- All Over the World
- Solid Ground
- Found in You
- My Only Rescue
- Love Will Find You
- In Jesus’ Name
- Coming Closer
- Not For Sale
- More than Words
- Better than Life
- Lost in a Moment
Based out of Atlanta, Georgia; The Museum are back with their sophomore album, My Only Rescue releasing August 28th. Famous for their singles ‘Never Look Away’, ‘Allelujah’ and ‘My Help Comes From the Lord’ from their debut album Let Love Win in 2010; The Museum’s second album should be an improvement, an expansion upon themes presented in their last album as they utilise their skills to provide listeners with a well-rounded album about how Christ is our rescue. However, as I listen to this album from 1 to 11, I sometimes can be lost in how ‘CCM/worship’ it is, with songs blending into one another and nothing much standing out, except for radio single ‘Love Will Find You’, One Sonic Society cover ‘In Jesus Name’, and 2011 radio hit ‘Not For Sale’. Not to disregard their passion and heartfelt honesty throughout the recording process and into post production (with the band unveiling an interesting and well thought-out cover for their record!); as a reviewer I feel like the band is settling down into mediocrity, with the musical elements sometimes indistinguishable between melodies; and though some lyrical moments resonate, ‘…I wanna look into your eyes on a beautiful night, freedom ringing on through the quiet skies, singing ‘you and I, we are not for sale’…’ (‘Not for Sale’), some songs can seem ‘quick’ to write, with lyrics and themes seemingly re-hashed, sung time and time again by many different artists ‘…all over the world let freedom ring, our God is risen from the grave, in death He overcame…’ (‘All Over the World’). While this album has some good points (like the layered musical elements in ‘All Over the World’ and ‘Coming Closer’), this album fails to hit the marks of ‘originality’ and ‘creativeness’, with newer artists like Bellarive, An Epic No Less and One Sonic Society all impressing and exceeding The Museum, with their albums in 2012!
‘Love Will Find You’ is the first single from My Only Rescue, with Ben Richter, The Museum’s lead vocalist, proclaiming that ‘…you could never run too far, love will find you where you are…’ Filled with a guitar hook baseline, we are met with the realisation that no matter how far we are from Christ, He will always orchestrate situations and circumstances where people come across our paths to give us an encouraging word, speaking through them about His unending love for us. From a recent interview with Christian Music Zine, lead singer Ben gives us insight into the song and how ‘…[the song] was basically what I wanted to say to a close friend who had made some mistakes and lost his marriage. It’s the reality that no matter how bad we mess up or how far we run away that God is right there with us, there’s nothing that can do to take away that love…’ Given the reassurance that God is love, we are able to march in full confidence that as we show Christ’s love to everyone we meet, God will reveal Himself to those who need Him the most. Kudo’s to The Museum for reminding us that we are never far away from the redemption found in Christ!
Within these 11 tracks, there are a few standouts amongst an overall underwhelming album. Along with ‘Love Will Find You’, One Sonic Society cover ‘In Jesus’ Name’ was another highlight. Filled with edgy guitars and a looping drum beat, we are given us hope that ‘…when all around my soul gives way, I will trust in Jesus’ name…’; and is a certain worthy addition to the album lineup. Reminding me how great of a songwriter Jason Ingram is, ‘In Jesus’ Name’ is a song for the churches, fully focused on worship of Christ. ‘Not For Sale’ speaks about the topic of slavery, and together with Matt Redman’s ’27 Million’, this song echoes the need of believers to cry out on behalf of those trapped in bondage that ‘…we are not for sale…’, standing together and taking action against something that has risen up and crippled millions of men, women and children around the world. A hit in 2011, with all its musical utilisations through a very strong and powerful drum kick and vocal echoes, ‘Not For Sale’ is one of my favourites, sung with plenty of conviction as Ben and the rest of The Museum bring this controversial subject to the surface.
In every album, there are moments that really stand out and there are others that become a blur after listening, no matter how many times you do listen. With My Only Rescue, there were a few where no matter how many listens, my appreciation hadn’t increased. ‘Found in You’ is stellar in musical ingeniousness with the track filled with strong drumming, and a distinctive vocals from Ben. However, as the song starts to grow on me by the 2:00 mark, it starts to finish and ends at a short 3:16. Feeling like the song was ‘rushed’, it is disappointing that many songs are between 3-4 minutes, almost like they were told to by management or their label. And with a topic speaking about how our identity is found in Christ, it seems like the theme is done to death by many other artists on other albums. In fact, most of the songs on this album feel ‘rushed’ in a sense that once a listener’s immersed in the song, it is finished. Not that I’m questioning their heart and passion behind the album production, it just seems like The Museum’s My Only Rescue is becoming like a collection of themes, ideas and music that will certainly appeal to some listeners but not really for me. ‘All Over the World’ is one of the most musically creative songs by the band, but has so much lyrical repetitiveness, with the common declaration ‘…all over the world…’ thematically discussed in both Matt Redman and The Sonflowerz’ songs of the same name! ‘Coming Closer’ proclaims that the love we have ‘…is running over, can you hear the joyous sound; almighty God, we’re coming closer…’, but it seems like through all the musical busyness filled with plenty of guitars drones out the lyrical message that could even have been written and fitted nicely on a Hillsong record. ‘Better than Life’ seems like a generic song, with Ben proclaiming that ‘…You are my joy in the fight, when I fall down, You pick me up; You won’t stop holding on…’, and though we all know that Ben is proclaiming to Jesus, the casual listener could think that he’s just singing to anybody. ‘Lost in a Moment’ is as ‘mainstream’ as any Christian artist can get as Ben gives his perspective of how we all should be living in the moment of life, embracing it as if it is our last day. Something that we all should remember and apply in our lives, there seems to be an absence of God- with feel good lines of ‘embracing innocence’, ‘getting lost in the moment’.
Overall: Even though we fellow believers are fully confident about the band’s motives behind the album, The Museum have created a musical collection that is clever musically but sometimes slips into a ‘blurry’ mode that doesn’t necessarily work in their favour. With standout tracks ‘Love Will Find You’, ‘In Jesus Name’ and ‘Not For Sale’ highlights in an album that’s a certain purchase for fans of their first album, The Museum’s second album hasn’t really lived up to a more-than-2-year wait. If you’re looking for the contemporary/pop version of Hillsong, you have found it in The Museum!
RIYL: Kutless, Casting Crowns, Sidewalk Prophets, The Afters