New Release Tuesday Review

Welcome to the New by MercyMe | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseTuesday.com
Welcome to the New”  by MercyMeRated 4.5 Stars


Average Rating By NRTeam Members
Rated 5 Stars | View All Reviews

A Hearty Welcome | Posted March 31, 2014 Staff Reviewer
When you hear a band like MercyMe declare that it is “out with the old and in with the new,” there are several different things your mind can think.

Longtime fans of the group that has penned some of the most well-loved songs in CCM (“I Can Only Imagine”, anyone?) might worry that their beloved band has gone off the deep end and created something so far removed from their signature sound, that any trace of familiarity is gone. On the other hand, you have scoffers who can’t help but wonder if anything has really changed at all. I mean, how many musical bandwagons can you hop aboard before it starts to leave you a little cynical?

I admittedly fell into the latter group when I received my copy of MercyMe’s latest studio project, Welcome to the New. While I’ve always been a fan of their Adult Contemporary-friendly sound, I couldn’t picture this prestiged quartet doing anything differently, let alone doing it well. However, what I soon discovered upon listening was a series of songs that left my stuffy misconceptions utterly shattered.

“Welcome To The New” introduces the sonic shift, which is bent towards a balance of upbeat pop, and synth rock. They’ve always been something of a mature pop group at heart, but this completely renovates anything they’ve done before. Far gone are the days of sleepier jingles. This is something that stands up to the best of ‘em.

The song also introduces the theme you’ll find tied into almost every song on the record, about how Christ has set us free from the laws of religion and offered us grace enough to repeatedly fall down and get back up again: “You broke your back, kept all the rules, jumped through the hoops to make God approve of you, oh tell me, was it worth it? / The whole time you were spinning plates did you stop to think that maybe He’s okay with just you? / There’s no need to join the circus.

“Gotta Let It Go” blazes out of the gate and quickly sets itself atop a long list of some of the best material this band has put out, musically speaking. It carries a blisteringly powerful modern rock vibe, while somehow tipping its hat to the sounds found in much of the music birthed at the start of the millennium. Think Smash Mouth, without the cheesy nostalgia.

Another smokey rocker—no pun intended—is found on “Burn Baby Burn,” perfectly incorporating synth elements into the backdrop of a gritty anthem about shining boldly for Christ. It’s a theme that’s being touched on more and more in CCM lately, but yet have I heard it come from such a fresh perspective.

OK, so the band has clearly proven that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks, but what about those fans who actually liked the old dog? Fear not! While Bart and boys have mastered the ability to reinvent themselves, fans who’ve been with them since the beginning with be glad to hear that worshipful and cutting MercyMe mainstays are indeed present here.

Lead single “Shake,” the folksy “Greater,” future radio darling “Finish What He Started” and open letter “Dear Younger Me” all return to the core of the group, which is to both challenge and inspire. Each song offers some of the strongest songwriting of their lengthy career.

One of the biggest gems will be found in “Flawless,” which was originally slated to be the title track. It sums up everything good about this album in just over four minutes. Old meeting new, incredible lyrics, and a message that sternly reminds us that God isn’t looking for our perfection, He just wants us: “No matter the bumps, no matter the bruises, no matter the scars, still the truth is, the cross has made, the cross has made you flawless.

Closing Thoughts:
I could say Welcome To The New is a step forward for MercyMe, but that would be lie. It’s more like 12 steps and a giant leap. I’m thoroughly impressed by the production here, which is neither bypassed or overdone, something that has plagued some of their prior albums of the past. Bart Millard’s lead vocals are the strongest I’ve heard yet, and the band is all playing together better than ever.

I have few complaints about this album, other than it was a little shorter than what I’m used to from them, but as I always say, if you’re left wanting more, obviously they’re doing something right. This is one of the strongest albums Christian music has to offer in 2014, and a step in the right direction for a band who has clearly shown that they still have many years ahead of them.

Song To Download:
“Gotta Let It Go”

“You Are I Am” Guests Posts

We’ve gotten several great Guest Posts reviewing our new single “You Are I Am”.  Here’s a couple to start and we’ll post some more later this week.  If you want to review the song either in Text or Video, send it to mercyme@skorinc.com and we’ll check it out. We’d really love to see some videos, if you’ve got it in you. Just send the YouTube link to that same email address.  Thanks Tracey, Deborah, Kim & Susan for kicking things off. Let’s hear some more.

-mm
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A song that takes us to our knees, right where we belong…. but doesn’t leave us there. The shame expressed in the lyrics, the openness to admit our deepest flaws laid out before our Heavenly Father leaves us exposed, yet in the very next moment reminds us who we live for…. Lifting high our hands and face…focusing on a God who breaths life into death. Sin surrounds us but doesn’t have to consume us… This song redirects our selfish thoughts straight up into the possibilities of what God will do with a willing heart.

As the lyrics take your mind places you, no doubt, have surly been before, the chord progression and drum patterns take your soul. The deep desperation that the drums convey in the verses makes us feel emotionally weighted down and crushed under our unworthiness.. While the background vocals are the sound of hope rising! Not only do we have hope in Him, He has placed hope in us… The one, the very same one who brought the Son back to life! HALLELUJAH!!!

Tracey Fitzgerald
Elmira, NY

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I think this song will relate to a lot of people, lyrically, because these are thoughts and feelings we all have. It’s easy to get frustrated with things in life, and you feel alone. This song is very inspiring because it sings the truth – we are not alone, we are never alone. No matter how bad things may seem, we always have Him. And to take our faith, our hopes, our fate and put it right in His hands, and we will be OK. My favorite line “Hallelujah, He lives in me”. Wow, Yes, He does! He does, and I am confident that He will be there to pull me up when things in life knock me down.

Musically, beautiful song, flows nicely, catchy. Singing, is, as always, lovely…at times, makes your heart skip a beat. But for me, the grabber was those drums. Good stuff there, strong and solid and gives the song a nice little “edge”. Strong and solid, like my heart beating for the Lord. He lives in me.

Deborah Tempalsky

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“You Are I Am” by MercyMe not only attracts you to listen because of the music, but the lyrics are powerful! Every day, we as Christ followers strive to reflect the light of Christ, but we tend to get distracted. This song provides a great reminder of who God is, and what He has done, and that He lives in us. Wow!  He was, and is, and is yet to come and He does not change! Not only that, but His love for me cannot be shaken, no matter what the enemy may be whispering to me.

I have no doubt that hearing this pop up on my iPod or on the radio in the middle of the day will encourage me to keep my focus on Christ. We are in a daily battle, but the war has been won. It is finished. Occasionally, I need a reminder of that in the midst of a hectic day. I can see myself  just  raising my hands, raising my voice and praising Him with all I’ve got while singing along.

Kim McClure

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I saw you guys in concert in Canada in May 2012 for The Hurt & The Healer Tour. At the time I had no idea what the days to come would be like for me. On May 14 I quit my job, the very next day I fell and broke my ribs and the days there after were filled with uncertainty and fear and a lot of emotion. My best friend, who I attended your concert with, and I were no longer speaking and I was trying to pack my things up to move. It truly felt like the bottom fell out of my world and I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me. What did I do so bad? Was I saw far out of reach of everyone including Jesus? I had never felt so completely alone. I cried for hours and begged for mercy. I swallowed my pride and reached out to my friends and asked for their help. They did. In that moment I knew I did something right. When the dust started to settle I reached out for my Bible and began to read and it felt wrong somehow… forced and hollow. I sat it down and walked away but when I came back, the pages had flipped to a different chapter. When I picked it up and began to read again it said .. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart … and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” In that moment I surrendered completely to our merciful savior. In the background I could hear You are I AM start playing on my iPhone and the tears streamed down my face. I had been so caught up in the emotions and selfishness I overlooked the Lord. It wasn’t about me, He was teaching me a lesson .. the lesson was that He will never leave me and I am never alone… That the one and only one that could save me was there all along and I didn’t ask for His help. The lyrics of You are I AM echoed through my head ..I felt all of those emotions, all of those feelings .. I was there and lived it. Once I trusted in Him completely He showed me He is “The One that conquers giants, and the One who calls out kings..”. I began to pray instantly asking for His forgiveness. The veil was torn and I lived with the spirit in me and my life blew wide open. I had a roof over my head, a job I love fell at my feet, I went back to church, I found my life and my voice again. I have peace in my heart and I am grateful for this second chance.

Your song beautifully spoke my feelings and emotions when I couldn’t find the words. Your music gives me hope that someone else will hear or find their truth in your songs. You Are I AM helped me to find mine. Keep doing what you are doing guys. I know you reach thousands and thousands of people world wide. I just happen to be one of them. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I know this doesn’t seem like much of a review, but it’s my truth and if it helps one other person find the strength to let go then I have done my part.

Susan Ogden

Mr. Lovewell Gets Love from Retail, Radio, Critics and Fans Alike

Nashville, TN…May 6, 2010…Billboard magazine’s “Christian Song Artist of the Decade,” MercyMe’s brand new project, The Generous Mr. Lovewell, available now, has already peaked at No.1 on iTunes ® Christian Albums Chart and in the Top 5 on its overall album chart. Additionally, the album is currently the No.1 selling record at Family Christian Stores, Lifeway, Mardel, Berean and most other Christian bookstores. Furthermore, The Generous Mr. Lovewell is getting a lot of love from all who listen, including critics from Billboard, USA Today, Christianity Today, New Release Tuesday and more:

“MercyMe’s sixth studio album is a well conceived and beautifully executed record that celebrates the power of love to change the world. Frontman Bart Millard and the band have crafted a set of tunes that are sonically engaging and musically substantive. Music with a message has never sounded more lovely.”-Billboard

“MercyMe ups the musical ante with a whimsy-filled concept album about a balloon-carrying character who encourages people to, well, “love well,” using everything from random acts of kindness to intentional, determined commitment. The title track recalls Mr. Blue Sky-era Electric Light Orchestra, and the rest ranges from inspirational ballads to synth-pulsing anthems.”
USA Today

“MercyMe remains a lyrical fortress for an inspired constituency looking for straightforward spiritual encouragement. And with Lovewell, MercyMe’s message remains a serious asset to this industry.”-Christianitytoday.com

“The Generous Mr. Lovewell is RIDICULOUS!! This album truly establishes MercyMe as the premier artist in all of Christian music. I didn’t think MercyMe could top All That Is Within Me but The Generous Mr. Lovewell rocks, has some incredible new musical twists and Bart’s vocals have never sounded better.”-NewReleaseTuesday.com

“The band has never sounded better, nor [Bart] Millard more soulful and confident, than on The Generous Mr. Lovewell, easily one of MercyMe’s best efforts in their incredible string of success.”-NoisyWhisper.com

In addition to a stellar reception from the press, every single Christian AC station in the country is playing the chart topping single “All of Creation,” as the hit track continues to dominate the charts holding its place at No. 1 on AC Monitored and Soft AC/Inspo for more than 7 weeks total and is currently in the Top 10 at CHR.

This week as the Grammy nominated band celebrates their new album, they stopped by Good Day Dallas (FOX) and performed their hit single, while also speaking to over 100 different radio stations over the past two days. After their stop at Good Day, they made a special appearance at a Chick-fil-a in Dallas meeting fans for a fun and personal event hosted by KTLY in partnership with Lifeway Christian stores.

In addition to the meet and greet, the band continues to live out their message of loving well as the band broke out their bowling shoes and played with select winners from a radio promotion with KTLA. MercyMe also recently served at Rescue Missions in California where they served food, washed dishes and loved on the residents and also assisted radio listeners in Portland, Seattle and Las Vegas by providing contributions to the winners that went towards meeting their needs.