Music Review | “inhale (exhale)” By MercyMe
MercyMe is one of a handful of bands in worship/Christian music that truly needs no introduction. The group behind the legendary song “I Can Only Imagine,” the band’s name has come to be synonymous with consistently high-quality records that offer both catchy pop tracks of inspiration and emotional faith-filled anthems.
Following a twenty-year span of successful albums, each carrying songs that have become lifelines of hope for listeners, MercyMe’s latest release inhale (exhale) has been in the works for two years. Created during the chaos of the pandemic, the record is a reminder that even when things feel out of control, we are invited to trust God and simply breathe.
Showcasing the upbeat side of their creativity that is sure to have listeners grooving along, “Blessed,” “Hurry Up And Wait,” “Uh Oh (Here I Go)” and “Whiplash” perfectly display the combination of being both melodically fun and lyrically deep. A true dance tune, “Brand New” pairs Bart Millard’s smooth vocals with that of the iconic Gloria Gaynor for a movement-encouraging moment.
Lead singles “On Our Way,” featuring Millard’s son Sam Wesley, and “Almost Home” prove to be highlights on the album, alongside current single “Say I Won’t,” a powerful anthem written from the inspiring real-life story of their friend Gary.
“The Moment” is a beautiful autobiographical telling of a coming to Christ, while “Then Christ Came” and “So Yesterday” follow with declarations of that new life in Christ. “Bright Side of Broken” offers a vulnerable moment of honesty, contrasted by “Let Yourself Be Loved” that calls for a receiving of grace and energetic “A Little Love” that features Gary Levox of Rascal Flatts.
While none of the songs on inhale (exhale) necessarily fit the category of congregational worship, the content of the whole album directs listeners to a place of worship as they are reminded of a God who has offered overwhelming grace, new life and abundant joy.