Album Review: YOU AND YOU ALONE

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A while ago, a blog I read had an opportunity to review a CD. I decided I would take the plunge. I was a little intimidated when I saw a note that said the chord charts and lead sheets were on the CD. The note sounded pretty official, and I had just planned on reviewing the CD as to whether or not I thought it would fly in my church. So…I took it in my car, and we drove back and forth to work together for two weeks. Now, I think, I am ready to comment.

The songs on YOU AND YOU ALONE were written by Pat Sczabel and his son, Joel. Pat is an associate pastor at Christ Community Church in British Columbia. Their purpose in writing is, according to the album cover, “to provide the church with songs that magnify God and glorify Jesus Christ.” I was interested by that because I attend a liturgical church. Part of the comfort for those of us who were raised there is that the tempo of the music is worshipful and that the basis for the songs we sing is Scriptural. The music in our worship services these days tends to be a blend of traditional and modern music, intended to please both young and old. As long as the music is based on Scripture and glorifies the Lord, we’ll sing it! I think the songs on this album would go over well at my church. Pat Sczabel and his son have, in my opinion, done what they set out to do.

To begin with, it isn’t hard to think of Scripture that goes with the lyrics of each and every song. The songs point out attributes of God as Sovereign and of Jesus as perfect and blameless. They tell listeners to rest in Christ , and they go further in telling that we can rest because of the sacrifice Jesus made in dying on the cross.

Maybe it’s because Easter is so close, but one of the songs that moved me the most is called THE GREATEST OF ALL. The lyrics belong to the Sczabels; the refrain comes from a hymn written in 1882 by Fanny Crosby. It goes, in part, like this:

The greatest of all transactions
The costliest purchase price
Father, Your Son’s atoning death
was given in payment for mine.
You buy me back from slavery,
set me free from my chains.

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through Your infinite mercy,
His child and forever, I am.

The tempo of this song is slow enough to be worshipful for those who were raised in the liturgical church, as I was, but still modern enough to please the young people. Better yet, you don’t have to ponder this song to come away with a Scriptural message; the message is right there, for all to see and hear.

The ultimate test of worship music, for me, is if I find myself humming it in odd quiet moments throughout my day. I figure, then, that the Holy Spirit has spoken to me through the music. I cannot tell you how many times in the past two weeks I have found myself humming or singing these words from YOU ALONE:

You and You alone, will be my song, will be my joy…

There’s more to the lyrics, of course, but my suggestion is that you buy the album and check out the rest for yourself. You’ll only need to invest $6, and you may come away with music that will enrich your soul and that of those around you for some time to come.

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