Thursday, March 23, 2017

Music Review: Followers by Tenth Avenue North

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good reminders in fun songs
Cons: Repetitive lyrics in a couple of the tracks
The Bottom Line:
More Biblical truths
Wrapped up in musical fun
In this pleasing disc

Their Latest Project Will Keep Tenth Avenue North’s Followers Happy

Sadly, I’m out of the loop of much of Christian music these days, but I did discover Tenth Avenue North about the time their debut reached critical buzz.  I enjoyed that disc and I’ve kept up with their career over the years.  Followers is their latest release, and it’s excellent.

The title for the disc comes from “What You Want,” a song of surrender to God.  I’m sure it’s no surprise that the theme here is to be a follower of God.  This is a very fun, upbeat song that is also very likely to get stuck in your head without you even knowing it.  Trust me on this.  My co-workers might have caught me singing it without knowing it a time or two.

The theme of surrender also plays out in “One Thing” and “Control (Somehow You Want Me).”  I especially like that second one since it marvels at how the God who spoke the universe into place wants to use us.  It’s truly mind blowing, isn’t it?

Another theme on the disc is not letting the world affect our attitude.  Unfortunately, both of these songs suffer a bit from repetitive lyrics, which is a shame because I do enjoy them.  “Afraid” actually starts off the disc stating “I don’t want to be afraid anymore.”    Later on we are reminded that “No One Can Steal Our Joy.”

For me, there is always one song on any Tenth Avenue North disc that seems to be exactly what I need to hear.  This time around, that song is “Sparrow (Under Heaven’s Eye).”  The song plays on the idea that God delights in watching his children, but then wonders about those who are struggling with sin.  The chorus reminds us:
You see the sparrow
You see me here
With the pain of my past
And the depth of my fears
You see my future
One day I’ll rise
My hope is secure
Under Heaven’s eyes
And yes, the song does include the chorus of the hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” as the bridge, a touch I love.  It starts out sounding like a ballad, but they up the tempo for the driving chorus, and it’s a mix that really works.

Right behind it in my list of favorites is “I Confess.”  While one of the lines put me off originally, the more I listen to it, the more I am captivated by this song of confession.  It’s a lyrical ballad that truly shows a broken heart.

And we get a great reminder that God is on our side no matter what we are facing in “Fighting for You.”  This song aims the first verse at those who feel alone and the second at those who have wandered away, but then reminds us that Jesus died for us and is still fighting for us.

Musically, Tenth Avenue North maintains their soft rock sound.  Many of these tracks are upbeat and catchy, yet when they do slow things down, it still works just as well.  The variety helps make this disc stand out.

Other fans like me will be delighted with Followers.  And if you haven’t started listening to Tenth Avenue North yet, it’s definitely time to follow us fans and do just that.

CD Length: 38:25
1. Afraid
2. What You Want
3. Overflow
4. I Have This Hope
5. One Thing
6. Sparrow (Under Heaven’s Eyes)
7. No One Can Steal Our Joy
8. Control (Somehow You Want Me)
9. Fighting for You
10. I Confess

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