[Album Review] Poets and Saints by All Sons & Daughters
On September 2, All Sons and Daughters will release their fourth album, Poets and Saints. This special record is a journey into the lives and stories of Christ-followers that God used to wake up the world: like C. S. Lewis, John Newton, Saint Therese, Saint Francis, George MacDonald, and others.
They joined up with their pastor, author and speaker Jamie George, and traveled to Europe with a film crew to create an interactive worship experience inspired by ten famous Christian’s lives.
The band has stayed true to its folky roots, and producer Chad Copeland (Gungor, Crowder) has done a beautiful job supporting the reflective, worshipful, honest feel of the songs.
Song one, “Heaven Meets Earth,” starts at the beginning, literally and figuratively. The creation story is sung in simple language over a slow build, and reverently progresses into the classic hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
“I Surrender,” the album’s first single, is a great example of the tone of the whole collection. Co-written with Jason Ingram, this song was inspired by Saint Francis of Assisi, and prays: “here I empty myself to owe this world nothing, and find everything in You.”
A good amount of the lyrical content of the album is a wondering at God’s steadfastness in spite of our shortcomings. Songs like “Path of Sorrow” (inspired by William Cowper) and “My Roving Heart” (inspired by John Newton) are moving explorations of this theme.
“You are Love and Love Alone” - one of my personal favorites - is an adaptation of a 19th-century hymn and reminds us to love simply and constantly because God is love.
“Rest in You” is a beautiful, well-written, and much-needed song, which I’m assuming is based on Augustine of Hippo’s famous quote, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” Go somewhere, get alone with Jesus, and listen to that track.
The soaring vocals, soft brush drums and melodic hook on “You Hold it All Together” make it widely accessible and still believable. It’s great to hear a duet-y chorus with Leslie and David’s voices blending so sweetly.
The album ends with “Creation Sings,” a worshipful anthem that references Acts 17:28 and Revelation 1:8, declaring that in God we live, move, and have our being; and that He was, and is to come. How much more awesome and true can a lyric get?
These songs are honest, stripped down, and beautiful. Compared to ASAD’s previous albums, there isn’t an obvious “my church for sure will grab on to this” single, in my opinion. It doesn’t seem like that’s what they were going for on this record.
However, most of these songs would have a powerful spot in a Sunday service as a special or as a deep, reflective moment in a worship set, and the lyrical themes and melodies would stand up to even the most meticulous content critic.
I see these songs working in a more liturgical, hipster church, and less in a mainstream mega church. Which makes me smile :)
“Creation Sings” is definitely one to consider for your congregation. Its lyrics pull from the New Testament and church history, and will resonate in the hearts of believers everywhere.
The concept behind this album is unique, meaningful, and lines up perfectly with the band’s sound and style. I know these reflective, reverent songs will help so many believers who long to connect with God in a deeper way, or who are going through any sort of hurt or searching. All Sons & Daughters has wrapped timeless truths in a relatable, beautiful package, and which I believe will strengthen the Church.
Andrea Hamilton Binley is the worship director at Inland Hills Church and singer/songwriter at www.HopefulAndrea.com. Follow her on Twitter @AndreaHamilton.
Be looking for the podcast interview with Leslie Jordan of All Sons & Daughters.