Today is a little bit different, as I review one of my favorite albums. To call this a review is generous, as that implies objectivity. I have no intention of being objective. My hope with this series is to introduce you to new music, and in response, I hope you will leave your suggestions for me to check out!
I’m not going to pretend to be well-versed in hip hop culture. I’m not going to offer in-depth analysis or compare their work to others. What I am going to tell you is that I have never heard an artist that so consistently produces songs that leave me breathless and in awe of God. Sometimes, it seems they are writing these words straight out of my own life.
The lyrical talents of Braille and Odd Thomas combined with the production of Courtland Urbano combine in this album to create a 44-minute spine-tingling sensation. But rather than me writing words to describe it, I would rather let the songs define themselves, so here are my top-five favorite songs from this album. Each will have a short piece of the lyrics that speak to me, though I encourage you to listen to the song in its entirety. For the purpose of this list I didn’t count Lofty, as it appears on Propaganda’s solo album, Excellent, which I will probably cover on its own in the future.
Each title will have a link to the song on Youtube, and you can check out their page on Humble Beast. While there, you can download their albums for free, and you can help support them as well. I also highly suggest having a look at their merchandise page, which features all albums, some pretty sick shirts, and books from various authors including the artists of Humble Beast themselves.
The old will pass away, while I’m still here You hear my prayer
Please, wash my sins away oh Lord release me from this snare
I acknowledge my sin, I know I can’t kill it with a knife or a gun
It must be crucified on the cross with Your Son
Then I can know that it’s finished and done
Then I can know that I’m truly forgiven and get to the business of living for you
And it’s not for my glory but only for You
And it speaks of Your mercy, Your love and Your truth
Verse (Odd Thomas)
Oh God my sin is great, there’s no escaping it
I hate my sin but i still partake in it
I’ve become numb to the touch of feeling it
Ive learned the art and skill of concealing it
This song may not make everyone’s list, but for me, it sits right at the top. Anyone who has struggled with addiction, anyone who has tried to clean themselves up before coming to Christ will identify with the struggles Braille and Odd Thomas lay out in the verses. The chorus reminds me all too well of prayers I prayed myself.
The culture could change if someone stepped up for the cause
To rep us and our God, but who will accept the job?
If only we had better rappers to gain us more respect
To validate what we believe and keep our name up in the press
But God does not use the same methods as the world
He chose the foolish and the weak to bring His message to the world
We were rescued from the world, He left us here to be His servants
We don’t need more superstars we need more Gospel-centered churches
Working as the body to bring the Gospel to the nations
Even when we face rejection Jesus is our validation
Listen to this song. Seriously, if you care about reaching the world for Christ, listen to this song. Sometimes we get so caught up in the worldly things we forget it’s a spiritual war – it will be won through methods that don’t even begin to make sense to us.
Verse (Odd Thomas)
But I’ll give you a sign thats obvious
One of the most supernatural acts
is that God through his word
Has actually revealed everything pertaining to life and godliness
It’s boring when my life is more like the book of Ruth than exodus
Never seen the parting of an ocean
or a Cloud by day and pillar by night
Just normal everyday working of life
Where things that suck royally is evidence of his royalty
Featuring a bonus verse by Propaganda, this song calls out an unfortunate habit in Christians: we like to think there’s secrets in the Bible we’re able to discern which make life easy. I’m not going to write any more about this song, because you need to watch that video.
I’m aware of my guilt, overwhelmed
And the smell of my blood has the sharks
That surround me cast under a spell
They waited for me to fall but when I fell the water got
And the blood that was spilled protects me
It’s the same blood that cleansed me
Even if you don’t like hip hop, I encourage you to check out this song. Whenever I find myself at the end of my rope, useless, and just done with life, I find this song speaks to me in ways I can’t explain. DB once said it isn’t necessary for the outcries of the heart to be expressed in words. Somehow, this song captures what my heart is saying when I’m standing at the lonely edge.
How sweet the Gospel sounds to ears like mine
Well acquainted with pain and strained relationships
Friendships that suffer from long distances
Or even worse they get severed from something more severe
And He still hasn’t wiped away all my tears yet
My cheeks get wet every now and then
Similar to the last song, Beautiful Eulogy sends shivers down my spine for how close the words reflect thoughts I’ve never known were okay to talk about out loud. This one was almost impossible to pick, coming down to this or Satellite Kite…or You Can Save Me…or Vital Lens…or… Seriously, do yourself a favor and check out this album, artist, and record. The level of work they put in deserves a thousand times the attention they receive.
All rights, Humble Beast Records. I do not own the songs, lyrics, or photo contained in this post. This is for the purpose of review only. Seriously, go check these guys out.