As a worship leader, songwriter, and lover of music, I get really excited when independent Christian songwriters reach out to me and ask me to review their music. (Not that I don’t love writing about church technology all the day long . . .)
The Psalms hold a special place in most of our hearts. They speak a language that is raw, real, and open; they seem to gush with the heart of God through his most faithful servants: Moses, Asaph, David, Solomon and the Sons of Korah.
[We’d like to giveaway five copies of Psalm Songs Volume 1 to the first five people who leave a comment below.]
How is it possible that they still relate so closely to our lives today? It is surely a divine mystery. God has blessed us so richly and lovingly through the words of the Psalmist writers.
Like Shakespeare, time surpasses not the themes present in the Psalms we all continue to face, and will face until the end of time: loss, fear, sadness, joy, anger, love, help, doubt.
When Adam Wright, songwriter and producer of The Corner Room: Psalm Songs Volume 1 reached out with his music, I had been reading a book on the Psalms called 150: Finding Your Story in the Psalms by Kevin Adams. The timing was perfect.
The album (recorded in The Corner Room studio, which happens to be at Adam’s church), is a feast of tracks that display not only musical excellence, but exquisite phrasing (setting the Psalms to music is no easy task) and sensitivity to the themes present in each Psalm. The album includes 10 tracks and all verses are taken from the English Standard Version: Psalms 121, 23, 42, 13, 30, 8, 1, 32, 19, and 127.
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I am constantly looking for music that will speak truth into my family’s life. This new project, ‘Psalm Songs’ is literally Scripture set to music. It’s been amazing to see my two-year old singing the Word of God around the house and helps me to see the value of setting the Word to song. As the Psalms are diverse in their character and intent, so is the musical character of this collection – rock, folk, bluegrass and modern worship are genres you’ll hear on this first volume,” comments Wright when asked about this project.
A Few of My Favorite Tracks
Track 1 – Psalm 121
The album kicks off with a peppy up-tempo Psalm 121, “I life my eyes up to the hills / from where does my help come?” I’m a big fan on the banjo and love bluegrass, so this song really speaks to me. Not to mention that it’s toe-tapping and the chorus really glues the theme of the Psalm in your head so that you can’t forget it. My six-year old loves this one.
Track 2 – Psalm 23
There’s a number of beautiful versions of the beloved 23rd Psalm out there (I love this one called, Rest, off Matt Maher’s album, Saints and Sinners) and Wright’s also rises to the top of my list. With a steady tempo, lovely guitar and piano, gentle yet simple melody, excellent harmonies, the forward motion of the song reminds me of the gently flowing waters of a stream, which is surely intentional. This song will bless you, I promise.
Track 5 – Psalm 30
“Weeping may tarry for the night / but joy comes in the morning” — one of my favorite scriptures and just beautiful set to music. Ashley Spurling leads this song with her gentle, sweet voice, doing this Psalm great justice. The song builds throughout and harmonies are added as the vocalists crescendo, “Oh Lord my God / I will give thanks.”
Track 6 – Psalm 8
“Oh Lord, our Lord / how majestic is your name in all the earth!” This song reminds me of a train cruising along on the tracks – like our lives should be – moving forward at a steady pace, focused on God. Country-laced harmonies and blues undertones along with a touch of slide guitar makes this one a great “drive with the windows down” song to enjoy the world God created.
Track 9 – Psalm 19
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart / be acceptable in your sight oh Lord, my rock, and my redeemer.” Adam Wright and Connie Skellie co-wrote this song together and duet like songbirds as they croon this Psalm, driving home the greatness of God. With a Lady Antebellum flare, this Psalm is deeply moving set to music.
At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong singing the Psalms over and over again, committing them to memory as you do so. With Psalm Songs, you’ll enjoy connecting with scripture while enjoying wonderful melodies and excellent musicianship.
[We’d like to giveaway five digital copies of Psalm Songs Volume 1 to the first five people who leave a comment below.]
The Corner Room is a ministry of Cahaba Park Church in Birmingham, AL.