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Music Review: Overflow by Living Waters

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7.9
 
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Updated March 14, 2019
Overflow Album Cover

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£7.99

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This is our fourth full-length album since we hit the digital age! It is the first fully studio-produced album, with one exception: on each album we have a tradition of including one old live track. We did this on "Still Flowing" and are doing it again here with our classic rocker, "I WIll Go (live)", included as a bonus track.

This album includes mostly re-makes of some of our oldest tunes, plus a few absolutely brand new tracks.

We are quite amazed by what we were able to achieve here in the autumn of our life. It just sounds like a band that has its roots deep in the 70's & 80's, and yet it is vibrant with ever-new creativity and life still flowing as strong as it ever was; it sounds like: LIVING WATERS!

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1 reviews

Overflow by Living Waters
Overall rating 
 
7.9
Vocals 
 
8.0
Lyrics 
 
7.0
Originality 
 
9.0
Value 
 
8.0
Personal Rating 
 
8.0
Starting out as a house-music-ministry-group in 1976 at a retreat centre, this band grew in other areas of production including music, dance and drama. Since then they have toured in their old converted school bus to many areas across the States. As a band from the Catholic tradition one of their highlights was their song "Peter The Rock" being presented to, and blessed by, Pope John Paul II. They have also played support for artists like Dana and John Michael Talbot. This band have been steadily working away at their craft for over 40 years growing out from the initial calling, and in this digital age have decided to revisit and re-record some of the older tracks and also continue writing and recording some new music too.

This album, "Overflow" is their latest offering released in December 2018 to a couple of sites and then more widely on other platforms on 4th January 2019. The band having been around so long have a couple of traditions that are alive and well on this album. The first is that each studio album includes a live version of one of their older songs. On "Overflow" it is the last bonus track called "I Will Go". The second is that they self-reference one of their own songs on each of their most recent four albums, a song called "City of Joy" and that finds its way into the lyrics of their first track on this album called "Sing To Jesus". So this is their first full-length fully studio produced (except the last track) album since hitting the digital age.

So the first track of this album is "Sing To Jesus" which is a song for those who find themselves depressed, upset and alone and the advice given in the song is that we are not alone, that we can lift our voices and sing to Jesus. Towards the end of the song the lyrics refer to the bread and the wine and the communion with Christ through this which leads us the "When Sunday Comes". This track is one of their newer songs and sums up life today for many Christians. With all the influences of the world around us through the week we look forward to Sunday and Church which is meant to be different. In this song it's about praying for peace on earth, but maybe it's implying that we can do that any day and we don't have to wait for just one day a week? Both of these songs have a laid back light rock feel to the, but both very different in their style.

"Covenant Love" has more of a feel of a story song, placing Jesus watching a homeless kid in New York trying to reach out to help, but the kid can't hear or see. Jesus shows the proof of the strength and the reality of his love compared to what can be found on the street by showing his hands and his feet, and promises that there is love and room for the kid if he can be reached. Once more the song comes back to the table with wine and bread as a symbol of the sacrifice and the true covenant love. It talks about that even though Jesus is near the kid is far away and perhaps it's an encouragement for the listener to help make the introduction so Jesus can be heard and understood in the heart. "Nothing But Love" also puts words into Jesus' mouth as this song imagines Judas' betrayal and what Jesus might have been thinking. This song feels very theatrical in the way that it is put together and in the lyrics Jesus acknowledges the fact that this betrayal and Peter's are part of the plan set in motion, but even so Jesus has nothing but love for his betrayer. It is actually quite a moving song because we can never know, but we believe, that Jesus truly loved Judas right to the very end and it's not something we often actually think about.

The next song "Anna Post Writing" is a song that had me puzzled from the first time I read the title. I wondered if there was a person who was famous called Anna Post, or what it was about. This song is a testimony, whether it is true or not I don't know. It's about Anna Post who's husband suddenly leaves her, at her job she is dead inside just going through the motions, then one day she picks up the Bible and finds life and healing in Jesus. This change in her outlook causes her to write to her husband about what she has found. The story is left there in the song so you can make up your own ending! As I mentioned earlier in the review, this band come from the Catholic tradition and on this album there is a track based around the traditional liturgical prayer "Hail Mary" which is beautifully and sympathetically recorded. 

After the quiet of the track before "He Came Into My Life" starts with the strong bass line and a strong statement of the agreement that we make with Jesus. Sometimes as Christians in our big churches with our posh coffee and cakes we forget that the life of the Christian is about sacrifice and service. So this song is about the fire of the Holy Spirit and God's promise to be with us as we give to Him. "Let It Reign" also has a striking beginning with a good string section opening up before the lyrics which tell the story of someone in a bad place in life, stepping into a church they used to go to, at the altar call he responds and the pain flows out of him while God's love pours in. This is a very dramatic and theatrical type of song and I love the experience of listening to it, I am sure it would make a great music video as well!

I am beginning to think that with this selection of songs that they have saved the best until last. The second half of this album feels, musically, much stronger than the first. "Light of the World" is definitely a case in point, the song starts off with some jangly sounding guitars as the vocals talk about how it's hard to see people really loving in this world. The chorus then takes a change of music direction with just some regular percussion which holds into the next verse when suddenly a honky tonk piano is introduced in the backing. This song just builds up and keeps on giving as it reminds us to look to Jesus because we are meant to be salt and light to the world. Again this song feels like a big production in a lively musical and the sound of it really gladdens the heart! Near the end there is some piano with a lead singer that just sounds like something Keith Green might have done! The end blends vocals to the lyrics "The Light Of The World" and it just sounds fantastic. I think I would listen to that song alone on repeat, there's just so much going on! The last main track on the album is comparing our lives to a day lived between "Sunrise" and sunset with our faithful God with us all the day until we reach glory when we see the 'Son-rise'.

The very last track is the live performance of "I Will Go" which brings us back to those thoughts of what the Christian life means that it's about living and growing in Christ and going where God sends us. This starts out with a heavy organ sound which slowly gets deposed by other more rock oriented instruments.

Some evangelicals may have issues that Living Waters are a catholic band which is evidenced most in the song "Hail Mary" but I would still encourage you to give these guys a listen. If you don't like that track or that theology then skip it! I am in absolutely no doubt that these guys are 100% in love with Jesus, the same Jesus that I believe in, the Son of God who died to take away the sin of the world. These songs gladly point to Him as the Saviour, they sing praise to His name and more importantly they do it very well! There are things that we can learn from each other and I have to say I was challenged by some of the lyrics and the viewpoints here on songs about sacrifice as part of the Christian life and also the view of Judas in "Nothing But Love". 

The band describe themselves as being in the "autumn of their years" and are quite self-deprecating, wondering if they still have it, and surprising themselves with what they have come up with. However there is a whole lot of creativity in this group that is still flowing through them, so they definitely shouldn't write themselves off just yet! The second half of this album has the stronger selection but there are striking images and things to think about and challenge you all the way through this album but it is definitely "Let It Reign" and "Light of the World" that really would have to be my two favourite tracks. This is a great album which has a light rock sound, praises Jesus and encourages us to do so too!
RA

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