Soundtracks of Life
Athletic commercials know where it’s at. I want to buy whatever they are selling & start running at 5 AM. They all have a common denominator explaining this irrational reasoning—music. Some of their commercials don’t even have dialogue because the music gives life to the story on its own. Music motivates, pushes you to keep going, & escalates at moments of high intensity. Music brings the spoken word to a new dimension, a new level of emotion. It’s like reading the lyrics of a song and then listening to the actual song. I’m obviously a big fan of the written word, but I don’t think there’s ever been a time when I’ve thought something would have more power if there wasn’t music paired with it.
Every life story can be given in song, giving us permission to express the thoughts of our hearts in a safe space & then empowering us to act in a mighty way. The three albums for this review do exactly that, & it’s a gift listening to them daily.
Usually by this time of year, I’m scouring lists of Christmas albums, carefully deciding which one I’ll add to my collection. This year, however, I’ve been entranced by these songs & have fallen behind on my Christmas music game. This will surely change (as I do adore Christmas music), but I’m just telling you all of this so you see the awesomeness of these albums.
Artist/Album #1: Jenny & Tyler: Of This I’m Sure
A few years ago, a friend told me that if I liked The Civil Wars, I needed to go look this duo up, & I’ve been hooked ever since. Jenny & Tyler are married & precious, first of all, & they blend raw lyrics with instruments to create a genuine, melodious finish. Everything they write is raw & vulnerable– their love for each other & their girls, struggles with our failures and the failure of our world, & intense love for Jesus. No matter the topic, they always bring dignity to humanity, & that takes talent, not to mention grace. If I had to choose an album to start with, I really couldn’t. I’ve had the chance to see them perform songs from Faint Not & Open Your Doors twice, & both of those albums are forever favorites.
Here’s their music video for This is Just So Beautiful so you can get a taste of the good stuff.
Artist/Album #2: Austin Stone Worship: This Glorious Grace (Live)
Austin Stone Worship is a ministry of Austin Stone Church in Austin, TX. This is the first album of theirs I have purchased, but they do have a Christmas album, so I’m considering a second purchase. This album brings the energy. It’s kind of like going to an outstanding, sold-out night of worship in your car/kitchen/shower. I’m such a lover of the song It is Well, so the fact that this song is on this album only seals the deal. If you haven’t heard this song before, this album is an incredible way to understand its meaning. It’s just such a song of life—whether standing on the highest mountaintop or flat on our backs—there is Jesus, & because of Him, our soul can find peace. It just does not get better. I was watching an old episode of Parenthood the other day, & this song played (that show plays the best music), & it made the scene 1,000 times more emotional in the grandest way possible.
Since I’ve harped on this one song, take a listen here (but the whole album is phenomenal!).
Artist/Album #3: Amanda Cook: Brave New World
A friend told me about Amanda Cook at Supper Club last month, & my first thought was a rather loud I CANNOT GIVE ITUNES ANYMORE OF MY MONEY! And then I listened to her & purchased her latest work in about three seconds. All I can say is it was so worth it. Every song puts our deepest thoughts & most cherished hopes into divine poetry. These songs leave me breathless & rejuvenated all at the same time. No matter your current place in life right now, this music will give healing to your soul.
I’ve talked about her song Pieces before, but it’s a song that makes me better the more I listen to it, so here it is.