My Rating: Catch It On The Radio (3.9/5)
The worship ministry from Covenant Church of Dallas released its new full-length album titled Sand and Stars on April 14. The band hoped to produce an “organic, reflective sound,” as they recorded the live album under the stars at a church retreat. The concept of leaving a legacy was important to the band as they wrote songs for the album. Many of the tracks draw from scriptures in both the Old and New Testament. Worship pastor, Dave Binion, commented, “All of these scriptures speak of legacy, the promise of future generations.” Dave Binion and his wife, Nicole have been passionately focusing energy on mentoring a new generation of worship leaders, and the songs on Sand and Stars reflect this passion as they pursue God’s calling to focus on legacy.
“Sand And Stars”, the title track of the album was inspired by scripture from Genesis about the covenant made between God and Abraham in which God promised that Abraham’s descendants would number the stars in the sky and the sand by the sea. That, itself, is a nearly impossible concept for human minds to grasp, and the song reflects the awe which such a concept inspires. Musically, the song begins pretty simple and quiet, giving special focus to the lyrics, “sand and stars, how bright, how far...further than my eyes can see…gazing at the sky above, the evidence of endless love You have for me.” The music builds into the second chorus, again singing about the mind-blowing concept that God’s love goes on and on.
Drums and hand-claps lead into the first verse of “Love Has Overcome,” which says “now’s the time for all the world to know Your name...now’s the time for every heart to sing Your praise.” The music gathers strength and energy as it flows into the chorus which says, “be exalted, God above in the heavens and the earth...by Your grace we are redeemed...love has overcome.” The bridge is a declaration of celebration – in the musical interlude, everyone is singing, shouting, and clapping.
The album closes with what may be the most powerful and heartfelt worship song on Sand and Stars, “Gate of Heaven.” The words, “surely the Lord is here, here in this place as we worship,” are returned to repeatedly in the song. The bridge takes its inspiration from scripture in Genesis about Jacob’s vision of heaven, saying “angels going up; angels coming down … everyone will see the face of God.” The repetitive nature of the song gives it a simplicity even as it expresses the complex idea of heaven and God’s constant nearness to us. The repetitive simplicity also stands in contrast to the complex concept expressed in the title track. And yet, this contrast between the complex and the simple paints a full picture of our God who is both impossible to fully comprehend and always close to us.
Covenant Worship’s Sand and Stars writes the promises of scripture into powerful worship songs. The band’s goal to capture an organic sound is successful, and it still maintains a clean, well-produced sound, making Sand and Stars an excellent new album to add to your worship playlist.