Veteran duo Shane & Shane has been making music together for over twenty years, though their original output of the last seven years has slowed as they have stopped touring aside from a sporadic local show. This timeframe has also matched the launch of a church-aimed subscription-based resource for worship leaders called The Worship Initiative. In the six years between their last original album, Psalms II, they have been productive, releasing an impressive twenty full-length albums full of modern worship cover songs.
While I would consider myself a big fan of their 2000s era work, I never got into the covers, making me grateful to hear them return to original compositions on Psalms, Hymns, And Spiritual Songs, Vol. 1. If you're a longtime fan of the Shane's, you'll get what you've come to expect: passionate vocals, top-notch harmony, and lyrics primarily pulled straight from Scripture. Additionally, for first-time listeners, this project would still make a fine entry point into their catalog and give you a good idea if they are the right fit for your taste.
By way of highlights, they waste no time offering up one of the best songs of the set with the lead song, "Psalm 42 (Loudest Praise)," which features a stomp-clap rhythm and soaring harmonies. "Psalm 90 (Satisfy Is with Your Love)" is another fine song, taking a more tender approach to remind listeners that God's love is the only thing that satisfies every longing of our human heart. Other favorites are "Psalm 8 (How Majestic Is Your Name)," "Only There," "Steadfast Love," and "Living Water." Notably, the last three of the aforementioned songs take a more modern worship sound akin to frequent tour Christmas concert companion and friend, Phil Wickham.
Across the thirteen songs, there is a nice mixture of modern worship musicality and the typical Shane & Shane sound, making for a solid album. Perhaps the only drawback is the over hour-plus runtime, but this may or may not dissuade you from tuning in as it didn't feel like an overly long album. Regardless of that minor quibble, there is certainly enough variety to put the record on and let it play through to the end. While Psalms, Hymns, & Spiritual Songs breaks no new ground, it does offer the comfort of familiar Scriptures with just enough freshness to make for a pleasant listen. Ultimately, it's just great to hear something new from Shane Barnard and Shane Everett, as their uniqueness has been sorely missed in the music community of late. This is a can't-miss for fans of the duo, and worth checking out for those looking for some new worshipful offerings for their playlist.- Review date: 7/24/21, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Wellhouse Records
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