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Music Review: Storm This Castle by Jacob Daniel

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Updated May 19, 2017
Music Review: Storm This Castle by  Jacob Daniel
Jacob Daniel - We Feel Alive (Official Lyric Video)
Jacob Daniel - Near the Brokenhearted (Official Music Video)
Jacob Daniel - Savior (Official Lyric Video)
Storm This Castle

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Track Listing

We Feel Alive
Storm This Castle
Tidal Wave
Beginning of Forever
Near the Broken Hearted
Well Done

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Recorded in 2016. Back in the studio for the 2nd time, Jacob Daniel returns with a collection of music inspired through a difficult season of pain and triumph through the diagnosis of his dad's cancer. The songs poetically paint the picture between the relationship of life's struggles and the hope that we have securely in Christ.

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Storm This Castle
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Jacob Daniel is a school teacher from South Dakota with a passion for honest songwriting. "Storm This Castle" is his second EP and has 7 tracks on it which rang from some light rock to more acoustic territory.

This recording starts off with "We Feel Alive". This song reminds me of the line from Batman Begins where Alfred counsels Bruce Wayne "Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up." Sometimes we feel that failures are really bad, but sometimes we have to risk, and even experience, failure so that we can learn something new. This track, to my ears, sounds like a Brit pop style in places, particularly in it's verse construction and vocal.

The title track is an interesting metaphor for life, as we build up the walls of our lives that don't have their foundation in Christ. This is an appeal for God to storm this castle of life that we hide ourselves within. There are images of the parable of the wiseman and the foolish man in this track. This track is a great blend of keys, guitars and some fairly strong percussion adding the force to the plea of storming this castle. "Tidal Wave" is another image of the failures and pressures of life that threaten to overwhelm us, this is a reminder that Jesus will keep us safe in this rush and struggle in life. These two images of these songs because we build a strong castle of the wrong stuff, we feel secure, but in truth we are vulnerable. Then when we open up and allow ourselves to be vulnerable we don't have those walls built up to protect us, and yet Jesus does just that. Great images and really well expressed in a couple of catchy songs.

"Beginning of Forever" is a stripped back track which tells the sad story of a child who has a terminal diagnosis. Flipping this horrible news on his head, the parents cling to Jesus and they know that ultimately their daughter is eternal, even though she may die, this is the "Beginning of Forever". This brings out the Biblical view of a human life as a vapour, but it is in the eternal life that we will truly see Jesus love for us. What starts off as a sad story is turned into a positive and triumphant chorus with the music slowly building through the song which you barely notice until this section. "Near The Brokenhearted" continues a similar theme of dealing with difficulties in life. This song was written as a heartfelt prayer while his Dad was suffering with Cancer, while Jacob was away on a mission thousands of miles away. This acoustic track could be a great track when you are needing comfort, it doesn't pull any punches that things are necessarily going to get better, but that there is comfort in Jesus' presence with us.

This penultimate track is a great little view of the end, when we arrive in Heaven we all want to hear those 2 words "Well Done" and this track puts words in God's mouth about the live that we will have lived. This is another encouraging track, this time for anyone finding the Christian walk hard - the reward will be worth it one day. "Saviour" is quite a hard hitting and straightforward song about Jesus. It's a great worship song that just magnifies who Jesus is in relation to us. The track, particularly in conjunction with the video, really works exceedingly well.

These seven tracks contain a good blend of storytelling, heartbreak and hope and musically there is also a good range of different styles which suit Jacob's vocal range. I really enjoyed this, the songs are moving and honest yet bring real hope and comfort to the listener and I am still blown away by "Savior".

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