Prime Cuts: The Lord Almighty Reigns, Take Shelter, If It Had Not Been for the Lord
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
Modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty return with their first album of entirely new songs in almost 6 years. Though the couple have had been constantly releasing their live and children's hymn records, their last full-length set of all original new tracks, dates back to 2016's "Facing a Task Unfinished." After the wait, "Christ Our Hope in Life and Death" does not disappoint. If you like their patented style of songs with hymnic structures and words that are less "me-centric," there's much to like here. Despite the vocal contributions of Michael W. Smith, Rend Collective, Skye Peterson, Matt Boswell and Matt Papa, this is still essentially a bona fide Getty record.
Already making its way into the repertoires of church worship sets is the delightful "The Lord Almighty Reigns." Calling to mind some of their stellar ballads, such as "The Lord is My Salvation" and "In Christ Alone," "The Lord Almighty Reigns" is a declaration of God's sovereignty set within a gorgeous tune. Partnering with folkish independent artist Skye Peterson, "Take Shelter" is another heartfelt gem. Songs like these are particularly helpful when we struggle to find the words to express our desperations before God.
Songwriters ought to pay attention to songs such as "If It Had Been for the Lord" and "Christ the True and Better." Instead of crafting songs inspired by the latest Lady Gaga love song, these songs are packed with powerful biblical images. Take "Christ the True and Better" as an example. Not only does the song encapsulates the message of the book of Hebrews, but each of the verses also gives expression to how Christ is better than Adam, Abraham, Moses and so forth. In this day and age when many are grasping for songs about self-worth, "Beautiful and Greatly Loved" rightly grounds our worth in the fact that Jesus loves us.
Though this song brims with lots of future classics, not everything is perfect. "Rejoice," which finds Gettys teaming up with fellow-Irish band Rend Collective, sounds more like a mandatory Celtic-styled romper. Likewise, the title cut "Christ Our Hope in Life and Death" is predictable with Michael W. Smith adding nothing special to the song. Nevertheless, this is a album to cherish; it's one that is to be treasured not only for the great tunes, but also for their theological depths.
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