Music Review: Colin's New Testament Big Bible Story Songs by Colin Buchanan

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June 05, 2018
Music Review: Colin's New Testament Big Bible Story Songs by Colin Buchanan
Mary and Martha (video to song by Colin Buchanan)

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Colin's New Testament Big Bible Story Songs explodes with 13 amazing new Colin songs that bring to life a colourful cast of New Testament bible characters and their stories!

Discover New Testament stories in a unique way! There's Zacchaeus up the sycamore tree, Saul on the Damascus Road, the man of the tombs, Mary, Martha, the apostles...and, of course, the One to whom all the bible stories lead: Jesus!

Upbeat, catchy and uniquely "Colin", these are bible story songs unlike any you've ever heard! Kids, parents, grandparents, teachers and kids workers - everyone's joining in on Colin's unforgettable singalong stories from God's Word!

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Colin's New Testament Big Bible Story Songs by Colin Buchanan
(Updated: June 07, 2018)
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Colin Buchanan has had a fair bit of critical acclaim in his music career over the years and has won (according to Wikipedia) 9 Golden Guitar Country Music awards. These days Colin is better known as one of Australia's best children's musicians having been involved in children's television and going on to release a series of Christian albums for young listeners. This collection of New Testament Big Bible Stories continues that series.

Colin certainly has a style to his music and the recordings that I really like and I think would be incredibly appealing to kids. Unlike the recent review of "What Every Child Should Know About God Vols 1 & 2" which takes Bible verses and sets them to music, Colin's focus is on the larger story. As you can tell from the title this album works its way through the New Testament highlighting many of the stories that are quite well known, bringing them to life and making them interesting for kids. Adults may find them amusing for the first couple of listens, but if on repeat in the car or around the house it may become a case of grin and bear it after a while.

The album starts off with Colin's introduction which reminds me of the sort of thing I used to do in children's work, being over the top and heckled by yourself! Then the first short song, "Big Bible Story" reminds us that all the stories on this album point us to God's glory and that all the Bible stories lead us to Jesus. This has a slightly rocky feel mixed with "Twinkle, Twinkle" if you can imagine such a thing, backed with some kids voices this upbeat song sets the tone for the album.

The songs have a lot of different styles which are exaggerated, wherever possible, for comedy effect. "The Ballad of Farmer Phil" is the parable of the sower and the seeds. The next few songs take in the transfiguration, the story of Zaccheaus, Nicodemus and the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, complete with the extreme characterisations that are often used to get these stories across in interesting and funny ways. Of course this gives Colin a chance to bring in key texts such as "This is my beloved Son", "I have come to seek and save the lost" so while these verses aren't the focus they are weaved in to the narrative of the song.

The next song is about the a-fossils, sorry apostles! This sums up what the apostles did and the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, some brief details of their actions, but a reminder that now Jesus' witnesses are right across the world. "Jesus Didn't Sin" is a look at Jesus' time of temptation after getting baptised, this is a bit more serious than some tracks on this album with a bit of a reggae vibe. This does have a catchy "oh lay, oh lay, oh lay, oh lay, Satan didn't win, Jesus didn't sin!" chorus which finishes out the song. That's before launching into a rocky track called "Man of the Tombs" which tells the story of Legion. "Damascus Road" tells the familiar stories of Saul / Paul's conversion experience and his mission after meeting Jesus. "Mary and Martha" is the track that reminds me the most of an Ishmael song on this album, even down to the style of delivery. When you listen to this track the first time through, watch your kids and see if they are listening in the second verse when he talks about mowing the mattresses and other absurd chores!

"Double Edged Sword" is about the Bible being sharper than the titular item, and that it's "living and active". Here Colin does a bit of an Arnie impression to get the point across that we should be using the Bible and not just sitting and looking at it. "Jesus Rose To Pray" is a more serious track about Jesus' habit of praying early in the morning. These two songs are less stories, but more about practical examples about how we should treat the Bible and prayer.

This is my first experience of Colin Buchanan and I have to say that I quite like it! He manages to make the stories engaging with his range of techniques and musical styles as well as bringing out the humour - whilst still communicating the message behind the story. That is a balance that is hard to achieve as any children's worker will tell you! I think Colin manages to mix the more serious messages and the funny stories really well. The pauses and the sustained notes and so-on that are little hooks to keep the kids interested also work, well they kept me engaged from my standpoint and I am pretty sure that kids will love this approach. If you are looking for a song to play, or even get your kids to sing related to a Bible story in the New Testament, this album should be in your children's work resources.

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