Prime Cuts: I Tremble, Measure of Grace, The Cross is Calling
Christians are by no means exempt from burying our own children or suffering from leukemia or being fired from the job we treasure. It's not the absence of storms that set us apart. Rather, it's who we meet in our storms that steers us from the hopeless and the fearful path often treaded by those who do not have Christ. "Measure of Grace" is an album of 11 songs that allow us to acquaint our eyes to see our unstirred Savior in life's storms. Never domesticated by a sliver of the Christian message, here you will find the songs addressing the whole swath of the Christian life. There are songs here that will give us a kick in the behind when we are slothful ("I'm Committed to You, Lord"), comfort us when we are distraught ("He's My Guide") and reassure us of our true value when we feel like junk ("Measure of Grace"). In short, this is an album that is made to speak to every Christian who is serious about his or her walk with the Lord.
The Taylors is a young brother/sister quartet comprising of Jonathan, Suzanne, Christopher and Leslie. Growing up in North Carolina, the Taylors grew up in a Christian family where their dad was a pastor and their mother was the music director. And to show that their paternal bond is still very much a fabric of who they are, their mother Sandra Taylor even co-wrote a song on the record with Wayne Haun "I Want the World to See (Jesus Lives In Me)." After learning to sing around the piano in church, the Taylors attracted the attention of concert promoters and radio programmers. After winning a slew of awards including last year's Singing News' "Favourite Mixed Group of the Year," they were signed to StowTown Records. Joining an impressive roster that includes Ernie Hasse and Signature Sound, Doug Anderson and the Perrys, they have finally released their StowTown debut "Measure of Grace."
Full of sparkling hooks over a toe tapping melody is their concert favorite "I'm Committed to You, Lord." In our culture of superficial affirmations and empty promises, to hear these young twenty somethings sing about their commitment to Jesus brings a hopeful glimmer to the church's future. More faith feeding songs come with "He Goes Before Me." Utilizing Abraham and Moses as our examples, "He Goes Before Me" teaches us how to live a life of faith and abandon to our Lord Jesus Christ. And layered with those delightful family harmonies is their take of the upbeat Sonya Issacs' (of the Issacs) "He's My Guide."
Yet, the album's apogee is in the ballads. Joel Lindsey and Wayne Haun's "I Tremble" is an absolutely gem of a power piano-based ballad. This song unravels a truth that is often overlooked: in order to chase away fear from our lives, it's not a matter of becoming more daring. Rather, it's to replace the fear of our circumstances with a greater fear- that is, the fear of the Lord. Though no other song on the record escalates to the lofty height of "I Tremble," the title cut "Measure of Grace" and "The Cross is Calling" are close seconds. Adding their youthful presence to a slow traditional country steel drenched waltz, "Measure of Grace" shows another side of the Taylors.
At the end of the day, these 11 songs are more than just words attached to melodies. Rather, they are food for our faith-starved souls. These are songs that will resource us on how we can draw closer to our Savior in ways that are melodious, powerful and heartfelt.