MercyMe has found a formula that works. With their first album, Almost There, their formula garnered them three Doves awards, including song of the year and songwriter of the year. But, by far, their biggest accomplishment was the ironic and amazing success of their Song of the Year "I Can Only Imagine." Who would have thought that a song so blatantly Christian (Even addressing "Jesus" by name) would become the secular success it has?
MercyMe's much anticipated second release Spoken For followed this formula to a tee, garnering them five Dove nominations at this year's award show. Both of their first two albums can also be found on Billboard's Top 200.
So, when you have a formula that works for you so well, what exactly do you do? Do you stay on course, but try and mature in different areas that need it? Or do you stay in your creative bubble, sticking to what has obviously worked for you in the past. On Undone, they, unfortunately, lean toward the latter.
Frankly, this is the same stuff they were doing three years and two albums ago. But, as stated, it's a winning formula. So this is both a blessing and a curse. If you're a diehard MercyMe fan, this disc will be music to your ears. But for those of us who long for change (Not drastic ones, mind you. But small, significant ones.), Undone seems redundant. It's still good, but it's beginning to become stale.
There's no denying the talent and the love for God that is present in the music and lyrics, as always, on MercyMe's latest outing. But they need to start thinking a little out of the box. Even the band responsible for one of the most popular CCM songs of all time can use some improvement here and there. Fans of MercyMe will not be disappointed, but there's no denying that Undone has, indeed, been done before.- Review date: 04/18/04, written by Josh Taylor
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