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"The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One", by Casting Crowns

by Chris

The top-selling act in Christian music since 2007, Casting Crowns has released its first acoustic project called The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One. The record is just that – simplified acoustic versions of some of your favorite Crowns songs, including “If We Are the Body”, “East to West” and “Praise You in This Storm”. In addition, two brand new songs, “Delivered” and “Only You Can Satisfy” are featured.

Stripped down to just acoustic guitars, a piano, Cuban box drum and an occasional hint of a violin, Mark Hall and company provide a welcome departure to their recent string of overproduced fare (see Come to the Well).

Some of the songs actually work better with the sparser arrangements. Case in point, “If We Are the Body” is transformed from a free-wheeling pop anthem into a melancholy heart’s cry for spiritual renewal. “Set Me Free”, a track that originally packed a powerful punch on Lifesong, has been taken apart and put back together as a haunting, mysterious reflection of the demon possessed man that Jesus delivered.

In an interesting twist, Megan Garrett takes the lead vocal on “Who Am I” rather than Hall. The results are the same though, a thought provoking, mid-tempo ballad that challenges listeners to realign their perspective on life and who they are in Christ.

In the end, The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One is a must-have for all avid Casting Crowns fans. For those who aren’t, it is still a good pick-up for all the incredibly rich, worshipful lyics that are brought to the forefront by the simplicity of strings and a prayer.

Standouts: “East to West”, “If We Are the Body”, “Praise You in This Storm”

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