Believe it or not, writing a "hit" song that resonates with a wide range of the listening public brings its own sort of unique struggle. For years, Rich Mullins bristled at being the guy who wrote "Awesome God," and Jars Of Clay have mentioned a few times in interviews how tired of playing "Flood" they have been. Other artists seem to embrace their hits. Michael W. Smith often says he's "never tired" of playing "Friends" and Mercy Me has made "I Can Only Imagine" the centerpiece of their concerts for more than twenty years.
Pat Barrett's "Good Good Father" (which he co-wrote with friend Toney Brown) is trending in the direction of those above-mentioned songs with its campfire melody and universal theme of the fatherhood of God, and it will be the song that his new songs will be measured against. But Barrett is more than a "one song" artist ["Build My Life" and "The Way (New Horizon)" are also excellent corporate worship...
There are very few things you can count on in this life, but the changing of seasons is one of them. You can also safely bet that Jon Foreman is somewhere with an acoustic guitar in hand, writing another set of stellar songs. Whether it be his main gig Switchfoot, a side project like Fiction Family, or solo projects, the man seems to have no shortage of inspiration for innumerable tunes. Here on his newest solo offering, titled Departures, Foreman delivers twelve of his most explicitly Christ-centered songs of recent memory. While he's nearly always offered hope in the face of pain and called for love in a more implicit approach, Departures finds him name-checking Jesus directly. He sounds worn but not devoid of faith--no, not by a long shot...
It's been a long eight years since Love and Death released their debut album, Between Here and Lost. While that album was quite impressive to me upon release, the luster wore off just a little bit over the years. The band's lineup has changed since then, with only Brian "Head" Welch himself and guitarist J.R. Bareis (now also playing in Spoken) returning. Head recruited acclaimed producer and Breaking Benjamin (and former RED) guitarist Jasen Rauch to play bass and Phinehas drummer Isaiah Perez -- making Love and Death a bit of super group at this point. On top of these changes, they also brought in Lacey Sturm (of Flyleaf fame), Breaking Benjamin's Keith Wallen, and Righteous Vendetta's Ryan Hayes for guest spots. These influences have certainly affected the band's overall sound, and the addition of Bareis on vocals alongside Head was a smart choice...
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