Sooner Count the Stars: Worshiping the Triune God, Sovereign Grace Music, 2015.
This is my favorite Sovereign Grace Music album ever, which is saying a lot, since SGM has been making beautiful, singable, doctrine-infused music for longer than I have been alive.
Here are some of the highlights:
Sooner Count the Stars (Track 1)
The first track, “Sooner Count the Stars” is a poetic number that extols the goodness of God. The verses employ a series of unconventional images to convey the immeasurable depth of one’s indebtedness and gratefulness toward God:
I could sooner count the stars than number all Your ways … | I could sooner drink the seas than fathom all Your love … | I could sooner turn back time than turn Your heart away.
In climactic praise, the Chorus piles on superlatives that befit the infinitely gracious God: “No praise is high enough, no thanks is deep enough | No life is long enough to tell of all You’ve done | No shout is loud enough, no words are strong enough | No song is sweet enough to sing Your love.” Doug Plank and McKenzie Kauflin’s vocals blend seamlessly, and the harmonica adds a buoyant touch that captures the overflowing joy and gratitude of the worshiper.
Your Name is Matchless (Track 2)
“Your Name Is Matchless” is another great track. Sometimes the mixed Biblical metaphors can be a little jarring, e.g. “For we were enemies, not pilgrims, prodigals at heart,” but if you look past these foibles, the song has a pleasing melody that carries a compelling theological message:
Glory to the name of Jesus, glory to the only name that saves | Ransomed the captives; Your name is matchless.
This Is Our God (Track 4)
The Intro, Interlude, and Verses of “This is Our God” undulate meditatively as the words of the Nicene Creed are lifted from the pages by the music. The Chorus sings fittingly like a profession of faith. It is articulated carefully and deliberately, with the passionate refrain, “This is our God,” soaring above the rest and reaching the highest note of the song.
Blessed Assurance (Track 8)
In “Blessed Assurance,” the driving bass drum and climbing riffs of the baritone guitar create a sense of a powerful, ineluctable march toward a destination, recalling the assurance of salvation that God provides by “put[ing] his seal on us and [giving] us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 1:22). Kate DeGraide’s vocals pierces the soul in this anthemic declaration of faith, and the folky guitar strumming pattern and choral accompaniment in the Bridge resound like a testimony of the cloud of witnesses in heaven:
This my story, this my song | Born of Spirit, washed in Blood | This my story, this my song | In my Savior I belong.
Lamb of God (Track 10)
“Lamb of God” is a magnificent, Biblical-theological hymn that traces the activities of the second Person of the Trinity as the pre-incarnate Word of God in creation, the incarnate Son of God in redemption, and the glorified Lamb of God in the consummation.
Hallowed Be Your Name (Track 12)
The album concludes with “Hallowed Be Your Name,” where the keys and baritone guitar create an ethereal backdrop to Kate DeGraide’s soaring vocals. The song seemingly transports the listener to the very presence of the Triune God in the heavens.
There’s a folksy intimacy in this album that effectively conveys the fellowship of Christians and their communion with the Triune God. The stated goal of the album is to make listeners delight in the Triune God. It succeeds with flourish.
Buy Sooner Count the Stars HERE.