Disclaimer: All views presented in this Album Review are those of the reviewer and not of DJ Wade-O
When I think of what the Christian/Gospel genre has been offering for years, I never think of anything soulful. Not soulful meaning full of The Holy Spirit, but musical soul. The closest thing we have to a soul singer in both genre’s appears to only be our brother Sean C. Johnson.
While we enjoy his talents, that is a large gap in a style of Christ-filled music being filled by one man. But with this new album from Chris Lawson, we now have one more than before. Detroit-based music production group “The Yunion” has been in the works with this new project Bow Down for a few years, allowing the songs to marinate to a place that fit the direction that God was leading them in.
Chris Lawson, who, since 2011, sings with worship leader Israel Houghton at Lakewood Church, had a distinct purpose with this album. He says, “In God’s time, I don’t want to just release something just to be singing. I want to invite believers into a journey, compel them to go deeper; worship is not a spectator sport.”
Before I even read this quote, I got this direction from listening to the songs. This album is full of songs that are reminiscent of scripture verses that usher praise to The Lord – in particular, the second track, titled “Psalm 3,” uses scripture as its chorus.
The concept of bowing down to a Holy savior and righteous Lord is the album’s main focus. From song to song, you hear the idea of revering Jesus as Lord. The song “Due” has a hook that says”
“Praises due to you, praises due to you, we’re here because of grace, your mercies made us new.”
This is followed up by “Rescue,” which is all about how God rescued us from our sins, as our hearts were trapped in our depraved lifestyles. Followed by the songs “Wonderful” and “Reward.” These songs give the reasons to bow down to God, as they just pile on top of each other, more and more. If you want to keep your mind on the glorious attributes of The Lord, Bow Down is more than capable of doing so. Every song is about God. I would say that Chris’ goal of ‘not singing just to be singing’ was successfully met.
Much of the music we hear within the Christian/Gospel areas are starting to get less diverse. But I can safely say that Christ Lawson doesn’t fit in the traditional Contemporary Christian/Gospel/CHH molds.
Bow Down is so smooth and fluid. It feels like you could pour it over a stack of pancakes. It sounds authentically soulful, without being the cliché neo-soul that we think about when we hear the word “soul.” I definitely don’t think of neo-soul when I listen to this project.
Bow Down has a groove that flows well from song to song. It stays in the live-lounge band mood for the whole album, and by doing that, it creates a relaxed atmosphere in your mind. This relaxes your body and it allows you to rest in the music and lyrics. A few of my personal favorites that do this are “Overtaken” and “Son God.”
If you are a fan of songs that lead you to get lost in the groove, then you will enjoy this project. And with this album, you are more susceptible to let yourself get lost in the groove because you can clearly hear the things Chris Lawson is singing are praise to God.
Chris Lawson’s album Bow Down certainly fills a space within the Christian music area that is lacking participation. To hear a soulful album that has lyrical content, that isn’t suspect, is encouraging for the body of Christ overall. Musicians will enjoy a lot of the tracks, but even if you aren’t someone who can get excited about chord progressions, you can always connect with someone’s heart for worshipping The Lord.
I made a comparison to Sean C. Johnson earlier just off the strength that both of these brothers love The Lord, are unashamed of it, and can both sing very well – without it being the traditional “church sound” that you think of when you hear Gospel. If you are a fan of smooth singing that is combined with tracks that naturally make your head want to nod along with it, then I would recommend you pick up Bow Down.
You won’t be disappointed in the music quality of the songs, you won’t be disappointed in how the album makes you feel, and you won’t be disappointed in who Chris Lawson is singing about.
Chris Lawson’s ‘Bow Down’ is now available for purchase HERE.