This being my first cd review, I would like to explain that I have always wanted to share my thoughts and feelings on projects that have encouraged me, challenged me, and blessed me. I have never done a cd review and to be honest my opinion may not matter at all to you. But nonetheless, this is my opinion and I hope you find this helpful.
I feel as if I stumbled upon this cd this past month. While searching for music from other artists like Sovereign Grace Music and Indelible Grace Music, I stumbled upon Red Mountain Church. The cd I am reviewing was actually released in 2007. This Breaks My Heart of Stone is a collection of hymn texts from the Gadsby Hymnal. This collection is completely updated with modern melodies written and co-written by Benj Pocta.
Read Brian Murphy‘s review of this cd. Brian Murphy is the chief musician at Red Mountain Church in Birmingham, AL.
The cd begins with a Charles Wesley hymn from 1749 which is also the title track for the cd, “This Breaks My Heart of Stone.” An appropriate title for this album, This Breaks My Heart of Stone speaks of the love of the Father to send His Son to die on the cross in order that we, as enemies of God, might be reconciled into a right relationship with God the Father. This love, this call, this picture of the God-man taking on the sin of the world is the only thing powerful enough to take our heart of stone and break it, causing it to beat again as a heart of flesh. My favorite section of lyrics are found in verse 3 of this song. “Look, as when Thy pitying eye / was closed that we might live / ‘Father’ at the point to die / My Savior cried, ‘Forgive’ / Surely with that dying word / He turns, and looks, and cries, ‘Tis done’ / O my bleeding, loving Lord / This breaks my heart of stone / This breaks my heart of stone /
Track 2, “High Beyond Imagination” is taken from William Gadsby’s hymn from 1838. The beginning guitar riff grips me immediately. Continuing the story of love and redemption this hymn begins with the lyrics: High beyond imagination / is the love of God to man / far too deep for human reason / fathom that it never can / Love eternal / richly dwells in Christ the Lamb / This track has such a simple melody it draws you to sing and to meditate on the mysterious love of God. Another plus is the mandolin that you can hear almost throughout the song!
Track 3, “Come Heavy Laden” by William Williams (1717-1791) is one of my favorites. Calling all who are heavy laden to come to Jesus and find rest, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Track 4, “Crown Him” from Thomas Kelly’s hymn (1831). This is my favorite track on the album. One con to this track is that it is the second shortest track on the album. This track has been an encouragement to me in helping me to see where all the glory is due: to Christ! Crown Him! I also enjoy the driving acoustic guitar that pushes this song forward until the end.
Track 5, “Lead Me to the Rock”. I love the first verse in this song: Convinced as a sinner, to Jesus I come / Informed by the gospel for such there is room / overwhelmed with sorrows for sin I will cry / Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I /
“Windows of Thy Grace” track 6 is a rendition of an Isaac Watts hymn. My second favorite. I can’t explain in very good words but I love the phrases “I love the windows of Thy grace, through which my Lord is seen, through which my Lord is seen.” Oh for grace to know Him more!!!
Track 7, “God of My Life, to Thee I Call” by one of my favorite hymn-writers, William Cowper, who was good friends with John Newton. Together they wrote what is now called the Olney Hymns.
Track 8, “Melt My Soul to Love” written by J. Swain 1838, has a sacred harp/bluegrass/lament feel to it. This is a favorite. (I know, I have said many are favorites. Hence, the reason I am doing this review.)
Track 9, “There is a Land of Pure Delight” from Isaac Watts, 1707. My favorite line in this song: O could we make our doubts remove / those gloomy thoughts that rise / and see the Canaan that we love / with unbeclouded eyes! // Night, sorrow, pain will one day end. How I long for that land of pure delight!
Track 10, “Jesus’ Gracious Hand” by John Berridge, 1838.
The album closes out with it’s 11th track, “Why Should I Fear?” by William Williams. The beginning lyrics will be enough to suffice for this one: My soul thou art immerged in sin / so deep that none can trace / look to the ransomed God decreed / to clear the guilty race //