Matt Maher, “What a Friend”

Contemporary Chrsitian singer Matt Maher has released “What a Friend,” which is counter-intuitive to what I expected from that title! Expecting a hymn, I instead got a rollicking praise anthem–WHAT?! Yeah! “What a Friend,” penned by Maher with Adam Palmer, MAtthew Hein, and Abbie Parker, brings together what sounds like a Hammond B3, a gospel choir, and a frantic tempo for a home run single across the board. Great track from his new album, “Echoes.”

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Jeremy Camp, “The Answer”

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Jeremy Camp has released his new single, “The Answer,” which makes a nice debut on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs at No. 38. Written by Camp, “The Answer” boasts of tinkling piano lines and a nice little gospel choir at the end that helps Camp’s distinctive voice lend an urgency to the call to personal and corporate prayer.

THE ANSWER Lyrics
Jeremy Camp

So many questions, the world is reaching
So many hurting, so many lost
With all this thriving, who can we lean on?
Creations crying, out from the dark

I know the answer, to every question
The one solution, to every fear
I know my helper, where it comes from
Jesus, He is the answer

He sees our sadness, He feels our sorrow
And in our weakness, He is strong
He holds the weight of, all of our failings
Greedy is our sin but greater the cross

I know the answer, to every question
The one solution, to every fear
I know my helper, where it comes from
Jesus, He is the answer

For every heart that’s breaking
For every soul that’s shaking
For every sickness, there’s healing in Your hands
Let every heart awaken
To see it’s You who saves us
You are my help and the rock on which I stand

You are the answer, to every question
The one solution, to every fear
You are my helper, where it comes from
Jesus, You are the answer
Oh Jesus, You are the answer
You are the answer
You are the answer
You are the answer

Austin French, “Freedom Hymn”

Debuting Contemporary Christian singer Austin French has released his first single, “Freedom Hymn,” which is now breaking at Christian AC, with a current new peak at No.26 with a bullet on Billboard’s Hot Christian Songs chart.

Freedom Hymn, written by French with Kayliann Lowe, Douglas Lowe, Kyle Lee and Jacob Harrison, is a declaration of what awaits us in Christ Jesus, is a catchy guitar-driven track that is fuelled by French’s immensely likeable voice. The former Rising Star runner-up from 2014 has gone through quite the experience on his way to where he is now, and with a songwriting and artist management deal from Fair Trade, we may be looking at one of CCM’s newest and brightest stars.

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Francesca Battistelli, “Messiah”

Contemporary Christian singer Francesca Battistelli has released Messiah, her 2017 Christmas song and carrier single from her upcoming Greatest Hits: The First Ten Years compilation. Beautiful in its delivery, its highlight for me is when Fran mashes up the chorus of O Come All Ye Faithful into the bridge. A beautiful, surprising, lovely moment for all.

MESSIAH Lyrics
Long awaited precious promise
Son of God and son of man
Heaven’s glory in a manger
Has come to us in Bethlehem

Messiah
Messiah
Baby born to save us all
Messiah
Messiah
On our knees we fall

All we longed for, all we needed
Shining in this child’s eyes
Hope forever, death defeated
Because of this one holy night

Messiah
Messiah
Baby born to save us all
Messiah
Messiah
On our knees we fall

O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
O come let us adore him
Christ the Lord

Long awaited precious promise
Coming back again

Messiah
Messiah
Baby born to save us all
Messiah
Messiah
On our knees we fall
On our knees we fall

Matt Maher, “Abide With Me”

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Matt Maher has released Abide With Me as his new single. Lovely and appropriate for this Holy Week season, few Christian singers have captured the reverence of the modern hymn as Maher, who sounds as confident as ever on this powerful worship anthem, which he co-wrote with Matt Redman, David Crowder, and Jason Ingram (what a song pedigree!).

Abide With Me will be a lovely choice for churches looking to add a worshipful track with a personal touch to their offering songs.

ABIDE WITH ME Lyrics<.strong>
Matt Maher

I have a home, eternal home
But for now I walk this broken world
You walked it first, You know our pain
But You show hope can rise again up from the grave

Abide with me, abide with me
Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go
Walk with me and never leave
Ever close, God abide with me

There in the night, Gethsemane
Before the cross, before the nails
Overwhelmed, alone You prayed
You met us in our suffering and bore our shame

Abide with me, abide with me
Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go
Walk with me and never leave
Ever close, God abide with me

Oh love that will not ever let me go
Love that will not ever let me go
You never let me go
Love that will not ever let me go
Oh You never let us go

And up ahead, eternity
We’ll weep no more, we’ll sing for joy, abide with me

Abide with me, abide with me
Don’t let me fall, and don’t let go
Walk with me and never leave
Ever close, God abide with me

Hillsong Young and Free, “Where You Are”

Hillsong Young and Free has released the carrier single from its sophomore album, Youth Revival. Titled Where You Are, it follows in the same vein of its predecessor singles, combining worshipful lyrics with club beats to cater to a younger market of teen and young adult Christians who may find the group’s older sibling, UNITED, a little too hipster for their taste.

Where You Are, however, is not as instantly catchy as the previous singles of the group’s self-titled debut release. Alive and Wake were Christian radio hits across both sides of the Atlantic, and the subdued dancefloor beats of Where You Are allow Aodhan King’s voice to really shine, and the listener to reflect on the lyrics of the song, which focus the spotlight back on the worshiper’s heart to be in the spiritual presence of His Savior. Works for me.

WHERE YOU ARE Lyrics
Hillsong Young and Free

I lived
Heart on a wire
Hand in the fire for so long
But You’ve shown me better
A new kind of love
It’s ever the one I want

I’m lifting you higher, higher
There’s nothing that I’d rather do
A sweet elevation of praises
There’s no one I love more than You

I never knew a love like this before
The kind of life that I cannot find on my own
I’ve seen the world but I have never been so sure
That I want Your heart
God, I just want to be where You are
Where You are
I just want to be where You are

Your love, like nothing I’ve seen
My wildest of dreams don’t come close
Life never no better than living like this
I cannot resist You Lord

I’m lifting you higher, higher
There’s nothing that I’d rather do
A sweet elevation of praises
There’s no one I love more than You

I never knew a love like this before
The kind of life that I cannot find on my own
I’ve seen the world but I have never been so sure
That I want Your heart
God, I just want to be where You are
Where You are
I just want to be where You are
Where You are
I just want to be where You are

And after all this time with You by my side
I can’t imagine what it’d be like on my own
I’ve made up my heart, this love is all I’ve got
And You’re the only one I know worth living for

A sweet elevation of praises
There’s no one I love more than You

I never knew a love like this before
The kind of life that I cannot find on my own
I’ve seen the world but I have never been so sure
That I want Your heart
God I just want to be where You are
Where You are
I just want to be where You are
Where You are
I just want to be where You are
Where You are
I just want to be where You are

Lauren Daigle, “Trust in You”

Contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle has released Trust in You, the latest single from her debut album, How Can It Be, and this Christian radio single has zoomed into the Billboard Christian Songs Top 10 in just its second week of release. Daigle has scored remarkable chart ink for such a young career; every radio single she’s released has gone into the Top 10, including a feature on a Christmas song by Chris Tomlin, Noel, which went into the Top 10 less than two months before Trust in You scored its own chart ink.

This kind of chart performance is far and between rare, especially for solo female Christian artists, but Lauren Daigle is not your ordinary solo female Christian artist. With Daigle’s impassioned performance, its producers’ brilliant studio work, and this song’s declaration of faith in a God Who knows what we need best, Trust in You will speak to believers in valley seasons, and is a great go-to song when we need encouragement. No wonder it’s a hit.

TRUST IN YOU Lyrics
Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!

Rend Collective, “Joy of the Lord”

Rend Collective has released the effervescent Joy of the Lord, a truly enjoyable pop/rock romp that combines Irish folk inclinations with Scripture to produce an delightful praise anthem, one of my favorite tracks so far this 2016.

Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Rend Collective’s Joy of the Lord brings this verse to bold, ebullient life, with banjos and hurdy-hurdy’s underscoring the outburst of praise, exclaimed in a chorus that invites worshipers to sing and absolutely refuses to let go.

Written by Rend Collective with songwriter/producer Ed Cash, known best for his work with Chris Tomlin, the biggest strength of Joy of the Lord is its passionate declaration of trust in a God Who will see us through our trials and tribulations. Christians going through a valley season will appreciate and delight in its biblical truth and irresistible call to worship.

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