Christian Album Review: People Like Us by Micah Tyler
- Micah Tyler's new EP 'People Like Us' is personal and project he hopes it is a project to help people hurt by the divisions in this world.
Micah Tyler took the hard road on his musical journey. Now, following his 2020 album New Today, the EP People Like Us. Micah says, “This project is super special to me, and it is my hope that these songs can help us.” He has a desire for the people of God to put aside the division the world tries to place on us, and the separations we place on ourselves.
Music and Production
The EP as a whole has a country-pop flavor, paralleling Micah’s Texan vocal styling. The themes and melodies, sprinkled with snippets of scripture, are well thought out and constructed. Each track has an accompaniment with a standard studio backing. The production is solid, as expected from a Fairtrade Services product, but with no real standout musical elements.
I See Grace was first released as a single. It’s focused on the resurrection and the empty grave. A highlight is its inclusion of the refrain, “Grace, grace, God’s grace,” from the hymn Grace Greater Than All Our Sin (by Johnston and Towner, 1911).
The track Praise the Lord brings an Urban Cowboy flavor to the EP in the verse, then the chorus moves into a more CCM sound. Punctuating the end of the song is the lyric, “When the devil tries to come get me, gonna praise the Lord.”
Nothing Too Broken deals with the brokenness and spiritual insecurity so many of us feel. It starts with a guitar arpeggio overhand persuasion that allows the lyrics to shine through. It’s sung from Jesus’ point of view as a song of hope in the promises of God. The theme is best represented by the lyric, “There’s nothing too broken for me,” and, “There’s nothing my love won’t heal and my heart won’t redeem.”
This song challenges the western culture that revolves around us ‘earning our way’ (although some might say it’s turning more into a culture of ‘deserving my way’, but that’s a different article). This can often seep into our understanding of grace where we think we are too broken for God to love, or haven’t done enough to earn His love. So this theme that there is nothing we can do to keep God’s grace at bay, and there is nothing we can do to keep God from loving us, bears repeating.
The title song God Loves People Like Us gets a mixed review. The song, also released as a single that reached No. 1 on the charts, has a great sound. Micah brings in the lyric, “We are precious in his sight,” from the children’s song, and Isaiah 43. This snippet gives it a warm familiarity. The issue comes with the chorus lyric, “God loves people like us.” The verses describe “us” as those who have accepted the grace of God and follow him, clearly meaning Christians; this is very true. The logical antithesis to that lyric, God doesn’t love people unlike us (non-Christians), is not true (John 3:16-17). I’m sure this is not Micah’s intention. I’m also sure to get pushback on my critique, but I strongly believe the vast expanse of God’s love for all of us, believers and non-believers, is paramount to understanding God’s gift of grace. So, I think here the lyric construction is a little clumsy on this significant theological point.
There is also a lyric issue later in the song with the line, “Here’s the good in the ‘Good News’, He’s never left our side.” It’s true God never leaves us or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:8), but the “Good News” (euaggelion in the Greek) specifically refers to God’s forgiveness of sins and salvation through Christ. Although the lyric serves the theme of the song, it does not represent the crux of the Good News as it claims.
Micah’s EP is well done and offers a variety and encouragement for people in this world. It is consistent musically and in its production. The themes work well between songs and overall, it’s a great album.
Grand country pop sound with a little urban cowboy thrown in.
Be careful with lyrical accuracy.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.