Casting Crowns - "The Altar and the Door" This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

For a number of music lovers, Casting Crowns is the first (if not the greatest) contemporary Christian band that comes to mind. Their new album, “The Altar and the Door,” makes sacrifices in terms of sound and song structure, but proves how the band’s lyrical talent has evolved over the years.

The album opens with the explosive “What This World Needs.” Sporting a hard rock guitar riff and heavy drums and bass, this song may very well be their most upbeat. Unfortunately, it is probably the only song on the album that will make you bob your head from beginning to end.

That’s not to say that the rest of the album is forgettable. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear “Somewhere in the Middle” and “The World Is Alive” on pop stations in the near future. The piano and viola in these songs are beautiful and Mark Hall’s voice reaches out inspiringly at every chorus. Other songs, like “Every Man,” don’t have as much of a conventional praise feeling, but fans will appreciate Casting Crown’s newfound mellow vibe.

Listening to the songs without comprehending the lyrics would be like not listening to them at all. Every song tells a story that portrays a biblical theme. “East to West” questions the distance between right and wrong, and “Prayer for a Friend” tells of a person’s misguided companion who needs God’s assistance (Lord, I lift my friend to You/I’ve done all that I know to do).

Overall, the minor flaws are outweighed by the valuable Christian messages. Newcomers may feel a bit hungry for the band’s older material, but the group has certainly made a step forward in many important areas.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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TargonTheDragon said...
Mar. 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm
nahh "east to west" is giving an analogie of what becomes of our sin once we confess it and ask for forgiveness. the bible says he has cast our sin as far as the "east is from the west". but because that is an imaginary number, it cannot be fathomed, its forever. it just gives some idea to the infinity that seperates us from our sin.
ReflectionsofYou said...
Feb. 19, 2010 at 9:58 am
I'm so glad they published this! I love casting crowns. It's so cool to see this review. But I REALLY have to disagree with the first paragraph. I'll be honest, I don't know alot about "song structure", but I know that this particular ablum isn't alot different than what other Christian labels are putting out, is sense of quality. Every band changes just a tiny bit on every new project, but I think it's going to take ALOT for them to lose their fans loya... (more »)
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