Review: Sojourn Music "Over the Grave"

Picture 1Our good friends over at Sojourn just put out a new album based on the hymnody of Isaac Watts. On first listen, I found it average. On second listen, it grew on me like a fine wine. I highly recommend that you get a copy.

Mike Cosper, the chief architect behind Sojourn Music, handed an old Isaac Watts hymnal to his cadre of talented musicians and songwriters and invited them to get to work. The resulting 11 tracks display both a beautiful diversity of style and a rich unity of substance. You’d be hard-pressed to find songs with more theological depth and biblical acuity – thanks mostly to Watts, but also to the love for Scripture that’s characteristic of Sojourn Church.

The down side of this album – as with all Sojourn music – is that it’s not very singable. You won’t find us reproducing many of these songs on a Sunday morning at Coram Deo, nor will you pick up your guitar and strum them in your living room. But strangely, that’s also the strength of this compilation. The musicianship, artistry, and production value on this record is top-notch. It will quickly gain your musical respect (contrary to a wide swath of “Christian” music these days). And not only will it fill your ears with sonic excellence, it will also fill your mind with deep, substantive lyrics.

Here’s a sample from the opening song “Warrior:” Your hand shall find out every foe // and as a fiery furnace glows // with raging heat and living coals // they will feel your wrath upon their souls // Oh, the Warrior will conquer // All the world will fall before his feet

Now those are lyrics with teeth. Kind of like the Bible. Not very much like the “Jesus is my girlfriend” songs you hear on K-Love.

The Over the Grave album will soon be available at iTunes and in stores, but for now you can purchase it at Sojourn Music.

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