Prime Cuts: God Really Loves Us, Hallelujah for a Broken Heart, He Is
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
With his beard and his rugged "hypie" looks, it's easy to stereotype Crowder as one of those rock-edged worship artists who likes to revved-up his guitar for some loud stadium-rocking music. But looks can be deceiving and outward appearances can often domesticate the true talents of an artist. Sure, Crowder does indulge us with some smokin' rock tunes, but this album shows he is capable of so much more. From ruminative power ballads to 60s-esque rock n' roll to electronic rock to old-soul Gospel, Milk and Honey is Crowder's most diverse and best album to date. Comprising of 12 new songs, the album has been preceded by the #1 single "Good God Almighty," "He Is" and the title cut "Milk and Honey."
Lyrically, the songs show theological depth and pastoral sensitivity. These twin elements manifest themselves most transparently in "Hallelujah for a Broken Heart." Rather than blaming God for the trials of life or pray them away, Crowder deftly helps us to navigate through life's troubles towards God. Though many worship songs deal with the power of God over circumstances, how many actually deal with God's sovereignty over religious persecution? "Who's Gonna Stop the King" is indispensable because it's one of the very few worship songs that speak of how God cannot be stopped by the evils of human beings.
Too many worship songs are so fixated with the here and now that we forget Jesus' warning that this world will one day be passing away. Crowder rightly helps us to refocused on heaven and Christ's return in the title track "Milk and Honey." When Crowder brings us into God's presence, he makes our time with God extra precious. The power of Crowder's gruff vocals and the song's accent on the beauty of Jesus makes "He Is" super powerful. "The Anchor," which starts off with Crowder's vocals and a guitar, has an intimacy that is enthralling.
One of the soon-to-be-classic-worship-tune is the sublime "God Really Loves Us." Teaming up with Dante Bowe and Maverick City Music, "God Really Loves Us" begins softly before exploding into a dynamic full-Gospel-choir celebration. The pop-centric "In the House," with its infectious melody, could easily be a follow-up #1 hit for Crowder. If you are tired of the cliché ridden songs of worship music and you want songs with lyrical depths from an artist who sings from the heart, give Milk and Honey a listen.