Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Casting Crowns Thrive Provident 2014

A positive and well packaged alternative to the muck and mire that is pop music today.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Someone once asked me if I ever reviewed any Christian music and I replied, "No, not really my thing." The fact is religious music outsells jazz so I started to see what was out there and stumbled upon this gem. Somewhere between spirituality and full blown "religion" we have Casting Crowns, arguably the hottest Christian act of the last decade. I have far more issues with musicians that can't seem to post anything on social media without reminding you they go to church on Sunday, real Christians don't need to advertise.
 
Harmonically driven and lyrically focused finds Thrive as a release that could pass critical analysis when compared to some of their more contemporary counterparts such as the latest from Switchfoot, an abomination of epic proportions. As an independent critic that holds a conservative political base, I have been demonized and discriminated against more times than I have space to list here. It is a sad state of affairs when one is asked to conceal their moral compass at the risk of irritating someone that has none. Freedom of speech is dead and political correctness killed it. Back to the release, the ebb and flow is a melodic patchwork of positive reaffirmation where the listener can choose just how spiritual or religious to take each tune.
 
While I still don't feel the Christian rock arena is my bag, Casting Crowns can stand on their own as one of the most well rounded ensembles of any genre. In a world with Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber, Casting Crowns can give us a little hope.
A little faith can go along way.
 
Tracks: Thrive; All You've Ever Wanted; Just Be Held; You Are The Lucky One; Broken Together; Love You With The Truth; This Now; Dream For You; Follow Me; Heroes; House Of Their Dreams; Waiting On The Night To Fall.