Don't let the term acoustic fool you. The music may be more easy listening than their usual pop sound, but if anything, the lighter touch brings the importance of the lyrics and the messages more to the forefront.
To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from this release. I mean, come on - it's Casting Crowns, not August Burns Red, so how much of a change would "acoustic" be? The thing is, the lighter music lets the harmonies shine through beautifully and if anything, makes you really reexamine the words you're hearing.
A New Side to an Old Favorite
- Style: Contemporary Christian
- 10 Songs
- Time: 46 minutes
- Release Date: January 22, 2013
- Label: Reunion Records
Instead of the wonderful pop/contemporary sound we have come to know and love from Casting Crowns, strings, piano and acoustic guitar take center stage on Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1. The feeling that comes from this combo is a warm and emotive one. Listening to the release makes me feel like I'm sitting in a small church, listening to Mark and Megan pour out their hearts while sharing important messages. I imagine small groups of all ages, fellowshipping, learning and praying together and while it may sound cheesy, it makes my spirit smile.
The two lone new songs on the album, "Delivered" and "Only You Can Satisfy," fit in beautifully. While the topic of Jesus being the only one that can truly satisfy us is not a new thing, it's one that we, as people, seem to need constant reminders of. If we didn't, our jails and prisons wouldn't be overcrowded, our liquor sales wouldn't have hit $19.9 billion in 2011 and drug abuse and unwanted pregnancies would be things of the past. We, the flawed species called humanity, wouldn't look to everything BUT Jesus to fill the voids in our lives. The same goes for the subject of deliverance... it's a big deal that can not be talked about enough. Imagine a world where death really was the end. Everything would be a lot uglier than some of the worst things we see in the news.
Bottom Line: Casting Crowns totally hit the nail on the head with Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1. The music soothes (even when on songs like "American Dream" which brings in the electric guitars in all of the right places); they lyrics hit harder than ever and the plea to the body to take a long, hard look at our walks, our churches and our ideas of just who Jesus is is handed to us on a silver platter.
Acoustic Sessions: Volume 1 Track List:
- If We are the Body
- East To West
- American Dream
- Who Am I
- Here I Go Again
- Somewhere in the Middle
- Set Me Free
- Only You
- Praise You in the Storm