Matthew Smith has been involved with Indelible Grace for a number of years now. I hung out with him two times over the past couple years, and have been encouraged by his commitment to revitalizing hymns that expound both the theology and passion of Scripture. Of course, he’s following in the footsteps of his good friend, Kevin Twit, who has been one of the main proponents for modernizing many of the doctrinally rich hymns of the past. Here is one of Kevin’s articles where he makes a case for setting older texts to newer music.
Matthew’s new CD, All I Owe, is now available for pre-order. I was able to get a pre-release download and wanted to share my thoughts on the CD.
The project contains ten hymns:
1. Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing
2. All I Owe
3. Thy Blood Was Shed For Me
4. None Among
5. His Love Can Never Fail
6. Jesus, I Am Resting
7. How Helpless
8. My Lord I Did Not Choose You
9. The Lord Will Provide
10. Nothing But The Blood
The instrumentation is a mix of contemporary styles, ably produced by Cason Cooley. Lots of acoustic and electric guitars, percussion, and great vocals. The sound will be familiar to those who know the music of Caedmon’s Call and Indelible Grace. Matthew’s strong, clear, and passionate voice carries each song well.
The lyrics are a feast. Some samples:
To celebrate the truth of justification:
Let the world their virtue boast
And works of righteousness
I, a wretch, undone and lost
Am freely saved by grace.
To remember God’s sovereign care:
Though troubles assail and dangers affright
Though friends should all fail and foes all unite
Yet one thing secures us, whatever betide,
The scripture assures us, the Lord will provide.
To encourage us in our battle against sin:
Idols crowd my heart and mind
And demand I shed my blood
But the Lord, the risen Christ
Has secured me in the flood
To acknowledge God’s gracious election:
My Lord I did not choose You
For that could never be
My heart would still refuse You
Had You not chosen me
You took the sin that stained me
Cleansed me, made me new
Of old You have ordained me
That I should live in You.
This last verse is from My Lord, I Did Not Choose You, perhaps my favorite cut on the CD.
The project also includes familiar but tasteful versions of Come Thou Fount and Nothing But the Blood. Some of the songs are great for congregational use, some great for private worship, all of them great for focusing our hearts and minds on the Savior who has bought us with his blood and redeemed us for his glory.
To check out some samples, you can visit Matthew’s MySpace site.
You can pre-order the CD here.