I’ve been given the opportunity to hear a pre-release copy of this album, and to summarize my thoughts in a word, I can really only choose, “WOW.” I’ve listened to Christian music for most of my life. Some good, some fair, some much less than good. I’d put Matthew Clark’s latest project near the top of the heap. The album is inspired by the book, The Epic of Eden by Wesley Biblical Seminary professor, Dr. Sandra Richter. Asbury Seminary is creating a DVD series to go along with the book, and after speaking with Dr. Richter, Matthew was asked to create the soundtrack for the DVD series.
Bright Came the Word from His Mouth is a largely acoustic guitar driven record, featuring beautiful and subtly done piano, keyboard, and percussion work, and background vocals from Andrew Osenga. The record is a beautiful work of art, featuring producer, Mitch Dane, who has worked with other big name artists, such as Jars of Clay, J. J. Heller, and Caedmon’s Call.
The whole album feels like a journey to me, a story if you will. Especially when the first track, “Overture,” opens with the lines,
Gather all you who will, hear of the God, slain for his children’s sin
Come the story recall, all he has done, to bring his family home.
Any album that opens in storybook form is a good one in my book. “Overture,” is simply that, a great opening track telling the story of the album–Creation, the calling of Israel, the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and his return to set the world anew. Clark’s lyrical storytelling is excellent, reminiscent of Andrew Peterson’s brilliant Christmas record, Behold the Lamb of God.
Standout tracks for me on the record are “Let Go the Floodgates” (I’m a sucker for a good kick drum), “Father Without a Child,” “The People of God,” “Where I am You May Also Be,” and “Redemption Song.” This music stirs up my heart like few other albums can. Every song alludes to Christ and his redemption, his mercy, and justice. He has come to make all things new and every track on the album is an outpouring of this new creation.
The best feel I can give you for the album without spoiling the whole thing for you (seriously, you have to hear this for yourself) are the three choruses in “Father Without a Child,” which are told within the story of the Covenant with Abraham, God’s promise to make him a father of many nations, His promise of a son for Abraham, and God sealing the covenant by his own blood.
You’re a Father without a child
I’m a Father who’s lost his children
Follow me, Abraham
I will bring them, bring them, bring them home
I’m a Father without a child
You’re a Father who’s lost his children
Lord I am in your hands
Can we bring them, bring them, bring them home?
Hear the Father of all cry out
See a son laid upon the altar
One day the knife will fall
Just to bring them, bring them, bring them home.
To learn more about Bright Came the Word from His Mouth, Matthew Clark, and how to support this project, you can check out Matthew’s website here and his indiegogo site here. The album is set for release in January 2013.