Tuesday, April 18, 2006

InFocus: Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns' first release was the fastest selling debut album from a new Christian group. It remained on top ten lists for well over a year and sold over a million copies. What made the CD so popular?
In my opinion, the most remarkable characteristic about the ten tracks were the lyrics. Mark Hall, who wrote the majority of the songs, did an amazing job of writing both praise songs and songs of encouragement and exhortation.
The first single off the album was "If we are the Body," a stinging message to the church about reaching out to unbelievers. The chorus states. "If we are the body, Why aren't His arms reaching? Why aren't His hands healing? Why aren't His words teaching? And if we are the body Why aren't His feet going? Why is His love not showing them there is a way?" The second stand-out single became a worship song sung in Churches across the nation. "Who am I" was an amazing song that echoed Isaiah's query of "why God would look at such a worm as I." Other songs that made airplay included the opening track, a strong rocker, entitled "What if His people pray." The song encourages people to take their problems to their Father in Heaven instead of "asking Oprah what to do." "American dream" talked about America's obsession with work which can lead to the neglect of the family: "His American Dream is beginning to seem More and more like a nightmare With every passing day "Daddy, can you come to my game?" "Oh Baby, please don't work late." The way Hall uses his words with his creative play on dream and nitemare is what makes his lyrics stand out.
Perhaps the most piercing song on the album, "Here I go again" tells the story of a Christian and evangelism. How true it is of most of us that when we have the opportune time to share the gospel, "Here I go again, talking about the rain and mulling over things that won't live past today."
The album's concluding four tracks are all praise songs, and while they weren't the best songs on the record, certainly were meaningful. The album concludes with the soft ballad "Your love is extravagant" which is another song that has made it inside churches everywhere.
Overall, the album is incredible. The group transitions from rock to soft pop very smoothly and capably. But the best thing about the album is definitely the lyrical content.


Blogger Strider said...

I agree. It's hard to find Christian bands that can go from hammering out powerful rockers to playing insightful and uplifting praise music that actually expresses a sense of creativity. Most of the praise music out there has simply become redundant and dull. King David was able to fill up hundreds of verses of praise music without ever running out of new things to say. How is it that contemporary artists can only manage to sing the same thing over and over and over again? Whatever happened to the "art" in "artist"? At least there are bands like Casting Crowns out there who are able to actually sing a new song to the Lord.

4/18/2006 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Bobby Headbanger

5/07/2006 5:20 PM  

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