Monday, April 2, 2012

Dan Macaulay: From You For You Review




“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever”! – Romans 11:36

This is the passage of Scripture that inspired Canadian-born worship leader Dan Macaulay’s latest worship project. Dan saw two of his previous singles become most played songs on Canadian Christian radio, both reaching #1 on the charts. In addition, Dan had the chance to travel to Malaysia for a week of teaching other worship leaders overseas. This experience revolutionized Dan Macaulay’s world, causing From You For You to be a deeply worshipful and honest worship project.

The strong title track opens the album, describing what worship truly is – that God has given us something to give back to Him. The strong chorus definitely accentuates this powerful message: “Cause everything I am and everything I’ve got it’s from You, for You, from You, For You, God!” After this strong opening track, “Be Our Love” follows a bit slower, but it doesn’t shy away from the truth, as it is a deeply personal track asking God to help us to accurately represent His love to a hurting world.

Dan Macaulay’s voice sounds particularly like Michael W. Smith’s in “Your Kindness,” a nice contemporary track based on Romans 2:4, that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. With soft piano, “In Awe” is very serene, speaking of just a few of the attributes of God. Dan recognizes that there is no way to sum Him up, but the simple track of thanksgiving is timeless, and again contemplates God’s goodness that leads men to repentance. God’s goodness seems to be a ministry of Dan’s music, something that shows up time and time again in different forms throughout his music.

“Permanent” addresses that Jesus is our unchanging rock, and takes on a “Forever Reign” sentiment with the worshipful lyrics of how God is the same yesterday, today, forever, and “His love is permanent.” The strong choir at the beginning of each verse helped give the contemporary track much strength, especially after the choruses. Gentle strings help compose “Listening,” a deep track about how God speaks to His children, and contemplating that the same God who spoke the world into existence wants to speak to those who listen to us. Personally, I found this song to be very relatable and touching, as I have been learning to hear God’s voice myself, and I’m sure the listeners will, too!

Next, Dan Macaulay covers Michael W. Smith’s “Breathe In Me.” “Smitty” does piano in the version, and Dan’s vocals sound so close to the original! It’s breathtaking, especially the strong strings that accompany the soft piano. “Win With Love” one of the most upbeat tracks off From You For You, again speaks of the desire to live God’s love to the world around us, while “Amazing” speaks of feeling unworthy of God’s love – that “You know everything and You still love me.” Dan Macaulay wrote this song over 15 years ago, and this powerful track helps the listener to see that God loves unconditionally and will receive us back with open arms.

“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one of my favorite hymns, no matter who covers it or how they change it. Dan Macaulay adds his take on the hymn to the collection, changing the title to “Saving Grace (Come Thou Fount).” He leaves the verses untouched, but adds a nice chorus with Psalm 23-like lyrics, making for a very encouraging and blissful track. Lastly, “Live Like You’re Free” is a celebratory track of the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. It wonderfully crafts Scripture passages from Galatians 5, Romans 8, Ephesians 3, and more. In addition, the choir during the chorus ends the album on a very full note.

Dan Macaulay’s From You For You is a Scripture-packed album that amazingly preaches many messages, including how to hear God’s voice (“Listening”), what true worship is (“From You For You”), God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (“Your Kindness”), and more. There’s even a Michael W. Smith cover (“Breathe In Me”) and a hymn (“Saving Grace”)! This lyrical diversity is what I enjoyed most of all about From You For You, but the great music and appearances from Michael W. Smith definitely add to it.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: April 3, 2012

Track listing:
1. From You For You
2. Be Our Love
3. Your Kindness
4. In Awe
5. Permanent
6. Listening
7. Breathe In Me
8. Win With Love
9. Amazing
10. Saving Grace (Come Thou Fount)
11. Live Like You’re Free

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