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Music Review: Awakened By Hope by The Rock Music

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Updated May 15, 2017
Music Review:  Awakened By Hope by The Rock Music

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Track Listing

Running After Your Heart
The Beautiful One
Your Beauty
Sing Your Praise
Break On Me
Your Love Is Unfailing
Dare To Hope
Rescue Me
God Proved His Love
Sings My Soul
Come Fill Me Up
Running Home

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Today Steele Croswhite is the founder of the The Rock Music. The Rock Music is an independent movement of music working as a collaboration of musicians who are dedicated to writing, recording and performing relevant Christ-centered music without compromise. With Christ as their anchor, each musician subscribes to the following mission statement:

“I have been put on the earth to touch the world for God through music and to be a part of the best band in the world known for loving Jesus Christ.”

The Rock Music is rooted in the local church where they see it as their vision to Love God, Bless the Saints, and Win the lost.

In order to accomplish this mission and vision, each musician strives for a consistent and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ, loves, values, and serves the local church body, and engages the lost community through concerts, outreach, worship events, albums, and art.

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1 reviews

Awakened By Hope
(Updated: May 15, 2017)
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Personal Rating 
The name of the band makes this album seem like it should be full of heavy squealing guitars and guys with long hair, well a few years ago that image might not have been too far wrong. These days after a bit of a change of image, worship pastor Steele Croswhite has shorter hair and the guitars are still evident but not so prevalent! The Rock Music is not named after the style of music, but it's the name of the church in Utah that has given birth to this new worship music. "Awakened by Hope" is the latest release from the collective known as The Rock Music and the third headed up by Steele Croswhite, perhaps more importantly this is the first that has been released by Dream Worship, part of the Dream Label Group.

It's straight into "Running After Your Heart" with a quick paced worship track. It's got quite a classic feel to this track which will work well in a local church setting, but the production here has some nice moments when there are some background effects and then a cut to the congregation repeating lines of the chorus. There are no complexities to this writing, it's just a track that all worshippers can get behind. "The Beautiful One", not to be confused with Tim Hughes song, is a very passionate and personal song of commitment. This doesn't look at the physical but our spiritual battles, with pride, being first, being the best and also with our lusts and our self-satisfaction idolatry that puts ourselves in the place of God in our lives.

"Your Beauty" does a great job of capturing the slower and more progressive understanding of what it means to praise God, as the song-writer asks for his ears to be opened to hear and then his tongue to be loosened to worship God properly. We are then given the opportunity to put this into practise as "Sing Your Praise" is a praise song with a fair amount of psalm words woven through it. I love the depth of the songwriting that is exhibited through this album. Some songs have a simple response to God's love which is needed at times, but this album seems to delve deeper into expressions of who we are and who God is, which reminds us of why we need God and how thankful we should be for who He is. This is seen again in "Break On Me" which is a song of repentance which slowly and deliberately talks of God's light exposing our hearts, asking to be born again through the spirit and then remembering that ourselves need to magnify God and decrease ourselves. All that and more in three quick verses!

As a reviewer you want to be moved by a track, but you also listen to so much music that it is a rare occurrence because you are thinking about what you are going to say about the track. Listening to "Mighty" though stopped me in my tracks, the lyrics are nothing particularly new or different, but there was a real sense of the Spirit between the combination of music, lyrics and the vocal blending in this duet. It's one of those moments that you just want to stay in.

The music moves on and the next track, "Home" is more of a rock number which echoes the prodigal son parable in us, with the first verse being our perspective before switching to the Father's viewpoint for verse 2. There's a welcome change of lead worshipper again on "Dare To Hope" which see's us coming to God broken by life, that at even in our lowest moments God is faithful. The backing vocal from Steele is a brilliant shadow on the main vocal, which adds depth to this track with an acoustic guitar providing most of the instrumentation.

"Awaken" is a great little track that reminds me of someone, but I can't put my finger quite on who. This is a great take on the Lazarus story and also applies to us in our awakening to Christ. "God Proved His Love" shows the extended range of Steele's vocal as he uses John 3:16 as the basis for this track. With the verses giving us a slow and ponderous rather high paraphrase of the verse and the chorus brings it home with a paraphrase of Romans 5:8. "Sing My Soul" is an original track that takes it's theme from the old hymn "Then Sings My Soul", but this track has a very different feel to the original, although some of the themes are the same, such as the wonders of the works of Gods hands, this is less about the beauty of the world and more about the beauty of God in life more generally.

The final track of the album uses the Aaronic blessing as it's first verse, with the chorus echoing the theme of "Home", but also Hebrews 12:1 which likens lives to a race, and then a passage from Isaiah 40:31 about running and not growing weary and rising up on wings like eagles. It's an interesting combination, but it works to emphasise that the race set before us takes our endurance combined with God's promise to bless and keep.

I have already mentioned the depth of these tracks which is a really strong element of these songs, as evidenced by the last track there are Biblical verses weaved throughout with combinations that don't always get put together. These lyrics paired with some sensitive musical ability really makes this collection of tracks stand out, pretty much every track on this album I could see being sung in churches, hopefully some of these will get picked up and used because there is a lot of expression, but also a lot of scripture here to be sung and new light to be shed through these well written tracks. At the same time it's important to mention the album title "Awakened By Hope" which is a theme for this, there are expressions of new life, seeing something in the world that is bigger than Brexit, politics or wars and rumours of wars, but there is hope that God is for us, he will bless us and keep us and we can see his handiwork in the world, even on the bleakest day. This is the hope that we have! God is Sovereign!

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