Prime Cuts: Praying Through Me, Things Only God Can Do, He's Coming Back
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
This album has "real life" written all over it. These 12 songs contain lyrics that speak penetratingly and prophetically into our lives and our circumstances. When the pentad sings about the desperation of not knowing how to pray ("Praying Through Me") or the absolutely helplessness before the Almighty ("Things Only God Can Do"), you swear they have read your diary. The lump-in-your-throat honesty is just staggering. Add to such realism is the way Master's Voice posture their vocals. These gentlemen's vocals are packed with lots of personality. Rather than trying to impress by their tight harmonies or the elevation of notes, Master's Voice takes the time in inhabit each note with emotions conveying the textured nuances each song calls for. "Solace," in short, lives up to its titular. This is an album of songs that allows us to lay bare our souls to rest before the Lord in exchange for his burden which is easy and light.
2019 has had been a busy year for Master's Voice. Other than their heavy booked touring dates, they have had released two albums, namely the album of covers aptly entitled "Vintage" and their festive record "Season to Sing." Without wasting any breath, set for release right at the start of 2020, is this brand new offering "Solace." The pride of this record is in the ballads. As aforementioned, the piano-led "Praying Through Me" is a standout. Applying the Apostle Paul's teaching in Rom8:26-27 to our desperate times, this song warmly encourages us to partner with the Holy Spirit to pray through us, especially in the times when we are lost for words.
Continuing this trajectory of allowing God to be God in our situations is the ultra-encouraging "Things Only God Can Do." Stringing various narratives from Scripture of how protagonists simply take God at his word, "Because I Said So" has that faith-filled simplicity that makes this ballad a definite go-to song when we feel lost. "He's Coming Back," with lots of delightful brassy trumpet punctuations, spells out the reason why we shouldn't be discouraged by this furtive life. It also sets the ball rolling on a number of songs that has to do with how the second coming of Jesus brings cheer to our daily routines. This includes the rollicking "Five Minutes" and the exuberant (though a tad cliche) "Last of the Last Days."
Going back to their rustic roots is the sparse-sounding dirge-like "Thinking Outside the Grave" which is a solemn reminder not to be short-sighted as there's more to life beyond death. Despite its tiresome melody or the lack thereof, one still has to award top marks for the song's sobering message. "At Home," as the title suggests, has a down-home country feel and it unfurls a captivating story of how the protagonist learns about heaven and the all the joys it brings. Meanwhile, "This Same Jesus" takes us to the other end of the spectrum. The bombastic piano riffs, the majestic sounding orchestration and explosive vocal prowess show that Master's Voice can be just as comfortable with the softer country sounds as well as the loud and triumphant.
These songs, in sum, take the grand doctrines of the faith (such as the sovereignty of God, heaven and the second coming of Jesus) and show that they are not just topics for academic debates. Rather, these are truths that have great bearing on how we live and how we face our circumstances. If you are looking for a record that has taken the truths of God and have them fed into our daily circumstances, this album is the one.