Original Article: Kevin Davis’s Music and Book Reviews http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/userprofile_reviewssinglepost.php?review_id=19061
Author: Staff Reviewer
Original Date: August 14, 2011
Downhere [On The Altar Of Love] | Posted August 14, 2011 Staff Reviewer
On The Altar Of Love is being described as one of the most “pop-friendly” albums that Downhere has recorded to date, with heartfelt lyrics that are a return to the core of Christianity. To me, that description is apt in describing that if you’ve enjoyed the band’s previous hit songs “The More,” “Here I Am,” “My Last Amen,” “Hope Is Rising” and “How Many Kings,” then you need to pick up this masterpiece immediately as every single song is catchy, engaging and loaded with Downhere’s signature gorgeous harmonies. If you aren’t familiar with this incredible band, this is a great primer. The album kicks-off with “Only The Beginning” which focuses on how our Christian walk of new life and continual mysteries always feels like a new beginning, blending Jason and Marc’s vocals perfectly and flows seamlessly into “Rest,” with a beautiful chorus, “Come to Me, all you tired and helpless, come to Me and I will give you rest” sung in the person of Jesus, similar to “Bleed For This Love” from Ending Is Beginning. “Let Me Rediscover You” is a surefire hit song and has become my personal worship anthem, similar in theme to “Here I Am” and “A Better Way”-both written by Jason, but this is Marc’s opus and is so sincere and engaging, you can’t help but be moved to cry out to God—“let me rediscover You, and by Your grace I’ll follow through, breathe in me a life anew, reveal to me the God I thought I knew, Jesus let me rediscover You.”This band just has a knack for hitting me where I am spiritually.
“Turn This Around” has Jason at his best, belting out “Thank You for the open sky…Thank You for my dreams, dreams of poetry both tragic and beautiful, thank You for life,” wrapped around a hooky piano driven melody and is my new favorite Jason vocal as he takes me places musically and in prayer that reminds of “Unbelievable.” “Living The Dream” somewhat channels “My Last Amen” musically while the hard rocking “Seek” describes how God searches for us “like a kid with a crush” in order to make us whole. “Holy” is a congregational-friendly vertical worship anthem sung by Jason like “Here I Am,” and is loaded with biblical Truth. I can’t get enough of “For The Heartbreak,” which has Marc passionately singing “Thank You for the heartbreak, Thank You for the pain, Thank You for the sadness on the gloomy days of rain, Thank You that the hard days have a reason and rhyme, Thank You that the healing makes the beauty shine.” You just don’t hear that type of sincere prayer in most songs, and is what really puts this band in the same “gourmet” category as Jars of Clay for me. The title track “The Altar Of Love” says to lay down your possessions and obsessions with the profound lyrics—“Love will ask of you more than treasure/When you’re willing to trust/Blessing far outweighs the loss/When you lay it all at the altar of love.” The title track is the second to last song and includes an incredible blend musically of banjo, strings, guitar and has a kickin’ violin solo at the end of the song which will have you moving along in worship and is yet another incredible song. This 5 star masterpiece closes with a contemplative prayer, “Reveal The Kingdom,” which has Jason crying out to God “His life compels us to serve in love…may we live to reveal the unseen Kingdom, the glory of the new Son, wherever more His love imparts the Kingdom in our hearts, reveal the Kingdom..” The compelling ballad ends with a chant in French. Gorgeous.