Prime Cuts: Yet Not I, But Through Christ in Me, The Sound of Love, He Will Hold Me Fast
Overall Grade: 3.5/5
After 8 No. 1 singles, 8 GMA Dove Awards, and 1 Gold-certified album, Selah has decided to part ways with Curb Records. Now signed to Integrity Music, the trio is back with their debut release for the imprint. "Firm Foundation" is indeed a fine record with lots of merits. However, one thing the album lacks is signature tunes. After a portfolio's worth of career defining songs such as "Wonderful, Merciful Savior," "You Amaze Us" and "You Raise Me Up," one is sad to say that there aren't such entries on this new release. This is not to say that this is a ropey effort; rather, there are just no stand-out songs.
With Integrity Music being a label that seeks to service the church with songs for cooperate worship, Selah has pandered to their label's ethos with the album's first three songs. "Let the Saints Sing," a song co-written by the trio, tries desperately to create a rousing crescendo but fails due to its less than stellar hook. Lead single "Jesus is King" is uncharacteristically a run of the mill worship song with nothing much more to add beyond it's titular. Thus, it's a strange for Integrity Music to select this cut to re-launch this new phase of Selah's career. The title track "Firm Foundation" is a far better choice; in a culture where truth is relegated into relativity, this song is an anthem that needs to be sung across churches to counter what the world believes.
The better songs reside in the mid-section of the album. Despite its clumsy title, the hymn-like "Yet Not I, But Through Christ in Me" has an infectious melody accompanying lyrics that gloriously expound on the grace of God. The pop-centric "The Sound of Love" is to be applauded for its lyrical artistry in tracing how God constantly beckons us to himself. "My Soul Be Satisfied" and "He Will Hold Me Fast" ought to appeal to the lovers of Selah's ballads. Both entries are gorgeous with the latter having a Getty-like tenure that makes it a good candidate for congregational worship.
"Always Gonna Be" finds Selah returning back to their country roots. But the song, set at a chord that is far too low, sounds constrained. "Benediction (As You Go)" sounds promising with its opening bars but it quickly loses its melodic structure. "Firm Foundation" does has its fine moments; but on the whole, the album lacks solid tunes. Maybe, the trio should have spent more time filtering out the fillers and start stocking up on those memorable evergreens they are capable of recording.