Review Rating: Must Listen! [4.8 / 5]
If an album is to be named Good News, then certainly joy is to be a centerpiece. There are a thousand ways to describe joy, but Rend Collective wastes no time simply telling listeners what it is - with each and every song, they show it. Through shouts of energetic praise and moments of bittersweet thought, culminating in an anthem of worship, the band presents their beloved, signature sounds in a familiar, welcoming, and inviting atmosphere. Good News is a moment to worship the Savior without reservation - and Rend Collective refuses to hold back in celebration.
The collection opens with "Life Is Beautiful," an upbeat and bright track to set the tone and themes of the album. Its melody runs parallel with its name, bringing moving and joyful strings into play with piano and keyboard notes. A toe-tapping beat drives the song - a celebration, more accurately. The lyrics call for praise of God - prompting listeners with cries of "Rejoice! Rejoice! In the sunshine, in the sorrow, oh my soul, rejoice!" Life is beautiful because of His presence and goodness, a truth the song boldly and enthusiastically proclaims.
Closely following is "I Will Be Undignified," taking inspiration from David's praise experience. With a heavy acoustic guitar emphasis, the genre turns more from folk to western in a welcome and energetic transition. Fiddle and violin join in an upbeat chorus with equally unrestrained vocals. Lyrics express a desire to praise God and celebrate Him without reserve - even if the rest of the world thinks it to be ridiculous. The track certainly stands out for its unconventional and unabashed attitude, one perfectly appropriate for the exhilaration that comes with good news.
Rend Collective does slow down for a moment of contemplation, bringing the beat down dramatically with "Weep With Me." A powerful lyric sums the themes of the song: "I don't need answers, all I need is to know that You care for me." Clearly, these are words written from a low place, perfectly matched by slow and thoughtful strings that leave a listener between sorrow and hope. With influences of blues, western sounds, and a touch of gospel tones, the band creates a fantastic sound to convey a simple and powerful truth: that God knows our pain in the moments of sorrow. The theme of joy rests not in the circumstances or the moment, but in the presence of the Savior.
Of course, Rend Collective does not end the album on a melancholy note. Opting for a moment of worship, the collection comes to a close with "Christ Lives In Me." The notes are bright and hopeful, yet the melody calms to drive a listener to contemplation. Guitar, keyboard, and gentle drums blend and drive lyrics of testimony and awe. "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me!" the chorus cries with gratitude and joy. A fantastic note on which to end the experience, "Christ Lives In Me" is sure to become a beloved song for listeners.
Without hesitation, Good News is Rend Collective at its best. Captivating sounds meet comforting lyrics that beautifully describe the goodness of God and the joy that comes with knowing him - a feat for any album. Each track carries the themes of the album in unique ways, creating a diverse and well-rounded collection that engages listeners with every beat. For those looking for a moment of celebration of God's work and presence, look no further than Good News.