Various Artists "The Case For Christ: Songs Inspired By the Original Motion Picture" Review

Case for Christ

Prime Cuts:  I Believe (Cindy Cruse Ratcliff), Your Love (The Church Vessel), Our Great God (NewSpring Worship)

Overall score: 4/5

"The Case for Christ" is destined to be one of this year's biggest faith-based movie. Not since "God is Not Dead" and "God is Not Dead 2" has the aniticipation been more keenly felt.   Featuring an all-star cast of Mike Vogel (THE HELP), Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Faye Dunaway (BONNIE AND CLYDE), Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN), L. Scott Caldwell (Lost) and Frankie Faison (The Wire), the movie opens in theaters on April 7. The story is based on the true story of Lee Strobel, an award-winning investigative journalist-and avowed atheist-who applies his well-honed journalistic and legal skills to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife, with unexpected, life-altering results.

The soundtrack to the movie is equally promising.  Released via DREAM Records, this project features 11 never released before songs by some of the globe's biggest church worship teams. This includes the Lakewood Church's Cindy Cruse Ratcliff, New Hope Oahu, Seacoast Worship, NewSpring Worship, Soulfire Revolution, Faith Life Church and others.  Even Lee Strobel himself has utmost praise for the soundtrack when he writes: "From the opening anthem of this powerful new album I was hooked. The music is exciting and the lyrics are true to how Leslie and I came to faith, as portrayed in The Case for Christ movie... It all combines into one fantastic compilation of great music and compelling truth. This is one album not to be missed!"

So, do the songs live up to the hype?  In one sense, the answer is a resounding yes.  The greatest merit of this soundtrack is that the songs don't beat around the bush in frivolously ambiguity.  Rather, all the songs are crystal clear as to what the Gospel is, who Jesus is, and they make no qualms as to how we need to respond to Christ in faith (and not good works).  Seacoast Worship's "Believe" is one of the most perspicuous treatise of how Jesus changes our life encapsulated in a smooth pop-centric tune.  Cindy Cruse Ratcliff doesn't disappoint with "I Believe," a stately ballad that mines the EDM genre for its big electronic percussions.

NewSpring Worship "Our Great God" is the album's show stealer.  On this power ballad with a sound that rocks stadiums, NewSpring Worship wastes no time in being politically correct.  Rather, they go all out in honoring Jesus Christ in both their vocal executions and in their lyrics. Showcasing her strong pipes, the lead worship leader of New Hope Oahu offers a stirring rendition of the powerful "The Evidence."  On an album that utilizes lots of synths, EDM-influenced percussions and soaring guitars, The Church Vessel's piano-only-ballad "Your Love" is spine chilling. Focusing on the theme that it is only Christ's love that can ultimately change us, this song is simple but yet so poignant.

In another sense, this album doesn't live up to its hype. Ultimately, this is a worship album; the songs are what you would expect from a normal contemporary worship record.  Though with large brush strokes, they capture the Gospel and main thrust of the movie, but they don't go any deeper either.  The songs do not trace the plot of the movie.  They do not delve into the emotions of the characters.  And they have no entanglements to each other either.  One would have wished that there were more interactions of the songs with the movie.  In this regard, the soundtrack disappoints. 



Tags : the case for christ the case for christ soundtrack dream records newspring worship Cindy Cruse Ratcliff the church vessel tj murrell new hope oahu seacoast worship lakewood church lee strobel the case for christ film the case for christ movie "The Case For Christ: Songs Inspired By the Original Motion Picture" Review

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