Christianity Today Reviews Psalms CD

Yesterday I learned that Andree Farias of Christianity Today Online reviewed our latest CD, Psalms. It’s the second Sovereign Grace CD he’s reviewed. Last month he also reviewed Looked Upon, a project that my sons Devon and Jordan were involved in. While I don’t always agree with everything in the CT reviews, I appreciate that they give specific reasons and examples for what they like and dislike about a project.

Along with providing exposure, reviews also tell us something about what we’re doing right and what we can do better. Andree summarized the CD in these words:

Sounds like melodic corporate worship that recalls Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, The Kry, and Vineyard UK.
At a glance these songs based on the Psalms are effective rewrites for personal or corporate use, even if they’re not always as penetrating as the source text.

In his review, Andree takes the time to explain that Sovereign Grace isn’t another “worship-centric music compendium,” but a “network of churches that seeks to plant and support daughter congregations through specialized training, publications, and resources.” Glad he points that out. For us, music is a means to an end of building God-honoring, gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered churches. Anything that happens beyond that is a bonus.

He goes on to say that I can be “critical of the current state of modern worship” (which I can be), but then adds that we’re trying to alleviate the problem by writing songs that are theologically driven. He doesn’t mention that we also try to highlight others who are writing thoughtful, biblical, creative congregational worship songs (like Stuart Townend, Matt Redman, Keith and Kristyn Getty, etc.), and that expounding and celebrating the gospel is a theme found in many of our songs. But a reviewer can’t cover everything.

Overall, Andree writes, the songs are “pleasant, devotional, and Biblically sound. Psalms may not be an album of new songs that will be remembered for centuries to come, but it still preserves and recasts the beloved texts so fundamental to our faith.” Pleasant. Not the adjective I was hoping for, but better than unpleasant. And if some of the songs are remembered for more than five years, I’ll be happy.

I’m always interested in what people think of the music we produce. A few years ago we worked on a mission statement for Sovereign Grace Music and came up with this:

Sovereign Grace Music exists to serve the local church as an extension of Sovereign Grace Ministries. Our mission is to encourage the worship of God in spirit and truth through:

  • developing a clear biblical theology of worship which will guide our understanding and practice of personal and corporate worship.
  • writing and producing songs characterized by sound doctrine, gospel-centeredness, passion, and multi-generational appeal. Our aim is to benefit from the rich heritage of the past while utilizing the best musical ideas and technology of the present.
  • educating and training local church musicians to fulfill their calling more effectively

Critics help us accomplish these goals. So my hat’s off to CT for giving us an opportunity to learn. And if you ever have any thoughts about our music, good or bad, please email me.

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6 Responses to Christianity Today Reviews Psalms CD

  1. Jared Duba December 3, 2008 at 9:51 PM #

    Hey Bob! I read this review a few days ago. I have to say I definitely disagree with this… “Psalms may not be an album of new songs that will be remembered for centuries to come” For me, I’m sure it will definitely be. Currently it has to be my favorite worship album put out by the younger generation (people closer to my age anyways.) Right now it seems Hillsong United is the popular worship band among the youth, but when I heard Psalms I thought it completely put them to shame. :) Keep doing what you’re doing and I CANNOT wait to hear the next release!

    In light of my love for the album, I still would love to see any musical worship footage you could put up from the last conference.

  2. HL McConnell December 4, 2008 at 10:39 AM #

    “Psalms” is a blessing and has blessed our church and me personally. I love what you guys are doing. It’s different from the norm and that’s helping me reach outside that box and dig deeper. Thank you!

  3. Daniel Kush December 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM #

    Bob,
    We, as a family, really like the Psalms CD. I have purchased a number of them and am passing them out to some of the people in our church to help increase the familiarity with the songs as we use them in corporate worship. Thanks for a great CD! BTW, my 3 year old now recognizes you each time my homepage loads…it is set to “worship matters”. He says, ” Dad, thats your hero? Bob Kauflin?” Thanks for your ministry. I hope to bring my entire family in 09 to the conference which I attended in 08 without them.

  4. Jim Spencer December 4, 2008 at 5:01 PM #

    Bob,

    I have introduced some of the songs from the Psalms project in our Worship in Music at FCC. I must say, along with the Getty’s hymns, they are some of the most precious additions to our song list!! You have conveyed the heart of the various Psalms in these songs in such a glorious and singable way that it really helps the words of the Psalmists to become the expression of the modern day worshiper. After teaching “Glorious and Mighty” to our congregation over the last couple of months, we recently added the choir arrangement to the corporate singing of that song on a Sunday morning and it was powerful beyond description. I had several people from the congregation share with me that they could not sing because they were in tears and could only listen and worship in silence. Someone else expressed that it was “a taste of heaven.” I have also introduced “Out of the Depths” and many in our congregation have shared how that song has been such a blessing to them in its expression of trusting and waiting on the Lord and in its declaration of His trustworthiness and mercy and grace and faithfulness. Beautiful, beautiful songs that will have a place in our corporate worship services for a very long time to come!!

  5. Bob Kauflin December 4, 2008 at 6:04 PM #

    All,

    Thanks for the kind words. And thanks for using our songs for the purpose they were intended – to draw people’s attention and hearts to the glories of God in Christ.

  6. Matthew Westerholm December 7, 2008 at 3:13 PM #

    I’d never read a review of a review before. Always something new at Worshipmatters!

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