From the first note, I was into this new album from my introduction to Christian music growing up in the nineties, Mercy Me. It’s relevant, dancy, jazzy, classy, and full of Jesus. There isn’t a song on the ten track album that will have you eager to skip to the next track. It’s perfect for long car rides, daily worship, or sporadic dance parties in your living room.
On the heels of their RIAA Certified Gold and GRAMMY® acclaimed Welcome To The New (2014), at the core of their newest is the question of what it looks like to live as followers of Christ.
“This new record is the logical next chapter after our last album, and it carries a new perspective,” MercyMe’s Bart Millard remarked. “Welcome To The New was all about grace and identity in Christ; a welcoming to the life of being a new creation by grace. And it’s such an exciting truth to grasp, but then life continues to go on and eventually the newness of that wears off and we need encouragement and support to sustain us. For me personally, I sing about being new every night on tour and I don’t always feel so new. So the album title LIFER and the theme of the record is all about reminding ourselves and others about the victory we have in the end through Christ. We are all in this for life – even on the days when we don’t feel like doing any of it. We want these songs to be a morale boost to remind people of who they are and what Christ has done.”
Filled with positive, uplifting lyrics, along with energetic beats and soaring melodies, this latest offering delivers the massive hits that MercyMe is known for. The debut single “Even If” will serve as a follow-up to the band’s four hit singles found on their previous album. Lifer debuts March 31 wherever music is sold.
Song by Song Review
Lifer: An announcer greets the listener with, “And now, ladies and gentlemen,” before big band musicality opens the track discussing faith in Christ becoming as simple as vital as breathing to live. My favorite line:
“Because it ain’t what happens to me, yeah that don’t define me. It’s what I got inside me. Before I was created, you already knew yeah. Ain’t nothing gonna separate us, hallelujah.”
You Found Me: Has musicality that reminds me of an eighties movie, or the outro to The Breakfast Club. Lyrically, it tells the upbeat story of Christ finding those who believe in Him in our dark corners of guilt, shame, and condemnation, and claims us as His own.
Grace Got You: With a modern take on mo-town musicality, this song will get you on your feet in danceful worship of God’s grace. My favorite line:
Smile like you just got away with something. Why?
‘Cause you just got away with something ever since grace got you
Best News Ever: An encouraging song that quiets the noise of all the ideals people quote about life, and reminds us of our victory in Christ. You just got the best news ever!
Even If: A ballad that is for those struggling with doubts and questions in the midst of the darkest circumstances.
Hello Beautiful: My favorite off the album because of the usage of real life sounds that bring the track to life.
We Win: With a song that could be used for the Body of Christ’s pep rally, this is an encouraging pop rock anthem with the main message being, “We won.”
Happy Dance: You will not be able to stop the joy or the groove that hits you during this song. Totally a shake-it-for-Jesus anthem in lyrical content and pop rock musicality. A great follow-up to the previous track.
Heavens Here: The opening reminds me of “Circle of Life” from The Lion King but it reminds us of the line from the Lord’s Prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
Ghost: A haunting musical element creates an old hymn musicality calling out for the Holy Spirit to lead us to hope and peace instead of being like the images painted in campfire stories, horror movies, or Halloween ideals.