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Reviews

by Peter Fleck

 

Addition Lift My Eyes

 

Don’t let the cover fool you. This isn’t some precocious pre-teen trying to break into the music industry.

What you see is a throw-back picture of Andrew Marcus on a throw-back, seven-song EP paying homage to 1990’s hip hop.

It even comes with a “listener advisory” for the “explicitly gospel” lyrical content.

Putting out a rap album under the Addition moniker may seem like a strange follow up for Marcus after his major-label debut, Constant, won him two GMA Canada Covenant Awards in 2017.

But the pastor of worship at Coquitlam Alliance Church in British Columbia is full of surprises and extremely innovative. Besides, this is a rap CD steeped in the worship vibe.

It’s hard not to be immersed in a spirit of worship while listening to the title track based on the artist’s favourite Scripture, Psalm 121.

“My prayer is that these songs help listeners memorize Scripture and stand on the promises of God,” Marcus writes on his website.

The CD starts with, “This is Addition, a new addition to the game, only wanting to bring fame to one Name, so hear me out and listen – I’m on a mission.”

Written and produced by Marcus, this is rap immersed in melodic musical beds with accompanying vocalists and singable choruses.

Call me old school, but this is one project that’s going to get plenty of spins in my CD player.

 

Various Artists
My Utmost For His Highest

 

In 1995 and 1996, two best-selling compilation CDs were released based on the classic devotional by Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest.

More than two decades later, Word Entertainment determined it’s time to revisit this great literary work in song.

Back then, we heard from the likes of Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, 4 Him, Twila Paris, Clay Crosse, Steven Curtis Chapman, Sandi Patty and Anointed.

Now it’s For King & Country, Lauren Daigle, We Are Messengers, Big Daddy Weave, Francesca Battistelli, Chris August, Zealand Worship, Unspoken and many more.

Not one of the original artists is featured on the new 13-song project.

Kicking off the 2017 disc is the most-frequently-recorded hymn of all time, “Amazing Grace”. For King & Country’s Smallbone brothers are joined by their sister, Rebecca St. James, in a spirited rendition of the song. While augmented by repeating key phrases for a chorus, it remains faithful to the original John Newton composition.

Most selections were specifically penned for the disc in 2017. Each song is paired to a specific date in the devotional and is illustrated in the CD booklet by the key scriptural passage.

There’s no doubt that putting key biblical principles to music is an effective way to instill truth in our minds and hearts. That’s the beauty of recordings like this. The bonus is that it also exposes us to a bevy of current Christian artists.

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