Big Daddy Weave’s Well-Titled Love Shines

Ed Cardinal

Artist: Big Daddy Weave
Title: Love Come to Life
Label: Fervent Records

Dove Award-winning group Big Daddy Weave hasn’t quite matched the sales success of similar sounding acts like MercyMe, but there’s no less quality of songwriting and musical performance on the stirring Love Come to Life, the quintet’s sixth proper studio album. Thematically, the set shines by emphasizing our need to love and worship God even if we feel unworthy of his love.

Struggling with his own imperfections during the album’s planning stage, lead singer Mike Weaver recalls, “I felt like God said to my spirit . . . ‘I accept you right now. You need to accept you right now.’ At that point, I couldn’t write from that hurting place anymore. I thought, ‘I’ve got to worship now.’”

Indeed, Love Come to Life plays out like a modern worship record on many tracks. The opener “Jesus Move,” co-written with Phil Wickham, calls for the Spirit of God to "rise among us now" as dynamic keyboard player Joe Shirk lifts the song to and beyond Passion-ate heights. Likewise, “Magnificent God” has the intimate yet epic feel of any rock-driven Hillsong favorite, something the church can embrace.

Big Daddy Weave’s production (led by guitarist Jeremy Redman) is always fresh even when some of the lyrical threads do feel recycled. The band saves another "hands and feet" reference from sounding cliché on the No. 1 title cut, and the genuinely yearning “Stay” would get an A+ if not for one more use of the over-borrowed phrase "break my heart for what breaks Yours."

Another one of the group’s charms is an ability to straddle a few styles without ever really suggesting a split musical personality. Country-flavored rocker “Different Light” feels like a happy Tom Petty piece and puts hard times and spiritual lessons learned in their proper perspective ("There’s no after without before"). The saxophone and dulcimer-fueled “Give My Life Away” mixes classic E Street Band influences of the 1970s with a Big ‘80s radio vibe.

Odds are good that “If You Died Tonight” will gain significant traction among longtime Big Daddy Weave fans and over the Christian airwaves. An emotionally tugging, acoustic pop tune with mandolin that lays your very life on the line followed by the gospel message, it’s perfect for youth retreats or to inform a one-on-one conversation with a friend.

Well titled, Love Come to Life is packed with reasons to seize the day and praise God for it.