Your Grace Finds Me (Live) by Matt Redman
Available September 24, 2013
Recorded live at LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective
I’m always excited when Matt Redman releases a project and in this case there’s no exception! I received a review copy and have had it on play almost non-stop! After Matt knocked it out of the park with 10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord), the bar was set pretty high, but I do believe he’s delivered a solid project that will be effective and useful for worship environments in churches worldwide.
Not every song can be a GRAMMY® award winning song, a Billboard Music Awards winner, or an ASCAP’s Christian Music Song of the Year – like the RIAA certified gold anthem title track of 2011’s project, 10,000 Reasons – BUT Matt has always offered great, catchy, simple songs that are solid, useful expressions of musical worship for churches everywhere. Your Grace Finds Me carries on that tradition from Matt.
Sing and Shout kicks off the album with a Bo Diddley sounding rhythm groove that would be fun to do in high energy worship sets with a larger band. I don’t believe that modern worship songwriters have escaped adding the ever popular “Whoahs” and “Ohs” as interludes, and I’m ok with that. They provide a nice opportunity for folks who haven’t quite gotten the words down to join in with gusto. This is a great song of praise that would work well in settings that have a strong rhythm section (specifically drums and percussion).
Your Grace Finds Me is filled with what we know and love about Matt Redman, it’s just simple, yet so descriptive. using very common, but pleasant chord progressions, this song moves along nicely providing the foundation for the simple truth, that God’s grace is available to us all, no matter what we’ve done, or where we’ve come from. There’s a nice little vocal Amazing Grace inspired “Oh” that acts as a nice sound bed for the bridge. This is a great way to hint at the classic Amazing Grace without actually singing it. Definitely recommended for corporate worship settings.
Mercy is a song that puts the focus on The Cross and the great mercy made available to us by and through the work of Jesus on The Cross. It has a beautiful timeless feel with the meter switching to 3 during the bridge/ending tags. This song is destined to be a great Communion song. If your church uses actual worship songs during this beautiful sacrament of remembrance, I highly suggest you add this song to your repertoire. Highly recommended!
I Need You Now is a great prayer song. The bridge is beautiful with very descriptive lyrics. Definitely a song that can be used for moments of personal reflection, or response and ministry times at the end of a service. Oddly enough, as the bridge/ending was happening, I kept hearing Gungor…not literally, but some of the progressions reminded me a lot of a Gungor song.
If you’re a fan of the more acoustic, folk-centric music that is rising to prevalence in mainstream music, then you’ll like This Beating Heart. It has a great acoustic, banjo-driven groove that accompanies a chant-like chorus that will have your hands clapping and your toes tapping. The “My soul” melody in the chorus is REALLY catchy…in the same way that the “oh, oh, oh my soul” in 10,000 Reasons is. If your congregation likes high-energy and FUN music, this one will go over well. It might be hard to capture the same feel live, though, if you don’t have pretty advanced guitar and banjo players.
One Name Alone is probably my least favorite song on this album, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great song. I honestly, just don’t see how most churches will be able to use it. The meter is 3 and the lyrics, although solid, are hard to latch on over the groove (at least for me). I’m such a proponent of simple, and catchy grooves and melodies, so this one doesn’t work for me. That being said, if your band can pull it off and your folks enjoy it, the truth contained in the lyrics is bold and Jesus-centered! There’s also some fun “la las” to sing.
Jesus, Only Jesus has a very layered, interesting intro, that I honestly found hard to get into. One thing that I believe a lot of modern worship songs miss is actually referencing the name of Jesus, so I was thrilled to hear this one continue to lift up the name of Jesus literally and not just through metaphor or descriptive pronouns.
Wide As The Sky has a nice ethereal guitar intro that sets the tone nicely for the song. This is a song that worship literalists might have a problem with, since the very first lyrics are “Hands up…” If you’re in a congregation that isn’t very expressive in outward worship motions (like lifting hands) this song could be a great tool to help encourage your folks to lift their hands in worship (it’s Biblical!!). But on the other hand, if your congregation doesn’t get much into the outward expressions, you might run into the “we’re singing hypocritical songs” territory from some of your literalist crew.
Good Forever carries on the great theme of God’s goodness no matter what the circumstances. God’s goodness is one of my favorite things to celebrate and meditate on, so this song really resonates with me. I believe it could be adapted to fit most congregational worship settings. I’m not personally crazy about the groove that happens during the verses, but that can easily be modified. Definitely recommend this one.
Let My People Go brings back the high energy and has a very current modern, synth/guitar sound. Though, in some ways it reminds me a lot of a Deliriou5? song. Even the lyrical delivery and content just seemed very Deliriou5? like.
Come And See is a great invitational song that could be utilized around Easter, or quite possibly even Advent. The lyrics are solid declarations about the work Jesus accomplished at Calvary.
Benediction closes the album nicely. The lyrics are a prayer of blessing that many of us are familiar with from Numbers 6:24-26. It’s a beautiful musical version of this priestly blessing. I’m not sure exactly how it would be used in a service, but it is definitely worthy of including it your repertoire.
Like I said, I’m pretty excited about this album. I’ve been around the modern worship movement long enough that Matt Redman is like a father to me as far as influences go. I always really look forward to what he’s doing and I’m usually never disappointed, because he seems to successfully write for the collective worship experience. I know some will not be able to find what they feel to be useful songs on this album, but the songs by themselves are solid. Keep in mind that you can always modify them to suit your needs.
This album is filled with great songs that I believe can be effective and useful for creating great environments of worship for our congregations. Pick it up!
Russ Hutto is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.