After hundreds of hours of preparation, our newest album, From Age to Age, is finally available. It’s a collection of 14 songs (15 if you count the instrumental prelude), that were inspired by or drawn from the great hymn writers of the past.
Here’s how we described the album in the liner notes:
How does one define a hymn?
It’s hard to say, but most hymns are characterized by theologically rich lyrics, symmetrical rhythmic patterns in the verse lyrics, and a tune that congregations find easy to sing. At the heart of hymn-writing is a desire to create a song that will endure for generations.
Inspired by the hymn writers of the past, we’ve written 14 new hymns for this album. Some songs are old hymn lyrics set to new tunes. For others, we used the thematic structure of a hymn as the basis for an entirely new song.
And in some cases we’ve written completely new hymns that attempt to communicate the inexhaustible riches of God’s word and the Gospel through the simple elements of words and melodies.
Above each lyric, different songwriters have shared thoughts on the background or meaning of the song. We hope you enjoy their stories. More importantly, we hope these songs open your heart and mind to the song that never changes from age to age: the song of the redeemed to their matchless Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Since the early 90s, this makes our 36th album. We produced around 16 Song Service tapes and a few albums before that, but who’s counting? Here’s what excites me about our newest release.
1. While our albums are never short on lyrics, I think this may be one of our richest projects yet, theologically speaking. Just a few songs are of the “2 verse and a chorus” format, and eleven of them have 3 or more verses. We don’t think long songs are better. We just believe the glories of God’s word, works, and worthiness stretch the boundaries of our ability to express them. A thousand tongues will never be enough.
2. We produced the album in-house. I’m grateful for my good friend Sal Oliveri from Nashville, who produced seven of our more recent albums and helped us grow in our sound and direction, musically speaking. But last year Steve Cook came on staff again at Sovereign Grace, and under his leadership we’ve produced albums that are more representative of what our musicians are doing, starting with The Gathering: Live from WorshipGod11, and now including From Age to Age.
3. I’m grateful to God for three guys from Enfield – David Zimmer, Ryan Foglesong, and Wil Pearce – who along with Joel Sczebel, came up with most of the arrangement ideas on the album. People who have heard From Age to Age have mentioned it sounds different from previous Sovereign Grace albums. There are more ambient guitar beds, creative elements, and indie-sounding tracks. Joel Sczebel said even his friends like it. Can there be higher praise?
4. Along with some great vocalists featured on previous Sovereign Grace recordings – Meghan Baird, Erin Hill, Dale Bischof, and Devon Kauflin – we added the vocal talents of Sojourn Music’s Brooks Ritter on three tracks. Brooks flew in for about 3 and a half hours and blessed us not only with his gifts, but his joyful, humble attitude.. His vocal chops instantly add more soul to any project.
5. The album includes 4 songs written by guys who have served as interns with Ken Boer and me: Joel Sczebel, Zach Sprowls, Eric McAllister, and Matt Richley. It’s a joy to see guys we’ve worked with bearing fruit. I also co-wrote a song with my admin/daughter, Brittany, called Immovable Our Hope Remains. That was sweet.
6. Back in 2008 we produced Come Weary Saints, designed to remind us of our hope in Christ even in the midst of trials. From Age to Age has the same effect. As I’ve listened to the songs (and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done that), my heart has been directed to themes like God’s sovereignty, his goodness, sufficiency, and power, the glory of the gospel, the return of Christ, God’s unchanging character, and his never-failing love.
Well, enough about my thoughts on the album. Take a listen yourself and let me know what you think.
You can sample the songs on the cool new Sovereign Grace website, and sample/download the album from iTunes ($9.99), Amazon ($7.99), or Bandcamp ($9.00). We’ll be adding the physical CD from our store shortly.
And yes, free charts, lead sheets, and piano scores are coming soon. Thanks for your patience…