Contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns released their latest album Thrive on Jan. 28. The album, inspired by Psalm 1, encourages listeners to dig deep and reach out in their Christian walk. Once again, the band has done a fantastic job of writing Biblically grounded texts that remind listeners of the things that matter most in their lives as Christians.
The title track, Thrive, features a lively, catchy tune and sets the theme of the album. The lyrics discuss the need to delve into God’s Word to know His heart and explain how once we have accomplished this so we can show Him to others.
Track two, “All You’ve Ever Wanted,” will remind listeners of previous Casting Crowns music. First, as many of their songs have done, it deals with getting from where we are to where they should be as Christians. This instance focuses on our struggles with failure, and the lyrics answer this struggle with a declarative recommitment to follow Jesus. Also, the lyrics include well-known Casting Crowns titles such as “The Altar and the Door” and “Here I Go Again.”
The next track, “Just Be Held,” reminds listeners that their strength alone is not enough in times of despair or trouble. Instead, the song encourages letting go to call on the Lord for guidance.
Track four, “You Are the Only One,” talks about how we should know Christ personally and make Him known to others. Like many previous Casting Crowns songs, it urges listeners to act as the hands and feet of Jesus.
Next, “Broken Together” references the tough subject of the ups and downs of marriage and relationships. With its text, “…maybe you and I were never meant to be complete; could we just be broken together?…,” it provides a powerful reminder that we are all broken and that perfection lies in Christ.
Track six, “Love You with the Truth,” speaks to an inner conflict that every Christian faces: sharing Christ with friends who are not believers. It cautions believers not to be ashamed of the Gospel or put friends above friendships. The refrain challenges listeners to speak the truths of sin and separation from Christ.
The next three tracks all speak about reliance on and faith in God.
“This Is Now” begins from the view point of Peter, or any Christian who has wandered away from God. The song then turns to Jesus who reassures, “Take My hand; I’ll lead you out. That was then; this is now.”
“Dream for You” uses biblical stories such as David and Goliath and the virgin Mary to remind listeners that God’s plan for our lives is greater than we can imagine, so we must allow him to lead us to it.
“Follow Me” invites every person, regardless of who they are or where they have been, to call on Christ to restore their life.
Track 10, “Heroes,” encourages us to make sacrifices for others, not for personal gain, but to glorify God.
“House of Their Dreams” warns against pursuing the wrong things in life at the expense of relationships. It is a sobering reminder of what can happen when we get our priorities out of order but also offers hope of restoration.
The album concludes with “Waiting on the Night to Fall.” This track admonishes Christians against letting their guard down and allowing Satan to sneak into their lives, possibly destroying relationships and witnesses along the way.
The lyrics refer to the well-known saying that Satan will “take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”
Thrive has already become a favorite album of mine. I believe that it provides more Biblical theology and musical diversity than any of Casting Crowns’ projects to date. Also available is a devotional book by the same title, Thrive, which corresponds with the topics of the album and is written by lead singer Mark Hall.
Check this album out, and I think you will find the songs as personal, powerful, and challenging as I did.
– Bradley Robinson, Contributing Writer