Friday, October 21, 2011

Aaron Keyes - Dwell

Yeah, ok, I frequently don't listen to the music that other people link up to Youtube so I won't blame you if you don't listen to the songs I'm linking below. Just sayin' that if you are looking for a Christian artist who writes and sings theologically sound lyrics and who doesn't promote naval gazing, then check out Aaron Keyes. I've talked about him before and I'll no doubt talk about him again. (He ranks right up on my list next to Steven Curtis Chapman. Only Keyes specifically writes songs for corporate worship.)

If I could organize a worship service however I liked it, there'd be a lot of Aaron Keyes songs involved. I like his music a lot. I like this new album Dwell a lot. (It even knocked Hank the Cowdog out for audio distraction while running this week. Guess what? My spirit actually DID soar while running. But how could it not while listening to this song:)

(It's the perfect beat for me to jog too also. Side issue. Not terribly important but WOW did it assist me as I ran!)

Check these lyrics out:

Oh my soul, rise and sing

Highest praise to heaven’s King

Boundless love has won the day

The sin of man is washed away

In explaining this song, Aaron Keyes wrote:

The Lord is great and greatly to be praised; Psalm 66 says, “Sing the glory of his name, make his praise glorious.” We were dead in our sin, and now we are alive forever; we should then offer highest praise to our God, illustrious and dynamic praise, not mere mutter and meditation. In light of his power and love, his majesty and mercy, should we not rise and sing from the depths of our souls to the heights of heaven?

Not mere mutter and meditation. I love that. We mutter through so much of what we do and say towards the Lord. I love how this song makes me want to just sing and SHOUT praises to the Lord. I like to play this song very loud. We're ALIVE to praise the Lord and if we don't the rocks must cry out. Wouldn't we rather it be us? God is not dead, nor should our worship be. (By the way, you shouldn't read this thinking I'm slamming hymns or "toned down" worship songs. This particular blog post is very much slanted in one direction, without giving you the "benefit" of my opposing view of modern worship music as well. Just sayin': hold the tomatoes. I'm not slamming hymns. I am slamming the idea of playing them just because we feel we ought to or we'll be cursed. There are some hymns I dearly love, and some I'm growing to love. I just have a bee in my bonnet about any worship song being played without a heart of praise.)

Thankfully the treadmill makes such a loud sound itself that I have a great excuse to just blare Keyes's songs and let them run through me.

I am also a huge fan of this next song which reminds me of truths that I hold near and dear and repeat to myself constantly.

There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You're teaching us to trust

Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

God is sovereign over the good and the bad. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Rather, He planned for every single detail of our lives. Why should I accept only the good but not the evil? Both are used for my benefit and for His glory. He is awesome. I am limited in my understanding. He is sovereign. I am grateful.

Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
Youʼre working for our good, Youʼre working for our good and for your glory

To begin and end this post with a Doxology, I must point out the song Sinless Savior.

He came in flesh the living stone, He was rejected by all men
But in the sight of God the King, He was the chosen offering
A man of sorrows and disdain he was reviled and condemned
With all of heav'n at His command endured the cross for our sin

He is Jesus, sinless Saviour
The spotless Redeemer of man
He is Jesus, God is with us
All glory, all praise to the Lamb

All glory, all praise to the Lamb! Hallelujah, what a Savior!

This is definitely an artist I wish received a little more attention than he does. I've been so nauseated lately by the songs playing on the local Christian radio station ("I Love the Way You Hold Me" anyone?!?!) Dwell brings me back to worship and I appreciate it as a tool for that. The style appeals to me also, of course, and so I play these songs as loud as I can and find myself completely in awe of the One who created music, giving us another way to come to Him in worship.

(No, I wasn't given a copy of Dwell to review. I bought it post-haste as soon as I discovered it was available. These opinions are all very much my own.)

And on that note (har, har) I hope you have a lovely weekend!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Will definitely check him out! I'm afraid I'm out of touch with most new music.

Anonymous said...

Hadn't known about him before [is this his first cd?]but a friend gave me Dwell, and I was so surprised (and fell in love with) the depth of the lyrics, as well as the good music that also accompanies them: their definitely all-round well crafted. I think if it were possible to wear out MP3's then I would've already done so. :)

But you're right anyway, about some of the Christian music that's releasing lately...

Do you know Casting Crowns? One of the best Christian groups out there. They're definitely the type who you know live the depth of songs they sing. Their new one album 'Come To The Well' is... unbelievably good. Full challenging, thought-provoking lyrics and great music... I think if you enjoy Dwell, then you'll also find some very listenable stuff from them.

Barbara H. said...

I don't know that I have ever heard of him except that you've probably mentioned him before and I just don't remember. I like the words. I like that he sings out instead of using a whispery or whiny tone. I don't listen to a lot of CCM, but this has a lot of depth.

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