We’re very excited to feature a brand new release from one of the Worship Community’s longstanding and faithful contributors, Saint Lewis (Shannon Lewis). We’ve put together a great panel of reviewers for Saint Lewis’ Songs From The Hope Farm. A special thanks to them for taking the time to listen and review this album for The Worship Community!
Each contributor brings a unique perspective to this review!
The reviewers are asked to comment on scriptural basis, congregational singing, band accessibility, and their own personal insights.
We hope you enjoy this review and find it helpful when selecting songs for your local worship experiences and hope you’ll support this artist by purchasing they’re album and adding it to your personal collection.
Please leave your own comments and insights regarding Songs For The Hope Farm in the comment section or respond in the forums! You can get a copy of this album from CDBABY.
Songs For The Hope Farm by Saint Lewis grew on me the more I listened to it. To be quite honest, I did not connect with it at first. The more I listened and reviewed the lyrics, the more of a glimpse I got into the heart of the artists.
The opening song, “All in All,” is a great song. It has several elements I find appealing. Lyrically, I’m reminded of the “heart of worship” story, which made a long-lasting impact on my life. For “All in All” to remind me of that personal impact says much. Musically, I actually thought the 70s vibe in the pre-chorus was kind of neat. It was tastefully done. The bridge even broke out into two melodies. Not many songs can get away with that, and “All in All” did it well. I recommend this song for anyone’s worship set.
“Rejoice in Me” and “Quiet Your Heart” are lyrically written as though God is speaking to us. In a worship service, sometimes I simply want to be silent and listen to the lyrics and allow the Spirit to speak to me. These two songs lend themselves to such a time as this. Where “Rejoice in Me” is more edgy, “Quiet Your Heart” is more tender.
“Wandering Heart” has an edgy tone to it. It has the same kind of tone expected from someone who is prone to wander needing divine intervention (Psalm 119:36). I found myself praying, “turn my wandering heart to yours.” Very catchy!
“You Come Running” is a good testimony of a believer. No matter how far away we run, Christ is still there with us. This song also would work well in other congregational settings.
Overall, every song is true to scripture and true to the nature of God. Each song has their unique sound (not one song sounds like another), which says a lot since many albums have songs that sound alike. Songs For The Hope Farm has songs for personal reflection with a few songs that could be used for congregational singing mixed in.
As aforementioned, these songs provide a glimpse into the heart of those who made this collection possible. Enjoy!
Melanie Siewert is a Christ follower, wife to a wonderful man of God, and mother of two incredible boys. She has several years experience mentoring high school worship bands. Her passion for music accompanies her passion for making Christ known.
My first listen through the Songs For The Hope Farm worship album was a little like my first experience with Fondu. First I thought it was a little weird, then I started to love it, then I loved it so much I wanted to figure out how to do it at home. Initially I really thought that the songs were vocally fast and would be a bit difficult for a congregation to sing (and I might still be right about that) but I think the brash determination of the lyrics to encourage God’s people to think and act in worshipful ways makes up for the challenge of the melodies. I’d love to be a part of a service that was corporately committing to the kinds of things that All in All (You’re all I need) ask for. I’d love to hear my church singing the chorus – praising God
for creation and committing to trust Him as their substance.
Overall the songs err on the side of being melodically complex, but the words are powerful and Biblical – I can see songs like Wandering Heart working with a congregation – melodically it’s very catchy and the words are a powerful confession of the weakness of humanity. At worse, the songs will help bring the individual listener to private worship in a way that brings God’s presence and the Spirit’s conviction to the heart’s forefront.
Samuel Sutter is an assistant pastor on Long Island, where he plays keys or lead guitar in the worship band and occasionally ventures into songwriting.
The first time I heard three cuts from Songs For The Hope Farm, I knew they were going on my iPhone. As a worship leader and pastor, the first thing I consider when listening to music is how well the music and the content fit together. There are songs on this album that may be beyond the ability of some bands to play, however this album has some great songs for worship and also those that are just great songs for your heart! I recommend listening to this album with your headphones, which made this album even better.
All In All (You’re All I Need) Great first track, chorus grows on me. Good solid song of praise.
Rejoice In Me- powerful song about promise in the middle of life. Worth considering for use in worship understanding that the range is high.
Wandering Heart- this song speaks to me. Shannon delivers the passion that the lyrics deserve. I could see this being sung with congregation doing chorus and verses sung by worship leader. Musically challenging and needs a worship leader who is able to carry the passion even without all the energy if you don’t use a full band.
Quiet My Heart – The arrangement of this song is a good mix of electric, drum, keys and bass. Might not translate well to acoustic. Simple song with potential for beginning worship.
Fly – good use of scripture in the middle pulling to a great chorus. This one would also work well with a worship team.
You Come Running This song does a good job of communicating scripture in testimony form. This one is also easily translated to a church worship band. I could see this one working with a basic set of bass, guitar, keyboard and vocals.
Call Me To Live Call me to live is one of those songs that I wanted to listen to over and over. Good mix of acoustic and electric guitar. Chorus on this one really sings. You need a good vocalist to give depth if choosing to use a full band.
Never Cease to Sing Piano adds a nice touch to this song.
Coming Kingdom This song features some great acoustic guitar and harmonies which is a great contrast to the other powerful songs on this album.
While Shannon brings a powerful voice and musical style which may make some shy away from attempting some of these songs in worship, this album is worthy of playing and sharing. The flow of the album made me want more. The words and music fit, the scripture is all in these songs and they communicate a passion for God and at the same time an honesty that is refreshing.
Buddy is an Assistant Pastor of Worship and Community Life at Christ Presbyterian Church in Newnan. He has just joined Worldwide Discipleship Association and is beginning a ministry to Artists and Worship Artists in Atlanta, GA.
Mathew Garret Reames
When I got my copy of Songs From the Hope Farm I was eager to listen to it. An Album from Saint Lewis, one of our own contributors here on TWC is always a good thing.
This album is a mix of congregational worship and more personal worship. I enjoyed listening to this, the diverse nature of the songs kept me interested. There was only one song on this album that that seemed out of place. “Fly” was a good song, but it was a little too different and seemed to go against the flow the album had established.
There are a couple of songs that would be great for a Sunday morning Worship. The First track, “All in All (Your All I Need)” is tailor made for a small Sunday morning team. “You Come Running” is an amazing song. I could see this being a very popular worship song if it was released on a major record label. I would love to sing this with my team. “Call Me to Live” is also great. It has that simple worship feel, whilst still being a good driven song with passionate lyrics. “Never Cease to Sing” is a good congregational song as well. It’s a simple song that holds with it passion for worship and Jesus.
“Wandering Heart”, “Quiet My Heart” and “Coming Kingdom” are all great songs that I could worship to often. But they might not really flow in a congregational setting. “Coming Kingdom” could do well, but for a full team it would need a different arrangement to fill it out a little. It seemed to have an abrupt ending as a song, and is the last song, so it was an abrupt end to the album.
Congregational Songs: “All in All (Your All I need)”, “You Come Running”, “Called Me To Live”, and “Never Cease To Sing”
Personal Worship: “Quiet My Heart”, “Wandering Heart”, and “Coming Kingdom”
Final Thoughts: This is an album I am happy to have, its been playing on my iPod for a few days now and I am still listening happily to it regularly. The recording quality is quite good as opposed to a lot of independent releases. That made this album even better. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for solid worship that isn’t just another “Pop Worship Radio” hit. Well worth multiple listens.
Mathew Garrett Reames is a young worship leader. At only 23 years of age his experiences and viewpoints are different than a lot of worship leaders. His passion for Jesus is the driving force behind his worship. Living in Kansas City, MO, a city rich with worship, he is blessed to be around many different sources of inspiration.