Thursday, October 27, 2011

John Mark McMillan: Economy Review

It’s no question that John Mark McMillan is a polished singer/songwriter. All one has to do is take a listen to the beloved “How He Loves” that has been permeating church worship sets recently. What is the question, however, is what will John Mark McMillan’s album theme be this time? As his debut Integrity project The Medicine focused on death and resurrection, his highly-anticipated follow-up, Economy looks at the picture from a slightly different angle – things may not be the way they are supposed to here on earth, but we can find hope and rest in our God.

John Mark McMillan’s deep, country vocals break the silence with the strong opening track, “Sheet of Night,” celebrating how we as Christians are reflections of the light of Christ in a dark world. With plenty of fill-ins and catchy melodies and guitar riffs, “Daylight” follows, with more of John Mark’s beloved metaphorical lyrics. Seeming to continue the message of the opening track “Sheet of Night,” we are reminded that “we live on the edge of darkness/ oh, but daylight is coming on.” Just from the two opening tracks, you can easily tell that this artist has increased his talents by many times, since his debut.

And while “Hearts Bleed” has a regretful feel to it, the slower but steady “Love You Swore” is a track of desperation, begging God to rescue us and help us discover what His love truly is. I also found the transitional “whoa”’s and John Mark’s building vocals throughout to add much to this poignant track. Also, the excellent, Scripture-rich “Murdered Son” accurately reflects gratitude for the indescribable gift of our Lord. Definitely a highlight off this album, “Murdered Son” is as powerful as his previous single “How He Loves,” describing the love of God like no other song could put it.

The title track, “Economy” is extremely clever, to say the least, speaking of our struggles in life, but how Jesus is so much more and can rescue us from that. Especially enjoyable is the repetitious chorus that will have listeners singing along in no time: “But I believe you can overcome my economy/ You can dig me out of the grave.” No doubt the strong contemporary track with a country twist will be a hit for the listener as well! Following perfectly, “Who is This?” is entirely taken out of Psalm 24, commanding the doors of your soul to open up to the King of Glory.

The amazing and tremendously powerful “Sins Are Stones” speaks of how Jesus has washed away our sins, and now they are like stones on the bottom of the Sea of Forgetfulness. Almost a part-two to “Economy” lyrically, we are strongly reminded that “by the blood of a son I have overcome the grave.” Periodic sessions of simple music and angelic vocals make this track very touching.

“Chemicals” is very lonely-sounding, and rightly so, for its lyrics perfectly compliment the serene guitar-strumming. And finally, “Seen A Darkness” perfectly draws to a close John Mark McMillan’s Economy CD on an upbeat note, summarizing the message of the whole album with this overpowering chorus: “The valley of the shadow knows our name/ we have seen a night/ but we have seen the day/ dressed in the blood of love’s hot veins/ we have overcome/ yeah, we have overcome.”

John Mark McMillan has proved himself to be a talented musician yet again! The concept of this album – that Jesus has overcome the grave, forgiven us, and we will one day see His glory – is clearly evident, and its fantastic to hear that message intertwined throughout. I can safely say that John Mark McMillan’s Economy CD is a couple notches up from his debut! If you loved The Medicine, you won’t be able to get enough of Economy!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: November 1, 2011

Track listing:
1.  Sheet Of Night                                
2.  Daylight                                      
3.  Heart Bleeds                                  
4.  Love You Swore                                
5.  Murdered Son                                  
6.  Economy
7.  Who Is This
8.  Sins Are Stones
9.  Chemicals
10. Seen A Darkness

1 comment:

  1. Good album review I liked it. I will be checking out this album as soon as I can.


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