Song Reviews from NOBTS Students

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brooke Newsom on November 16, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go

    The recordings of Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go were by Indelible Grace (they have written a different melody to the song than the melody found in the Hymnal). This recording contained two voices a guitar and a mandolin. The recording does not contain the chorus, but I have included the chorus that I wrote for this song.
    Verse 1
    Chorus (I added chorus)
    Verse 2
    Verse 3
    Voices – a lead singer and a harmony singer are included on this recording (a female lead/male harmony).
    Many instruments – acoustic guitar and mandolin

    The texture of this song is not what I would consider full, but is a good texture for the style of the song. The acoustic guitar and mandolin are playing different things that go together really well – as do the voices that are singing together in harmony.
    The tone and quality of this song is light and happy. The music is very pleasing and has a great tone. Though the tone of the song is light in this recording, the words don’t seem to match that light tone. The words of the song are very moving and reflective and I feel some of the meaning is lost with such a happy tone. I don’t think the tone should be sad or somber, but I think it should be more of a reflective mood.
    The dynamics of this song are soft and light. The song is not very dynamic and keeps the same light and soft mood throughout the song.


  2. Craig’s review:
    I selected the song; “O Praise Him (All This for a King). David Crowder composed the song that was eventually recorded by the David Crowder Band, copyright 2003. The recording I chose to review can be listened to by accessing the link:

    The reviewed version was fairly lengthy and began with a brief musical introduction. The singing of verse one followed the musical introduction. What I will call chorus one followed verse one and then the first part of the second verse was sung. Chorus one was repeated two times and was followed by a musical interlude, which included the singing of “la, la, la’s.” Chorus one was sung once again then went right into the second half of verse 2, which was followed by what I will call chorus two. This chorus was repeated two times, followed by chorus one, another musical interlude including la, la, la’s, a repetition of chorus two, followed by chorus one. The song ending follows all the above with la, la, la’s, once again begin repeated.

    The arrangement begins with what sounds like two synthesizers playing a very simple lead line with a type of wind or space sound. An acoustic guitar strumming and soloist pick up the song as the keyboard sounds begin to fade. The steady rhythm of a drum kit soon joins the soloist and guitarist. Instruments such as a tambourine, bass guitar, electric guitar and the creative sounds of a synthesizer join midway through the first verse.

    The arrangement I reviewed was recorded in the key of B-flat in four/four time with a tempo of one hundred sixteen beats per minute. I would consider this a moderate tempo.

    The melody of the song is fairly simple and interesting for this generation; however, an older generation might have some difficulty with the syncopation. A steady rhythm is sustained throughout the song making it very easy to stay in time. The orchestration is clearly contemporary with a driving bass guitar and drums in places. The electric guitar adds to the contemporary sound. In several places the orchestration softens to acoustic guitar with a slight drum rhythm. The harmony is excellent between the vocalist and supporting singers. The use of the synthesizer to add various voices adds to the recording.


  3. Posted by Ed Manning on November 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    SONG: “Because of Your Love” by Paul Baloche

    You can view and listen to the music video on You Tube,

    The quick view of this form could be expressed as, Intro(PV) V C PV V C IB C Outro(PV).
    (PV = Pre-Verse; IB = Instrumental Break)

    “Because of Your Love” is in the key of G, but consider the key of F for better singability; its time signature is 4/4; and its tempo is moderate at 126.

    I love the corporate nature of this song. There is not “I” here, only “We.” This song focuses on praising God for all of His blessings – particularly the blessings that have come to us through the work of the Cross: forgiveness, cleansing (holiness, righteousness), freedom, life transformation (new creatures) all because of the love of God. This really is a quintessential praise song that praises and thanks God for the effectual work of Christ (the Gospel). John 3:16 comes to mind as a Scriptural starting point: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” (NASB). The song begins, though, with the gathering of the people of God into the presence of God. There they remember the goodness of God and the love and compassion of God, and their response is thanksgiving and praise. Even the repeated yeahs show themselves to be simple, joyous affirmations of God’s love.


    • Posted by Donnie Jones on September 12, 2011 at 3:40 am

      Wow! Yes, I see what you are saying! Wonder if anyone else every catches this that “We” is used instead of “I.” It’s ovbvious, but too many people may not think about such things.

      I also like the fact that the song is directed toward God and not about God. Most hymns sings about God and not too God. There are some praise songs that do the same. However, again this song, like so many is addressing God Himself as if it is a prayer. This is way all songs should be, I think. I do like hymns but, wow, how I get so much more out of worship when I sing these type songs.

      Yeah, this song is pure! It is a song that has a great beat and it’s not too much for the ear! It s a great “prayer song” that uplifts God greatly!


    • Posted by Mike Cobb on September 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      Dear Ed,

      I know nothing about reading music at all. But, I do know that a song that addresses God directly in praise in worship using the Word is dynamic. You have captured the essence of soung worship theory by examining the message of God’s love for us by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. Surely, our response should be one of reciprocating love and praise.


  4. Posted by Jason Musgrove on December 4, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I choose to review Chris Tomlin and Jesse Reaves’ Exalted (Yahweh), particularly the SATB verson arranged by Jay Rouse and published by PraiseGathering Music Group. A recording of this arrangement is available at

    This arrangement features choir, piano, synthesizer, drums and guitars. It consistes of a Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus x 2, Pre-Bridge, Bridge x 4, Chorus x 2, and an Ending (variation on the bridge).

    The song begins with a very simple Piano and synthesizer accompaniment on the verse and chorus both times. The choir is unison on the verse. On the chorus, The men sing harmony above the ladies, who sing the melody each time the chorus is repeated. Percussion is added on the pre-bridge and builds into the bridge, where guitars join the mix. The choir sings four-part harmony on the bridge each time it is repeated. On the chorus repeat, the choir continues unaccompanied the first time and then lightly accompanied by piano, synthesizer and percussion (mostly cymbals) a second time. The song returns to simple Piano and Synthesizer on the ending, which broadens and decrescendos to the end of the song.

    Tomlin, Chris and Jesse Reaves Yahweh (Exalted). SATB version by Jay Rouse. Nashville: Vamos Publishing/ songs/sixsteps Music, 2008.


  5. Posted by Steven McMorris on December 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    A Mighty Fortress, by Nathan and Christy Nockels, is a great and powerful contemporary worship song. The song is still very new to me and this past Sunday was the first time I had actually sung it in a congregational worship service. It seemed to work well and was a great addition to the service.
    Musically, it follows a typical worship ballad style. The song begins with piano accompaniment and a very soft melody line. The melody line on the chorus is very catchy and memorable. The verses are slightly more difficult, but not too hard for a congregation to learn quickly. The only other part is an instrumental bridge. I must say, I am not a huge fan of instrumental bridges. They sound great on recordings, but in a worship service it tends to create an awkward moment for the congregation while they wait for their time to sing. It can also seem like a performance as the congregation stands and listens to a guitar solo. Following the bridge there is a powerful moment when the instruments drop out at the entrance of the chorus. This creates a strong climatic feel to the song. The musical aspects of this song are very strong and well suited for the lyrical content of the song.
    A Mighty Fortress is a great worship song with strong theological and doctrinal content. Similar to Martin Luther’s, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, this song speaks of God’s power and strength, as well as His grace and mercy. The verses focus on specific attributes of God’s character with lines such as “our God is a consuming fire”, “our God is a holy righteous Judge”, “our God is jealous for His own”, and “our God is exalted on His throne”. All of these attributes point to God’s worth and reminds the worshipper that He deserves to be worshipped. The attributes of God mentioned in this song portray God as mighty and strong. Too many contemporary songs present a weak image of God, lower Him as being only a friend. I feel that it is important that the Body of Christ be reminded that God is holy and above anything else in all of creation. This truth is fundamental to the Christian faith. It is also important because when hard times come in life, it is good to know that we can cling to a strong and powerful God as our refuge. I would strongly suggest this song for congregational worship and I feel that it would be a great fit in any contemporary or blended worship service.


  6. Posted by Ryan McKinney on December 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    The first song I chose was “Everlasting God,” written by Brenton Brown. In regard to the line of communication, the verse of the song is horizontally oriented, with believers encouraging each other that strength will rise as they wait upon God. The chorus then transitions to vertical orientation, with the words being sung directly to Him in praise. This song functions in the worship actions of celebration and adoration, with a mention of redemption in referring to God as “our strong Deliverer”.
    This song is not designed to be placed in a specific point in the liturgical calendar, but could possibly work well in advent in relation to waiting upon God’s deliverance of His people from sin through the life and work of Christ. The song focuses on the hope that the body of believers has in God, even though it may require waiting. It also mentions God’s deliverance, His eternal nature, and His absolute sovereignty.
    In the ten months that I have been a member of my current church, this song has only been used in worship three times. It is one with which the congregation is familiar and can therefore can sing confidently, but it has not suffered from over-exposure. The song is definitely modeled after the rock mindset of contemporary worship. It is driven by a band accompaniment rather than being a four-part hymn.
    The form of the song is modeled after a rock format and is structured with one verse, a pre-chorus, and a chorus, all of which repeat at least once throughout the song. It was sung in the key of C, with a range extending from middle C to e’ with the males singing an octave below. The song is within the possible range of a congregation, but perhaps should have been lowered a step to be in the optimal range. The rhythm has a slightly tribal feel, and may be a little intimidating the first time it is heard, but it is easy to catch in a very short amount of time as the accompaniment accents the rhythm of the vocal line. The hook of this song is very memorable and there is thematic coherence in the piece in that all of the sections have a similar feel and sound. The song allows for the melody to be easily sung by the congregation while allowing those with the ability to hear the harmonies sung by the praise team to jump in on those. Sheet music for this song is not provided to the congregation nor used by the praise team, as is the case with most of the songs used in our church.
    The text is primarily taken from Isaiah 40:28-31 and is therefore sound. The lyrics flow in a lyrical manner, rather than poetic, and come from the perspective of the “we” of the congregation. The lyrics are not conversational but most definitely speak to the transcendent qualities of God.

    The second song I chose was “The Love of God,” by Frederick M. Lehman. The song is oriented entirely on a horizontal basis, with the believers singing the song speaking to one another. The song functions in the realms of adoration and redemption. The believer is thankful for the love of God and that it is eternal. The redemptive references are in the first and second verses. Like the previous song, this one does not seemed to be designed for a particular point on the liturgical calendar, but could be utilized at any time the redemptive work of Christ or the love of God is being referenced.
    The subject of this song is, obviously, the love of God. The aspects of this mentioned are the eternal nature of God’s love and the work of redemption coming from this eternal love. The last verse is an acknowledgement that man can never realize the fullness of God’s love while on earth. In my time as a member of this church, this song has been used four or five times, with an average of once every two months or so. This is a song well-known by the congregation but not one which they are tired of singing. It is extremely meaningful to them when presented in the correct context.
    This song is a strophic four-part hymn with a refrain also in four parts. In our setting, it is primarily led by piano, but is accompanied with a full worship band as well.
    It is sung in D and has a range of an octave from the D above to the D an octave above, with the male voices singing an octave down. This fits into Scheer’s recommended range of congregational singing. The rhythm is very simple and the texture is homophonic, allowing for congregants to easily sing the melody while having the option to add the harmony for the other three voice parts.
    The first two verses and the chorus are inspired by truths from the Word of God and have a great depth of meeting and expression. The third verse is Lehman’s paraphrasing of a section of a Jewish poem, entitled “Hadamet,” written in Aramaic by a rabbi in 1906. This verse is a beautiful lyrical paraphrase of even more beautiful poetic imagery.


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