Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Nature's Symphony in 432 - The Isaacs - CD Review

I wanted to squeeze in one more CD review before the end of the year and before I made the list of best albums of the year. The final one for the year is the Isaacs' release Nature Symphony in 432.

The Isaacs released Nature’s Symphony in 432 is recorded in ‘Verdi’s A tuning,’ which is warm and gentle to the ear. Apparently, this is also the natural tuning for animals, like birds singing, whales bellowing explaining a bit more about the title and concept. Several songs have "nature" names - "Fields," "Rocks" and "Bird on the Wing."

Almost every song on the 15-song project was co-written by Becky Bowman and Sonya Yeary. Sonya's husband, Jimmy, also was a co-writer on several.

The first song I heard on this project was "I Love You More" in a live concert setting. I remember that night what an incredible song that was and especially coming off Sonya telling the testimony of the baby she and Jimmy lost. It's such a heartfelt, raw and reflective song about how God doesn't always answer prayers like we want, but ultimately it will draw us closer to him. We will love him more for it. Sonya's performance on this song is just incredible. "Keep Breathing" is another deeply personal song that Sonya delivers so well.

The Isaacs' break out of their typical shell a bit with "Lord of My Heart," which has a more praise and worship style to it. Becky is featured on this song. "Dining With the King" is probably my favorite Becky feature on the project. This song tells the story of Mephibosheth and how David pulled him from poverty showing kindness to him let him dine with the king.

"This Is the Year" is a song that pays tribute to their Jewish heritage about the Year of Jubilee. The end of 2015 to late 2016 was the Year of Jubilee according to Hebrew calendars. The song starts with the blowing of the shofar. It does a great job of featuring all members of the group. It's a great contrast of celebration after a wilderness time in our lives.

The bluegrass is turned up on "Bird on the Wing," which features Sonya. Another country/ bluegrass uptempo song is "God Is Still With Me." It's a fun song to break up a lot of ballads, but still keeps with the same theme of the album.

Lily sings on "I Find It All in You," which is a great ballad that speaks to the peace and rest we find in Christ. "If That's What It Takes" is another heartfelt, tender song featuring Ben. This song is sometimes a scary prayer, asking God to do things to get our attention and humble if it will draw us closer to Him. It's a sweet surrender to God, to do whatever it takes to be closer to Him.

"Rocks" is one of my favorites from this project. It tells the story of the adulterous woman. It's easy to reach down and pick up rocks to throw at people, but think about how our rocks (words) can hurt them and think about the sins in our own lives because we throw rocks at others. It's got a great country feel, and, let's be honest, a great message that we all need to be reminded of.

The project ends with "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" where producer Terry Bradshaw joins them.

I'm going to say that this is the strongest family group project released in 2016. See where it actually ended up on my list of best in 2016 later this week. In the meantime, make sure you pick up a copy of this project if you don't already have it!

Song List -
1. "Nature's Symphony"
2. "Fields"
3. "I Love You More"
4. "Lord of My Heart"
5. "This Is the Year"
6. "Bird on the Wing"
7. "Keep Breathing"
8. "I Find It All in You"
9. "Rocks"
10. "If That's What It Takes"
11. "Yours Amen"
12. "God Is Still With Me"
13. "Dining With the King"
14. "None So Lovely"
15. "Great Is Thy Faithfulness"

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