Sunday, December 4, 2011

Album Review: "The Great Awakening" by Leeland

If you read my last post, you will know that this album has been nominated for a Grammy award. Go here to find out which award it has been nominated for.

Release Date: September 20, 2011
Genre: Modern Worship/Rock/Pop
Rating: 4/5 Stars

The album begins with the upbeat title track “The Great Awakening.” The lyrics are from an anonymous poem that talked about spiritual revival. Jack Mooring was moved by reading it and shared it with his brother Leeland who immediately created a tune for the words. The song is only nine lines, my favorite ones being the first three that say, “One man wakes, awakens another/ Second one wakes his next door brother/ Three awake can rouse a town.” Following the first track is a song that sounds like it should be at the end of the album. “All Over The Earth” is an almost nine minute long song of praise to the Lord. It seems to drag on much longer than it has to and it is very surprising to hear this song so early in the album. “Chains Hit The Ground” is a reminder to Christians that whenever they are experiencing suffering, Jesus suffered for us. He knows how it feels, and whatever may happen to us, we can find hope in the fact that He took our sins for us and we have salvation.

“I Can See Your Love” has a great theme and an upbeat tune. The idea of the song came from Leeland’s trip from Japan to Cambodia. The two countries had vastly different economies, one rich and the other very poor. Despite this difference, the band knew that God’s love was still present and
evident in both countries. In the second verse, they sing, “I see Your kingdom in the middle of hunger and pain/ I feel You in the hands of the poor/ I hear You in the song of the weak/ There is no place too far that You can’t reach.” Following this rock song is a much slower song of worship to the Lord, “I Wonder.” The band sings of the pain Christ went through for us to have eternal life and they proclaim His great majesty.

During a family trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado, Leeland Mooring’s wife wrote a piece of poetry; one line mentions how God holds our lives in a book. This sparked a thought in Leeland’s mind of the Lord holding the story of his life in a book. One day, He will look at the pages of that book which will determine what kind of life Leeland led; this idea is sung about in “Pages.” The energetic song “I’m Not Afraid Anymore” is a proclamation from the band Leeland to no longer by afraid to follow God’s will. The chorus comes from Psalm 144, as Jack Mooring explains: “We‘ve always thought Psalm 144 was cool, where David says, ‘You train my hands for battle and my fingers for warfare.’ And we finally fit that into a song.” A very emotional song, “I Cry” is the cry and prayer of someone who, as Leeland Mooring says, has hit rock bottom. In the song, the singer asks God, “Are You out there tonight?” This is the same question that many Christians ask when they are experiencing some of the worst times in their life. The theme comes from Romans 8:35 which says: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship…?” As it says later in that same passage, nothing can separate us from the love of our Father in heaven.

Leeland Mooring asks in “Holy Ghost” for the Holy Spirit to fill his body and to guide him and help him to follow the Lord’s will, singing, “Oh God, come and take me over.” The acoustic-driven song “While We Sing” talks about doing more than just singing praises to God; to take action and help those around us. As the song tells us, we were called to do more than just sing, but to go out and make a difference in the world. Leeland closes the album with the soft worship song “Unending Songs” in which they glorify the Lord and state that they will continue to sing songs, unending, to Him.

Leeland’s music style has been compared to that of secular bands such as Coldplay. While a rock band, Leeland adds soft “melodic” songs into their albums. These worship songs are a nice addition to the album and give Leeland the sounds that they are known for. The Great Awakening contains very inspirational songs of God’s love and spiritual revival. The messages in these songs are both powerful and encouraging; these combined with the unique flavor, The Great Awakening is very enjoyable to listen to.

Top 3 Songs
  1. The Great Awakening
  2. Unending Songs
  3. Not Afraid Anymore
  1. The Great Awakening
  2. All Over The Earth
  3. Chains Hit The Ground
  4. I Can See Your Love
  5. I Wonder
  6. Pages
  7. Not Afraid Anymore
  8. I Cry
  9. Holy Ghost
  10. While We Sing
  11. Unending Songs


Jesselyn said...

I always enjoy your detailed reviews. You have a God-given gift for writing them, Justin!

Justin Morden said...

Thanks, Jesselyn! I appreciate that! :)

Jesselyn said...

You're welcome.