Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lincoln Brewster: Real Life Review

Lincoln Brewster is back with his seventh studio album Real Life. Through Real Life, Lincoln shares his heart in a real way through songs such as “Best Days,” the title track, “Made For More” and others. But Lincoln didn’t write the songs on Real Life alone -- he had help from Hillsong’s Mia Fieldes (with whom he also wrote “Power of Your Name”), producer Jason Ingram, and Paul Baloche, whose additions to this album are quite recognizable.

The guitar-driven opener “Best Days” is an encouraging track with a powerful message of enjoying life rather than holding on to the past: “I receive/ everything that You’re doing in me/ and I believe that the rest of my life/ will be the rest of my life.” Lincoln’s lead-guitar instrumentals, as included in this track, are a highlight from his music and this album. “Reaching For You,” Lincoln’s second radio single from Real Life, retains the upbeat sound of “Best Days,” and is a worship song Lincoln wrote with his church in mind. In the words of Lincoln, it is “a great wrap-up in the day of the life of a believer.” With that in mind, the words for this track are perfect, with its reminder of all that God has done for us.

“More Than Amazing” slows things down with it’s timeless and simple message of how amazing God is: “You are amazing/ More than amazing/ Forever our God/ You’re more than enough/ You are amazing.” The title track follows, as Lincoln’s primary radio single from Real Life. Inspired by a trip Lincoln’s family took to his hometown in Alaska, the moving and emotional lyrics of this track encourage people (especially parents) to enjoy the life they have while they have it (“This is real life/ This is real good/ It’s a place I took for granted/ ‘cause I just never understood…”).

“So Good” has the beloved upbeat sound from Lincoln’s music – driving guitars, with the lead guitar instrumentals – as it again brings a timeless message of God’s goodness: “You are good so good/ all the time all my life/ You are good so good/ Your love remains/ You never change/ You are good so good/ And I’m still singing because You are/ so good.” “I Belong To You” sounds as if it could be a Hillsong United track, with its provoking, fist-throwing rhythm and simple, but close-to-home message of belonging to the Creator of the universe.

“Whom Shall I Fear,” a slower worship song featuring Integrity Records artist Kari Jobe, was inspired by a telephone conversation that Lincoln had with a hurting friend. The moving lyrics of this song remind us that God will always be there with us, giving us a reason to never fear: “When all You are is glorious, oh God/ victorious and strong/ whom shall I fear?” Because of Kari’s role in this song, it sounded remarkably similar to “The Power of Your Name” featured in Lincoln’s album This Is the Day. “Loved By You,” keeping the slowness of its predecessor, is a powerful worship song remarking how God made us to love us. Its repetition only increases the powerfulness of this track that seems to really sink in with the listening.

“Made For You” has a bit of a country/campfire feel to it, commenting on the same message as contained in “Loved By You,” that God created us so that we could have a personal relationship with Him: “More than this whole world can offer/ more than all that time destroys/ all I’ve wanted here can’t satisfy my wanting/ ‘cause I was made for more.” Finally, Real Life ends with “Shout For Joy,” a more upbeat contemporary track that ends the album well. Singing about the desire to be caught in the middle of the presence of God, its perfect lyrics are very touching and deep: “Shout for joy/ for the Son of God is the saving One/ shout for joy/ see what love has done/ He has come for us/ He’s the saving One.” I was glad to see that Real Life was ending on the upbeat note that it began on.

Lincoln Brewster definitely put out a well-planned worship album with Real Life that follows the mission of Integrity Records, to “help people worldwide experience the manifest presence of God.” Many of the songs on Lincoln’s latest album provoke worshiping along, as their deep lyrics resonate with every listener. Through both touching songs as the title track and “Whom Shall I Fear,” and rock anthems as “Best Days” or “Reaching For You,” Real Life has something for everyone. Check it out!

Rating: 4/5

Track listing:
1. Best Days
2. Reaching for You
3. More than Amazing
4. Real Life
5. So Good
6. I Belong to You
7. Whom Shall I Fear (featuring Kari Jobe)
8. Loved By You
9. Made for More
10. Shout for Joy

1 comment:

  1. Good review! Reaching for You is a great song!


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