Monday, October 21, 2013

CD Review: "Because of Love" (Crist Family)

I’m a new fan of the Crist Family. Several months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to name five of their songs. (I do recall hearing a couple of their songs like “The Rock” and “I Love Lovin’ Jesus” on the radio or at NQC) Though a new fan, I recently gave some of their recent mainline CDs a listen and have been really impressed by what I heard.

The group started part time in 1987 but switched to full time ministry in 2004 when they moved from the West Coast to TN. The current lineup consists of Rich, Lisa, Jackie, and Valerie Crist along with John and Tami Starkel. Their latest release is titled Because of Love.

Through the years they’ve adopted a progressive Southern Gospel/country feel for many of their faster songs, and a pretty traditional approach to their slow numbers.

For example, on this new album, most of the fast songs have a modern country sound. “Through the Roof” is my favorite upbeat song, and uses the seemingly unrelated story of the four men who lowered their friend through the roof to Jesus as a parallel to a unique perspective on worship.

“What a Ride” is a thought-provoking and interesting look at material possessions and what we’re to do with them. Instead of hoarding the things we own, the song says to:

Spend it all, use it up, lay it down, for the sake of love,
Holding nothing back so at the end of this life
I’ll arrive in glory, shouting “glory, what a ride!”

The title seems oddly out of place, but the song has a great message.

All of the fast songs are worth listening to on their own. Stylistically, several start to feel a little repetitive if you listen to them all in a row, but they’re spaced out with slower songs in between on the album.

“The Closer I Get to the Cross” is perhaps the best slow song on the album. It’s pretty laidback until the anthem-style chorus bridge. Particularly catching my attention were the lines:

The closer I get to the Cross, the more I clearly see
The Holiness of you, and the sinfulness of me.

“Live” is a beautiful slow song that speaks on living life to the fullest. It sounds more secular in nature than the average Southern Gospel song, although there are several lines that point to God as the giver of life. (examples: “every minute is given by the Father,” and “look up to Heaven, give
thanks, and live.”)

I enjoyed the modern country/progressive sounds that filled this album, and the two power ballad-style numbers were a special treat too. Because of Love is the strongest CD by the Crist Family that I’ve heard yet and a definite must-buy.

CD rating: 4.5 (out of 5) stars
Favorite Songs: Through the Roof, The Closer I Get to the Cross

Available for download: Yes (iTunes, Crossroads)
Artist website:

Review copy provided by Crossroads Records


Post a Comment