Sanctus Real is a CCM group that has roots in Toledo, Ohio. Since their debut in 1996 they have released 6 Albums including Say It Loud, Fight The Tide, The Face Of Love, We Need Each Other, Pieces Of A Real Heart, and Run.
It would be imagined that after 6 albums a band would start to lose traction and focus, but the opposite is definitely true for Sanctus Real with their recent release The Dream.
The album definitely gets off to a strong start with the title track “The Dream.” The prevalence of drums throughout the song adds a strong level of energy, and helps to build the song up to the chorus, without taking away from the lyrics. “The Dream” talks about how God is the dream, and how everything else will fade. “Took me all these years to figure out, it’s you, God it’s you, it’s not a place, it’s not a face. It’s not a trivial pursuit, the dream is you.”
“I Need You” has a very fun, electronic sounding introduction, yet still carries a strong message. This pop track talks about how God is all we need, and He is the only thing that can save us. “I need you more than an experience, I need you cause you’re the real thing, I need you.” These lyrics remind us how we need God more than anything that happens in our lives that we think is more important than anything He could do for us.
“Head In The Fight” also has a very funky, fun introduction before we head into a powerful, thought- provoking, and encouraging song. Full of encouragement to never give up, “You gotta keep your head in the fight, you can’t give up in the hardest times,” the lyrics encourage listeners that no matter how hard the obstacles they may be facing, they need to keep their head up and turn to God for help to get them through it.
“Lay It Down,” the first single off the album, is an upbeat and encouraging song reminding us that, with God, our problems are really not as bad as they seem in the moment. “Those problems you worried about, can’t keep you from living now, when you shake them off and lay them down, at the cross where your freedom’s found.” These lyrics remind us that when our problems are overwhelming and consuming us, if we give them to God He will take them for us.
“Easier On My Heart” is a powerful upbeat song talking about the struggles of not knowing. “It would be a little easier on my heart if I had a taste of heaven, it would be a little easier on my heart if it wasn’t so hard to hang on if it wasn’t so hard to imagine.” These lyrics really capture the feelings many Christians face; the fear, the anxiety, and the stress of not knowing all the answers.
“Ride It Out” is a very calm, and reflective, encouraging ballad, encouraging listeners to keep the faith, and have perseverance in the face of obstacles. “When you stand on the edge of an ocean, don’t let it swallow your faith, don’t turn around in the sea of doubt.” These lyrics encourage listeners to keep the faith, and cling to God in the face of trials. No one else can give us the everlasting, and permanent, comfort and protection that God will provide.
“Bend Not Break,” a very rhythmic, fun song with a great message, has a real southern feel to it. This song reminds us that we are never alone and that we will always have our brothers and sisters in Christ right beside us to help us face the big battles in life. “You don’t have to run from the fears behind you, turn around and I stand beside you, take my hand and remember we may bend but will not break.”
“Same God” reminds listeners what we are called to do, and why we are called to do it as believers. “They will know we are one by our love, by our love.” These lyrics remind us we are called to love everyone around us, and that is how they will see Jesus through us. The strong, important message is accompanied by upbeat, enthusiastic melodies which make it a really fun tune you just want to dance to.
The rhythmic song “One Word At A Time” is a fun call to action to change the world by living out our faith. “Every morning is a new sunrise, a chance to change the world by living out your life, one word at a time.” These lyrics remind us that each sunrise brings a new day, and a fresh opportunity to do something to change the world.
“33” is a sweet song of thanks to God. It’s a reflection from lead singer Matt Hammitt on the life he has lived, and the grace God has given him. “Oh I’m 33, looking at this path behind me, all you’ve brought me through.” As well as a reflection of his life up to this point, the track is also a prayer for the lives of his children that they would also choose to follow God. “So I pray take this child of mine, and let me live to hear them say, now I’m 33…”
“On Fire” is the final vocal track off the album. “Set me on fire, Set me on fire, I wanna hold God’s people close, I wanna feel the power of Jesus name.” These lyrics really reflect the desires of our hearts as Christians, the desire to share God’s love with the world, and tell them all about the things He has done, and can do, for them.
“The Beginning (Outro)” is a great closing to this excellent album. An instrumental track that closes the album in the best way possible.
Overall The Dream is a great addition to the group of albums Sanctus Real has released. The album is full of inspirational, encouraging, and thought-provoking messages accompanied by upbeat and fun sounds to make it overall an album full of future hits.