Casting Crowns, Come To The Well
Casting Crowns’ sixth studio album, Come to the Well, may not break any new ground musically; but the album, much like the members of the group, does its best to provide water to thirsty listeners. The 12 new tracks are packed with hard-hitting lyrics that, if examined closely, could be controversial. However, it’s Hall’s gentle delivery of truth that allows for effective ministry to break through.
The targeted lyrics are a tribute to the talents of frontman Mark Hall and a host of other A-list writers who have credits on the album, including Nichole Nordeman, Bernie Herms, Marc Byrd and Crowns lead guitarist Hector Cervantes, among others. In addition, Matthew West co-wrote half the tracks with Hall, and the album is undoubtedly better for it.
Look no further than opening track and first single, “Courageous,” co-written by West and Hall for the movie of the same name and a battle cry for men to stand up and be leaders in their homes. Songs such as “City On a Hill,” “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” and the title track, “The Well,” are directed to the church, doing what the group does best—bluntly calling out the way the world views Christianity based on the way Christians live their lives.
Most of the songs lie in the usual pop category Crowns falls into naturally. However, there seems to be a slightly more country feel to some of the tracks, including the banjo-filled “Spirit Wind,” a take on the story of Ezekiel. “My Own Worst Enemy” is the only “rock” song on the whole collection.
“Already There” is arguably one of the best tracks with a surprisingly modern intro that is reminiscent of U2’s “Beautiful Day” and lyrics that are strongly relatable: “When I’m lost in the mystery/To You my future is a memory…I can’t wait to enjoy the view/And see how all the pieces fit…”
More than any other Crowns release to date, Hall weaves stories of his own personal journey into the fabric of this album. The result is a handful of songs that are some of the best of his career. “Just Another Birthday,” with Megan Garrett on lead vocals, is based on a true story about a young girl in Hall’s youth group dealing with an absent father and the consequences of unplanned pregnancy.
“Angel” is a love song for Hall’s wife, Melanie. Closing song, “So Far to Find You,” appropriately co-written with Steven Curtis Chapman, is for his recently adopted daughter, Hope. Hall would do well to write more songs like these from a raw, personal place.
Once again produced by Mark A. Miller (Casting Crowns, Sawyer Brown), Come to the Well, doesn’t explore un-chartered territory but is a solid effort in the Crowns discography. However, unique artistry and musical experimentation isn’t why fans love Casting Crowns. The band is beloved for reminding us of the hard truth. And this installment draws from the best well.
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