MercyMe ‘Always Only Jesus’
4.0 Overall Score


(Fair Trade/Columbia)

For Fans Of:

Casting Crowns, Gary LeVox, Big Daddy Weave

We Like:

“Then Christ Came”
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MercyMe ‘Always Only Jesus’

Always Only Jesus

MercyMe’s is a somewhat unusual musical specimen when you stop and think about it. Yes, the group’s music, including what is found on the fine new Always Only Jesus, is accurately described as worship music. However, unlike many of the acts that get played (overplayed?) on mainstream Christian radio, MercyMe is a band that also writes and records its own songs. Its recordings consistently reflect lead vocalist Bart Millard’s unique musical personality, too. So, in other words, this is praise music with a familiar, recognizable face and distinctive sound. The act’s newest album is once again a strong collection of relatable spiritual songs.

The project’s title track, “Always Only Jesus,” acts as a statement of purpose. It’s far too easy in our overly distracted society to get sidetracked by the cares and concerns of this life. At the end of the day, though, remembering and honoring the name of Jesus is our most important everyday task. With its anthemic build, it’s easy to hear this one sung congregationally on Sunday mornings. Before we praise this Jesus, though, Christ must first come into our lives, personally, and that conversion experience is beautifully expressed and explained through “Then Christ Came.”

What lifts MercyMe a cut above many other similar styled artists is its solid theology. As the two aforementioned song examples amply display, Millard and band are never afraid to specifically sing the name of Jesus. The worst examples of today’s worship music can oftentimes be mistaken for romantic love songs. Not at all so with MercyMe, though. Its songs are always only about Jesus, and Jesus alone.

The group even nicely rearranges “Nothing But The Blood” on the album, which will make you listen to these familiar hymn’s lyrics in a new light. Overall, the album’s series of musical declarations add up to a collection of timely reminders about the main purpose of the Christian life, which is to worship God in spirit and in truth. “Who am I not to worship you?” Millard asks on “To Not Worship.” Well, everything that has breath ought to be always worshipping only Jesus. And it’s just that simple.

—Dan MacIntosh

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