Casting Crowns frontman and songwriter Mark Hall continues to write with an endearing honesty that leaves him vulnerable and challenges listeners to do the same with the band’s sophomore release, “Lifesong.”Hall, a youth pastor from Atlanta, said he writes with the intention of reaching the 400 children he sees every Sunday. The band started with this purpose and they want to ensure it remains their highest priority.
In “Stained Glass Masquerade,” Hall challenges the church to be a place where people can expose their weaknesses and strip off the content faÂade that so many present on Sunday mornings.
“Does Anybody Hear Her” and “While You Were Sleeping” also pose bold questions, making the album a faith-building tool rather than simply recreational background noise.
“Love You Like Jesus” and “In This Storm” are the most reminiscent of the worship songs from the band’s first album, but provide a transparent glimpse of Hall’s true sentiments.
While some of the songs are a bit slow, they highlight the maturity of this album’s lyrics over the last. “In Me” features a solo by Hall’s son, which may initially seem clichÂ, but proves otherwise. The song achieves the innocent tone needed to relay the message that people are weak without God, reminding the listener that a child-like faith is sometimes the most genuine.
Listening to the album a few times through, taking in the melodies first and the words second, will test the comfort zone of your faith and remind you of God’s ultimate purpose – to praise Him.