I know I know, I said this back in 2015, and I quote- ‘welcome to our new post of the week.’ Well here I am a year and a half or so later to say- we’ve only done one such post. And I know, we as a site should’ve probably been more active in posting these ‘mini-reviews’ of sorts, highlighting songs that came throughout the year that we’d think would’ve made an impact in the hearts of many around the world. So without further ado, here’s the second post of this series. And the series is this- while we’ve previously reviewed albums to this point, I want to branch out and review songs. Songs that have either just released or will release pretty soon, songs that in my opinion, will become big in the upcoming months ahead. The previous 5 tracks I highlighted in the last post were pretty much spot on- “Be One” from Natalie Grant is still in circulation today, and Sanctus Real’s “Longer Than a Lifetime” is still getting airplay even now, more than a year after Matt Hammitt departed the band. So what are these next 5 songs, that I reckon will become hits in weeks and even months to come? Read on to find out! Which songs will you pick up when they become available on iTunes?
Even If (MercyMe) (from Lifer releasing March 31st)- What can I say about this song? Yes, I do have the pre-release of MercyMe’s Lifer releasing March 31st, and while I can’t really say much about it (let’s just say that the 3 year wait between albums is very much worth it for die-hard MercyMe fans, like myself), let me just say this- “Even If”, with the exception of songs like “Flawless”, “God With Us” and “All of Creation”, has some of the most emotive, poignant, heartfelt and encouraging lyrics I’ve heard by any CCM artist ever. Check out the chorus- I know You’re able and I know You can save through the fire with Your mighty hand, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone, I know the sorrow, I know the hurt, would all go away if You’d just say the word, but even if You don’t, my hope is You alone. Pretty amazing right? These lyrics alone, even without the music to accompany it, should get anyone pumped with anticipation of their new album Lifer. And “Even If” will be quite possibly the song that encourages a lot of people, myself included in the upcoming months ahead. A song of the next few months? Most definitely! What do you all reckon?
Tears (Matt Hammitt) (new song from Matt that released in January 2017, from a TBA album releasing June/July)- Yes, I know I have reviewed this song, and you can read the review here, but let me just reiterate one more time. “Tears” is a prayerful melody, and one that reminds us all what it means to be human and indeed, cry tears for a situation, a person, or just feeling emotions during difficult and uncertain times. The song reminds us all to feel, to cry either happy tears or even sad ones- because to cry means to feel something in a circumstance, and it doesn’t matter if we cry because we’re sad, it just means that we’re human. “Tears” shares to us all through the piano and Matt’s earnest voice, that it is ok to shed our tears, to feel. But with feeling comes the scary part- the reconciling of things, situations, circumstances and everything else that we have buried deep inside that we haven’t dealt with- that all comes to the surface when we’ve been told to let go and cry like we’re supposed to. This is a song that will make whomever listens confront their demons…and that’s ok. And if this song is any indication of what Matt’s solo album will be like in the future (say June/July), then we Sanctus Real fans are in for a real treat!
Run the Race (Holly Starr) (released today, February 10th, album TBA)- This is a song that I’ve heard on the radio recently. Only releasing today, Holly’s new song is quite possibly the most pop song I’ve heard her record. An anthem that reminds us all to run the race of life to completion with Christ beside us cheering us on, Holly’s first new song since her 2015 EP Everything I Need is a different musical vein she has travelled upon, and while much of her die-hard fans could be indifferent about her shift from piano/reflective ballads (shown through much of Tapestry and Embraced) to more of a pop focus, Holly’s motivations and message has always stayed the same, and as Holly speaks herself about the song- Life was messy and difficult, and there were moments I didn’t think I could make it through. But God was asking me to endure, to press on amidst the pain. Through those moments I learned that no matter how difficult a situation might feel, we were made to persevere, “to run the race with endurance that was set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1) ‘Run the Race’ is a welcomed addition to anyone’s music library, especially those who have enjoyed Holly’s music previously!
This We Know (Passion- Kristian Stanfill) (from Passion: Worthy of Your Name, releasing February 17th)- While I have officially reviewed this song as part of my Passion Singles 2017 review with Sean Curran’s ‘Worthy of Your Name’, it can’t hurt to say my thoughts about this song again. This song has been in circulation ever since Jason Ingram recorded it on Vertical Church Band’s Frontiers in July 2016. So what makes this song special? Apart from its very easy melody that would make this a prime candidate for Sunday worship service song options, “This We Know” is a song that has encouraged me of late, reminding myself of all that I know of God to be true, that ‘…this we know, we will see the enemy run, this we know, we will see the victory come, we hold on to every promise You ever made, Jesus, You are unfailing…’. Realisation collides with revelation, and declarations are spoken out through song, as “This We Know” is an anthem, one that we sing and will continue to do so as we realise how much of who God says He is, is true- all of it! “This We Know” tells us a story of assurance, us truly knowing that Christ has won and the devil has lost in this tale of redemption and us being connected back to the Father. With Kristian delivering plenty of hits throughout his tenure as one of the lead vocalists of Passion Worship Band, songs like “Even So Come”, “The Lord Our God”, “Never Gonna Let Me Go”, “One Thing Remains”, “My Heart is Yours” and “Simple Pursuit”, will “This We Know” add to the list? Have a listen, and let us all know in the comments.
All That Matters (Colton Dixon) (from Identity releasing March 24th)- You can’t have 5 songs that are going to impact us all in the next few months and not include “All That Matters”, the latest radio single from Colton Dixon (from his new album Identity dropping March 24th), American Idol alum and quite possibly one of the greatest finds, aside from Mandisa, to move from American Idol to Christian music with much success, both critically and commercially. Colton, though only in his mid-twenties, writes and sings way beyond his years, and this is true of his new single as well. With the song based off, of Colossians 3:11, Colton delivers what I reckon to be one of his most vulnerable songs I’ve heard since “You Are” way back in 2013. What do you all think? The lyric video is below!
Which songs out of the 5 have you enjoyed thus far? Which songs/albums are you excited for in the upcoming weeks and months ahead? Let us know in the comments. Til next time.