New Compilation Tells the Greatest Story
- Thursday, September 29, 2011
Title: Music Inspired by The Story
Label: Sparrow Records
Compilation album tells the greatest story of all time in brilliant fashion . . .
In the vein of larger-than-life artist collaborations such as The Young Messiah venture of the ‘90s, today’s top artists rally around some of the most profound Bible stories through Music Inspired by The Story. The 18-song collection features a Who’s Who list of A-listers including Mark Hall and Megan Garrett (Casting Crowns), Bart Millard (MercyMe), Chris Tomlin, Brandon Heath, Francesca Battistelli, Mac Powell (Third Day), Jeremy Camp, Leigh Nash, Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay), Natalie Grant and Matthew West, among others.
Pastors/authors Max Lucado and Randy Frazee, who wrote the original book that inspired a line of products surrounding a retelling of our story in the framework of God’s larger story, tapped Nichole Nordeman and Bernie Herms to write lyrics and music for every track. The album is a beautiful way to welcome Nordeman back to the forefront.
Every song is told from the perspective of a particular biblical character. Artists were hand-picked by Nordeman and Herms to step into the shoes of some of history’s most beloved biblical heroes. Musically, the instrumentation is as diverse as the artists themselves. However, for the most part, each song matches the individual sound of each unique artist featured. Numerous tracks provide rare collaborations: Matthew West and Leigh Nash as Adam and Eve on the pulsating “Good;” Michael Tait, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew) and Lecrae on hip-hop selection, “Bring Us Home,” from Joshua’s perspective; and Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay) and Matt Hammitt (Sanctus Real) on the pristine pop entry from the perspective of the disciples, “Empty.”
Nordeman makes her only cameo alongside Amy Grant for “I’m with You,” a sweet ode to Ruth and Naomi. Closing song “The Great Day,” about the second coming, is a duet by Michael W. Smith and Darlene Zschech and an appropriate, anthemic closing to the sweeping story presented here.
Other stand-out tracks include “Your Heart,” performed by Chris Tomlin from the perspective of David—fitting considering Tomlin is himself a modern-day psalmist. “When Love Sees You” finds Mac Powell looking through the lens of Christ to tell the story of the way God sees his children; while the powerful “Alive,” performed by Natalie Grant, tells the story of Mary Magdalene. But perhaps the most poignant song comes in the form of “Be Born in Me,” Francesca Battistelli’s contribution. Her pure vocals are the sublime match for Nordeman’s perfect lyrics that give voice to the feelings of the teenage girl chosen to be the mother of Jesus: “I’ll hold you in the beginning/You will hold me in the end/Every moment in the middle, make my heart your Bethlehem/Be born in me.”
From front to back, this album is a theatrical masterpiece that feels more like a movie soundtrack than a compilation. The beauty lies in the lyrics backed by the dramatic orchestration. Welcome back, Ms. Nordeman. We’ve missed you.
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