Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Favorite Album Ever

Okay, I know this is totally not what I usually do, but this is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I have been wanting to give an album to some friends, one album, many friends. If I could just push it through the internet into every home and buy one for each of my friends I would TOTALLY do that. However, I do not have the financial capacity for such things.

So, I will write.

I've posted a few times before about the album "Campfire" by Rend Collective Experiment. (I think they recently shortened it to Rend Collective, good choice, cause a lot of times I just shorten it to Rend, the easier the better is what I always say).

Can I just take a moment and speak as a musician and someone who has sold some CD's that I made myself? It's hard. I mean, I made a lot of mistakes and maybe pressured people to buy my CD when I shouldn't have, but really, we take advantage of musicians way too much in our culture today. Just buy the album is what I'm trying to say. If you like their music, this is a way to tell them, "Hey, I like what you do, please, go be fruitful and multiply. Good job." I don't know, I've just taken to buying music lately and it's felt like a very honest thing. So, I will just put my two cents in there and say, why not try supporting the musicians?

Okay, onto my "review" of this album. I'm sure I've lost about 90% of you with that last paragraph.

This was supposedly recorded in front of a campfire, so there is always that sound and the sound of the ocean in the background. I love it. It's all on acoustic instruments and there are lots of voices singing on it. Every time I listen I feel like I'm right there, yelling and worshipping right along with these crazy campfire people.

1. It starts out with "Kumbaya" which, when I first heard it I was like "Really? Laaaaame." But the word kumbaya means: come. So they are inviting the Lord to come and meet with them. It's short and sweet. And it's grown on me.

2. The next song is "Come On My Soul" there's not much to it lyrically, but the banjos and mandolins and the people yelling out "Come on!" Oh how it lifts me up! Every time I'm like, "Yeah!" Just like David saying in Psalm 42 "Why are you so downcast O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for He will yet lift up your countenance." Several times I have had a hard morning with the kids and will get in the car to go somewhere and that song comes up after Kumbaya and I have just started weeping. The lyrics "Come on my soul, it's time to look up." "Sing my soul, it's time to look up."

 3. Oh man, "Dessert Soul" the thing that I LOVE about Rend is the fact that their lyrics are so honest and raw and have such a right view of man and God. Truly, all we are is dry bones without the power of God. Can I also say that I LOVE the accordion and banjo? What a good idea. Also, the fact that so many people are singing on it, the chorus of the voices. The lyrics "I'm lost without Your creative spark in me, recreate me." That has been my prayer lately. Honestly, I've felt like dry bones in the area of creativity, these songs are like a breath of fresh air in my heart.

4. "Build Your Kingdom" This one gets played on the radio a lot. I don't like the radio version much, but this one, this is the one. Again, it's probably the rawness and acoustic nature that attracts me to it. The lyrics are incredible. Each time I want to yell, "Yes!" I love dancing to this song (and every other one on the album)

**Crud, I don't even know how to put all this stuff into a blog! I'm not a music critic, who am I kidding? Help me Lord.

5. "Movements"One day I was struggling just to hear from the Lord. Again, I felt like dry bones and just like I was crawling in my life towards the Lord. This song talks about keeping making movements toward the Lord. Even through difficult waters, even if it's crawling, even if it's running fast and free. I remember weeping before the Lord that morning just that I would keep making movements to Him no matter what. I love the honesty of the lyrics, I can't do this on my own, I'm not good at this, even when I'm squirming and uncomfortable. I want to love You more, please help me.

6. "You Are My Vision" is what caused me to buy this album. I had heard it a few times on Pandora and was like "WHO IS THIS AMAZING BAND?!" I had an iTunes gift card I hadn't used and just decided to buy the whole album. It must have been the Holy Spirit telling me to do it, because this album got me through so many hard times. I mean, I feel like the Lord USED this album so many times to just pull me by my shirt collar out of depression. The thing that I like about their version of this song is that they take out the old "Thous and thees and arts" and put in modern language and for some strange reason the song came alive in my heart. I love the lyrics "I don't want riches or many's empty praise, You're my inheritance now and always"

7. "You Bled" Honestly, these next few songs took a while to grow on me. I was in love with the first six for a long time and just sort of listened to the other ones. Truly, these are just as good. I love the lyrics of this song "You left Your perfection and embraced our rejection" They don't cut corners or dumb things down with their lyrics. Christ's sacrifice should be celebrated in truth in this way.

8. "The Cost" Oh my gosh, this song. Whew. With the things that we have been going through as a family lately, it's been asking me, "Jody, have you counted up the cost? It means leaving everything you love behind and following no matter what." I just have to reiterate here how much I love the musicianship of this band. It's like the perfect blend of excellent music along with lyrics that will pry open your soul. What could be better?

9. "Alabaster" Lord, let me always be broken at Your feet. Let me always bow my life at Your feet. I don't even know what to say about this song, but it's just a picture of the woman who wept before Jesus and her brokenness.

10. "Second Chance" I love the banjo and violin intro on this one. The truth that the cross changes everything, it's a chance to begin again. I love the passion in the singer's voice in these songs. Rend Collective is Irish and I think it's just that passion inside of them that gives all of these songs so much heart.

11. Best version of "10,000 Reasons" I have ever heard. Sorry Matt Redman. I love the vocal intro to this song and the male/female trade offs on the lead. Something about hearing this song in a different setting gives it a fresh feel.

12. "Fireworks" I blogged about how this song pulled me out of anger and depression one day here I love the lyrics to this song, the fireworks in the background, it's just so happy. I think often praise and worship songs these days are so serious that we forget that it's supposed to be fun, it's supposed to be a time of celebration because He has given us a new heart and a new home.

13. "Campfire Story" At first I thought this was kind of a cheesy advertisement, but the more I listen to it, the more I see the truth of what they wanted to communicate in this album. It sums up the feel of the album and the heart behind it.

Thank you Rend Collective. Sorry this is not the best explanation of your amazing work, But I just had to post.

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