "Believe" goes back to Scripture in articulating the cry of the disciples to our Lord to increase our faith. "The Good News," in short, not only bypasses the sophomore slum, but it also shows that when you sing about the Cross you never lack things to say or an audience.