sixstepsrecords/ Sparrow Records
Tis the season to be deluged by a slew of releases, and in this Best of the Best season, it is fitting that one of the most notable is from Matt Redman, undoubtedly a leader of leaders in the modern worship movement. Recorded at the LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective gathering in May of 2013, it is bursting with the kind of energy, excitement, and “lift” that can only be captured in a live setting. And in keeping with the trend towards the Mumfordization of worship, Your Grace Finds Me (both the CD and the title track/radio single) has its share of banjos and acoustic accompaniment and both intimate and massive guitars, drums, and percussion. The lyrics are distinct and distinctly attached to their respective notes, rather than the oft-hard-to-follow meandering and fuzzy convergence of words and music. Gospel and Christ-centered songs are suitable for the stadium and equally adaptable in almost every instance to the local church of 500 or 50 and small or large home groups—not to mention the unrestrained joy on several tracks makes the project ideal driving music. “Sing and Shout” is definitely the song to wake up your congregation on Sunday morning, celebrating the Cross and God’s grace. In the same vein, “This Beating Heart” is a shoe-in for youth movements like Passion and Onething, or the youth at your local church. Another song tuned to youth but crossing generations is the anecdote for idolatry, “One Name Alone,” replete with “la, la, las” to get everyone onboard. And “Hearts Open” continues the theme of lifting God’s name high.
There are no new spins on an old subject, no unexpected metaphor, no intricate rhyme schemes, or gasp-inducing take on the gospel, rather it is the tried and true, simply said, yet with poetic depth, melodic clarity and ascendant power. These are songs fashioned for congregational use. “I need You Now” is reminiscent of a classic Vineyard worship cry for healing, and as such is beautiful, emotional, and instantly memorable, as is the lovely “Benediction,” the Aaronic blessing from Numbers 6:22-27—with a Trinitarian meld—the perfect ending to any service. The songs reel you in and keep you singing; they are filled with hope and joy and proclaim a God who is gracious, merciful, loving and just. Truly, every song on Your Grace Finds Me is tailored for some part of the service of worship.
More: This is an instance where no surprises are a good thing. The consistent message of God’s mercy and grace told in Redman’s direct, joyous, uplifting and Scripturally-tethered style is once again a gift to the Church.
Less: A little isomorphism is setting in as the same writers and musicians work together, and on a couple of songs, Redman seemed to morph into Chris Tomlin. Also, on “Jesus, Only Jesus,” previously recorded on 2013’s Passion release, where Redman sings at the end, “I worship Jesus, only Jesus,” it creates a tiny bit of confusion since there is a Jesus Only Movement that tosses out the Trinity. In fact, we worship the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.