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MercyMe
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On their sophomore release, MercyMe follow up on the success of their debut with another batch of finely crafted worship pop songs, including "Word of God Speak", "Crazy", "Your Glory Goes On", and more.
     

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LABEL: INO Records
GENRE: Pop/Worship
SPECIAL EFFECT(S): Occasional strings weave in to round out a guitar- and percussion-driven project.
PRODUCER(S): Pete Kipley

On its sophomore release, the group that captured the 2002 "Song of the Year" Dove Award for "I Can Only Imagine" offers thoughtful insights and observations on the joys and challenges of living for the invisible God. A variety of motivating pop numbers and reflective ballads is spread across 11 tracks, most of them teeming with heartfelt energy and wrestling that quickly garners the listener's respect. It is more than a sing-along; it is worship.

The most stirring cut is "The Love of God," which comes late in the album and offers an onslaught of musical theology that is seldom rivaled in the Christian pop niche. Amazing word-pictures sufficiently capture the awe of contemplating God's love for us: "Could we with ink the ocean fill/And were the skies of parchment made/Were every stalk on earth a quill/And every man a scribe by trade/To write the love of God above/Would drain the ocean dry/Nor could the scroll contain the whole/Though stretched from sky to sky."

An encouraging song for the believer who feels out of synch is "All the Above," with more catchy images: "Remember the day/When God forgot your sin/Remember the way/Joy came tumbling in." When there seems to be no "reason to stand and sing," believers must remember, "You're a child of the King." And the cut "There's a Reason" encourages disciples to realize that we stand, shout and die for God because Jesus is alive.

"All Because of This" seems a fitting climax to the project. The song spends its majority wondering how we can go on living as Christians when there seem to be so many reasons not to. The answer to these lyrical ponderings is simply, "We've tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness." Simply profound.

John DeMarco