Dave plays catch up on Beats of the Week

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 11:25 PM

Before I get three weeks behind I thought I'd better bring you up to date on what's been going on in my stereo!

So let's step back in time two weeks to relive the sights and sounds of the Fair. The air was crisp, the food was deep fried, the volunteers exuded extreme dedication (you have to do that on the XR shift), and I had the new Lecrae CD, "Rebel" going non-stop in my car.

I'm just going to lay it on the line. This is the top Hip Hop/Rap CD of 2008. Lecrae don't play! Nothing cute. No false bravado. Just pure, hardcore Truth (note the capital "T"). Highlights? Try every song. But if I'm forced to choose I'll go with "Breathin' To Death" and its thoughts on real life found in Christ vs. merely existing and getting by. "Truth" (note the capital "T" - probably because it's also the title of the song ;)) takes jabs at almost every theory of relativity that an unbelieving world uses to disprove the existence of God and eventually delivers the knockout punch. "Indwelling Sin" is the most creative and compelling expression of the battle between the new nature of a Christian and the ugly old nature of sin that I've ever heard. Guess who wins?

For more info on Lecrae, go to www.reachrecords.com or www.myspace.com/lecrae.

And now take another leap in time to last week. While you're there be sure not to touch anything since doing so could alter what has already happened. That's how time travel works, you know? Okay, enough Sci-Fi.

My "Beat" last week was the latest from the golden throated worshiper himself, Chris Tomlin. If you read my previous entry on Charlie Hall's "The Bright Sadness" this one might come as a bit of a surprise to you. In that blog I mentioned that one of the things that draws me to Hall's brand of worship is that he comes to the table with the full range of human emotions. Given that Tomlin's music is almost entirely vertical in nature and focuses on praising God the Father strictly for who He is, I can see where you might be confused as to how these two co-exist in my musical library. It comes down to this. I'm complex. There are times when I need to pour myself out to God (Hall) and also times when I just need to hear the name of Jesus exalted(Tomlin).

After the fabulous work of art known as "Arriving," which basically set the standard for the genre known as "worship music," I have to confess that "See The Morning" left me feeling a bit indifferent. It wasn't necessarily the lyrics but the music. Musically speaking it just seemed like more of the same. Sure there were bright spots (who could dislike his version of "Amazing Grace?). But after a couple of listens I put it away.

Well, "Hello Love!" Tomlin's new effort bristles with urgency and pathos. From the opening track "Sing, Sing, Sing" to his take on the classic hymn, "All The Way My Savior Leads Me" at the end, Tomlin has crafted an album solely dedicated to glorifying his Creator. If you're the type to shy away from worship anthems because of the perception that they are an inferior kind of music, let it be known that these are also great pop songs. Try not to tap your foot to "You Lifted Me Out," sing at the top of your lungs to "God Of This City" or joyfully weep over "I Will Rise" when Tomlin sings "Jesus has overcome/And the grave is overwhelmed" and "I will rise when He calls my name/No more sorrow, no more pain/I will rise on eagles' wings/Before my God, fall on my knees/And rise." Nearly impossible.

After listening to "Hello Love" you'll know nothing more about Chris Tomlin than when you started. And that's just the way he would have it.

For more info go to www.christomlin.com or www.myspace.com/christomlin.

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