- The effervescent trio of the band CAIN releases their six-song live worship EP, Honest Offering, a long-awaited and personal worship project.
The effervescent trio of the band CAIN release their six song live worship EP, Honest Offering. The Alabama born siblings are close as sardines, which reflects in their harmonies and musical chemistry. Their project includes songs written by artists such as Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, Mitch Wong and others.
CAIN is known for their energy and enthusiasm on-stage, and their magnetic joy off-stage. Recorded live at Ocean Way Studio, Honest Offering is a project they’ve wanted to do for a long time. Logan Cain says, “This feels different to me than anything we’ve done before. It’s so personal.” With the album and the upcoming tour, Madison Cain says, “We hope that this is a time that people can get lost in the songs and really connect with God.”
Where Honest Offering fits as a worship album is difficult to say. As a live artistic project offered as worship to the Father, or something to listen to in a personal worship time, it’s great. As a collection of worship songs offered to the Church for corporate worship, it doesn’t work as well, mostly due to its lack of accessibility.
There is no doubting the siblings of CAIN are talented musicians, with a musical touch that sets them apart. This is seen from the southern rock Praise Opens Prisons Doors to the CCM Friend in Jesus to the bluesy Blessed Assurance. That being said, the songs they offer are not easily accessible for the average corporate worship experience. Although most of the choruses are anthemic, the verses are more performative in melody and lyrical construction.
The opening track, Praise Opens Prison Doors, starts the project out with energetic southern rock. The song refers to Paul and Silas’ imprisonment in Philippi (Acts 16). In the chorus, CAIN makes the strong declaration, “Praise opens prison doors.” There is no question God can free us from bondage and the challenges we face in life, but this is not the crux of the Act’s story. I think there are better biblical stories that would support the theme of deliverance.
It’s followed by the title track, Honest Offering, using excerpts from the hymn I Surrender All. This provides a solid foundation for the track. Friend In Jesus is a testimonial song based on Jesus declaring his phileo love (friendship) for his disciples in John 15. This phileo love extends to all who accept Christ’s grace and deep love, not just as a savior, but as a friend.
Their rendition of the hymn Blessed Assurance is one of the best arrangements I have heard in a long time. It starts with a stripped-down drum and piano with a heavy 6/8 groove. As it enters the chorus, a staccato guitar and deep bass add to the groove with CAIN infusing their sarsaparilla vocals to testify. As the song progresses, the live studio band uncorks their roadhouse chops and sits in the deep groove with ease.
CAIN is a talented and energetic band with soulful harmonies that are a delight to listen to. Is Honest Offerings a corporate worship project? No, it lacks the accessibility and musical structure to go that route. Is it a passionate project of worship to the father? Yes, without a doubt. And because of that, it can have a great impact in a personal worship time.
The song Blessed Assurance is a real gem.
Needs more accessibility to be used for corporate worship.
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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.