Review Date: 07/01/14
Review By: Maddy Agers (14)
Release Date: 01/28/14
Rating: [usr 8]

Casting Crowns has been a big influence on Christian Music, proving that you can try new styles and test the boundaries of CCM while still being successful. My family has loved Casting Crowns ever since I can remember, and it’s always neat to see how God has used them in my life. For example, last year I got to sit down and talk to the band’s drummer a bit over breakfast. That was a VERY cool experience, and one I will never forget.

Upon the arrival of the new album Thrive, I was giddy with excitement. When I heard the title single for the first time, I stopped in my tracks and turned the radio up. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the way they could make a song so creative, and still make it sound SO good! Allow me to share with you my top six favorite songs off the album in honor of its 5 months anniversary (give or take a few days!)!

1.) “All You’ve Ever Wanted” is my favorite song off the album, because of how relevant it is to everyone’s lives, and because it’s the anthem of humanity. If you haven’t heard it, then these lyrics will explain a little:

“‘Cause all you’ve ever wanted,
All You’ve ever wanted
All You’ve ever wanted was my heart
Freedom’s arms are open,
My chains have all been broken
Relentless love has called me from the start
And all You wanted was my heart

I was chasing healing when I’d been made well
I was fighting battles when You conquered hell
Living free but from a prison cell
Lord, I lay it down today

So I’ll stop living off of how I feel
And start standing on Your truth revealed
Jesus is my strength, my shield
And He will never fail me”

I swear this song will tear you apart and put you back together again. I have SO much love for this song!

2.) When I found myself singing “You Are The Only One” while I was having a bad day last week, I couldn’t help but have a light-heart. After all, this was probably the best song I could have been singing to myself on a hard day. What better way to cheer myself up than remember that God is a constant in my life – even when the days are rough, and the stress is stirring? This song will give you goose bumps. Make sure you listen to it enough for it to get stuck in your head! All in all, this comes in a close second as far as my favorite song on the album. Here is a bit of the song – you tell me what you think!

“One more skeptic to believe
One more prisoner has been set free
One more longs to be Your hands and feet
One more standing for the least of these
One more praying in the morning light
One more shining in the darkest night
One more life worth fighting for
No greater love worth dying for

Lord let Your kingdom come
Lord let Your will be done

I want to know You more
I want to make You known
I want this world to see
That You’re alive in me
Jesus You’re the only One”

3.) “Thrive” is different, twisting a classic Casting Crowns style with some curve balls along the way. For example, they added a more southern style, with some GREAT strings solos. Guys, I can’t recommend this song enough – it’s awesome. The theme of the song is lovely, and the music behind it is no different! The music on this whole album is wonderful, and the soundtrack to this one is utter perfection.

4.) “Love You With The Truth” reminds me of a more subtle Skillet song. Maybe it’s the background to the song, but nonetheless, it is pretty great. I absolutely love the message the band conveys with this song – in the words of Mark Hall:

“This song is about a person realizing that they’ve been a really cruddy friend because they haven’t shared the truth with the person closest to them. A lot of people will say, ‘I want to share the gospel with my friend, but I don’t want to ruin my friendship.’ What you are really saying is ‘I love my friendship more than I love my friend and I don’t want to lose them by giving them this to save them.’ That’s what this song says. It’s tough, but it’s truth.”

This message especially holds truth in teenagers. We need to lift our friends and friendships up to God. After all, He is the one who has the power to do the impossible in the most difficult situations!

5.) “Dream For You” is a song that really hits home with me, because I feel like this song explains what I need to hear in the moments when it is the hardest to keep following God’s dreams for my life. Mark had the bands’ youth group sing backup in the chorus of this song. How cool is that? Mark said something about this song that I think everyone needs to remember:

“If your goal is to really follow God, He’s not going to steer you off the cliff.” Mark Hall

6.) Last, but certainly not least, “Heroes” is my final favorite off the album. Maybe it’s because of how personally Mark wrote it. Every lyric is about someone whom he admires at his church. He explains in this song that sometimes the greatest heroes are the ones who go unrecognized in the eyes of humans, yet are ever-so-recognized in the eyes of God. I think this song has a lot of lessons contained in it, and all we have to do is listen.

I admire all the work of Casting Crowns, and it’s quite amazing how God has used them in my life. I hope to one day get the chance to talk to the whole band, but until then, God will continue to use them positively in my life. Super proud of all that they have done and excited to see where God leads them. Congratulations, guys! Keep doing what you’re doing!

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Casting Crowns – Thrive Album Cover

Maddy.

 

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