Monday, October 17, 2011

Casting Crowns: Come to the Well Review


Casting Crowns is a CCM group that needs no introduction. Come to the Well is the group’s fifth studio album, following their discography of RIAA-certified Gold and Platinum albums and a collection of chart-topping singles, many of which have reached #1. Their singles include the well-known “East to West,” “Who Am I,” “If We are the Body,” and a plethora of others. But when you take a listen to Casting Crowns’ Come to the Well album, it’s not surprising to understand why this Atlanta, Georgia-based worship group is so popular: The music of this album is raw and honest, and based on John chapter 4, this album deals with subjects most Christian artists aren’t comfortable touching.

Come to the Well opens with the strong and audacious leading radio single “Courageous,” featured in the new Sherwood Pictures film by the same name. Dealing with the topics of fathers stepping up to the plate and being who God has designed them to be, the challenging lyrics of this track speak straight to the heart, especially this stand-out rhetoric from the chorus: “The only way we’ll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands/ we were meant to be courageous!” Following, the slower “City On A Hill” stays true to Casting Crowns’ gorgeous but challenging music. This time, they give us an allegory of a city on a hill that shines bright but loses its light as one person at a time turned their backs on each other. It reminds us as the church that each person is valuable and we can only shine when we work together.

Sounding very hymn-like, “Jesus Friend of Sinners” challenges the church to stop being critical of sinners and love them the way Jesus did instead, while the beautiful and very full “Already There” addresses the fact that Jesus already knows our future and will eventually judge our every action according His Word. Quite enjoyable is the upbeat bridge: “One day I’ll stand before You/ and look back on the life I’ve lived/ I can’t wait to enjoy the view and see how all the pieces fit.”

Based on John 4, “The Well” challenges the listener to come to Jesus to be replenished when we feel thirsty and all dried up, encouraging them to “leave it all behind and come to the well.” Following, the country-sounding “Spirit Wind” tells the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones in the desert coming back to life, and speaks of being filled with the Spirit wind, even in our own personal lives that sometimes face times of dryness. It also serves as a prayer that God would breathe His life into us, and the slow, violin-based bridge was very harmonic and beautiful.

“Just Another Birthday” (sung by Megan Garrett) and “Wedding Song” are an interesting set of songs, “Just Another Birthday” speaking of aching over having divorced parents and a father that never calls. It, however, ministers hope, stating that Jesus is the Father to the fatherless and He makes life worth living. “Wedding Song” follows, focusing on the church as the bride of Christ, and how though we feel ashamed, Jesus Christ will see us as beautiful and without spot or blemish when we stand before Him on that great wedding day. (Note: I didn’t totally agree with all of the lyrics of this track, but the main message of the track totally sticks out and is very encouraging.)

“Angel,” which finds lead singer Mark Hall singing a little higher than normal, is actually a really sweet love song, speaking of the first time he met his wife Melanie. He states that his wife is proof that God answers prayers – his prayer for an angel to love him. Following, “My Worst Enemy” is surprisingly rocky for Casting Crowns, speaking of the battle of our flesh versus our spirit, and is a prayer for deliverance.

“Face Down” is slower, sung by Megan, speaking of being in total desperation on the floor face down, crying out for mercy from God and deliverance from our brokenness. Come to the Well closes off with “So Far to Find You,” speaking of how Jesus has done so much to reconcile us to Himself, and how He desires an intimate relationship with each of us.

Casting Crowns’ Come to the Well is the best of their best! It ranks right up there with their The Altar and the Door album that brought you the singles “Every Man,” “East to West,” and “Slow Fade.” It’s no doubt that this new album from Casting Crowns will become a huge hit in the day ahead – their gorgeous music, challenging lyrics, and of course, beautiful melodies and harmonies, make Casting Crowns an instant hit with the CCM listeners!

Rating: 4.5/5
Release date: October 18, 2011

Track listing:
1. Courageous
2. City On the Hill
3. Jesus, Friend of Sinners
4. Already There
5. The Well
6. Spirit Wind
7. Just Another Birthday
8. Wedding Day
9. Angel
10. My Own Worst Enemy
11. Face Down
12. So Far to Find You

5 comments:

  1. In your review of "Wedding Song", I think you meant to say that the church is the "bride" of Christ, not the "bridge". :D

    BTW, could you describe what lyrics you disagreed with in that song? I'd be interested to know what controversy Casting Crowns could possibly bring up. ;)

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  2. Looking forward to hearing this album. I have loved the songs I have heard already. Looking forward to hearing the ones I haven't heard yet. Good review and I liked it.

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  3. Josh: Thanks! I hope you enjoy the rest of the album, too. :)

    Anonymous: Yep, BRIDE! Thanks for pointing that out. :) I thought the song was great as was the message, but I personally believe that the church is not the bride of Christ. Revelation 21:2 says, "I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband." (NIV) This verse tells us that the bride of Christ is the New Jerusalem, not the church. I mainly included that disclaimer for others who believe the same.

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  4. Nice review; this looks good! I heard the song but haven't seen the movie Courageous yet. Ahhhh! I totally can't wait!

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  5. WHAT a great album cover. I like Casting Crowns. All for Jesus. :)

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