Album Review :
The Red Letters Project - The Gospel Of Matthew

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Band: The Red Letters Project
Title: Gospel Of Matthew
Label: Independent
Release Date: Spring 2010
Review By: Steve
Track Listing:
1. Fish For People
2. Light Of The World
3. Sacrifice
4. Kingdom Of Heaven
5. I Am Here
6. Keys To The Kingdom
7. Tell You The Truth
8. 70X7
9. Cornerstones
10. You Must Love
11. Oh, Jerusalem
12. You Fed Me
13. I Was Hungry
14. Beginning Of The End

So how do you rate something like The Red Letters Project? It is almost as if you are giving Christ himself a review! For those of you who have no idea what TRLP is, I think you will find their story and mission quite inspiring and awesome. I think instead of breaking down the album as most reviews do I am going to give you more background on what the project is about and some info on the musical content.

TRLP is every word of Jesus from the book of Matthew set to music. Mario Canido, a well-traveled musician, inspired TRLP. He grew up with a passion for faith and music, and the idea of this project came to Canido while he overheard a car of young girls listening to offensive music.

First off, you are probably thinking how do you set Christ’s words to music? Not all of Jesus’ words rhymed or have any musical structure to them. Well Canido and his brother encountered that problem. In Mario’s words, “Fitting words in there with no rhyme scheme is unbelievably difficult. Luckily, my brother is a drummer and he could rhythmically structure in the Scripture to make it ‘feel’ more like a rhyme… At first, we would write a whole song, set it up with intro, verse, chorus and bridge, like any song, and we would try to fit the Scripture in. It was taking so long…” Eventually this led TRLP to take more of a different approach to their project by fitting each passage with a different style/genre of music instead.

This approach led to what I think is a brilliant display of musicianship and gives the album a quality that fits well with the words of Christ. Some of the styles/genres used are alternative, classic rock, hard rock, indie, and Americana. For instance in some of the parables or softer words of Christ the music is a lot more mellow where as in the more passionate words of Christ. I believe this was the appropriate thing to do because the change in styles captures you in as a listener and keeps you interested in the album. Because of Mario’s musical history, he was able to get many artists to contribute to his project. I envision this in my own life as adding to my devotion time. I love music so much that I feel I can add this to enhance my Scripture time.

Overall: this is an outstanding album that everyone should enjoy. It is hard for me to believe that anyone could listen to this and not appreciate the musical talent and artistry that went into this project. This album will be out this spring in two different forms. One will be a 3 CD 40-song collection that covers every word of Jesus and the other will be a condensed 14 song CD. Please check out The Red Letters Project and support their ministry.

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